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  1.    #1  
    I mean, obviously besides their merger. Anyone have a clue to what they're going to do with their two networks? My work uses Nextel exclusively and I have managed to not get a phone yet (I really don't want one)....but was wondering if Nextel was every going to get any of the cooler phones.

    This may be a bit off topic, but I thought this was the best place to post it.
  2. #2  
    Mergers are not a new thing. Verizon consists of several companies merged, and so does Cingular.

    During the merger customers of the acquired company, if it is an acquision, are sometimes treated lke step children. For example, Cingular will not help you in many cases if you're an AT&T customer, but this will change after the merger is truly complete, which is expected in 18 months.

    In the meantime, service plans will remain separate, as if there's no merger.I'm sure Nextel insisted on continued use of their great walkie-talkie feature.

    The last time I talked to Nextel they were on GSM. Sprint is using CDMA. How that merger will go, in terms of customer service, remains to be seen.
  3. #3  
    Based on news reports amd press releases at the time the merger was announced, here's what I believe is the situation.

    First, the merger won't be final for at least several more months. Until the merger takes place, there will be no integration of networks, no combining of services, or anything of that sort. They are still two separate companies.

    The integration of the networks will proceed slowly, but in the end Nextel has to give up it's current spectrum anyway, so existing Nextel phones will someday have to be replaced. The first step in integration is planned to be the ability for Nextel and Sprint Readylink customers to walkie-talkie each other. Over time, Nextel will migrate it's services onto Sprint's CDMA network. At that time you'll have to get new phones. When Sprint migrated from the Spectrum brand name and network to the PCS name and network, they initially made the switch optional, and didn't give switchers free phones. Eventually, though, they made the switch mandatory and offered a choice of 3 phones for free. Fancier phones you had to pay for.

    This time, though, I don't think they'll get away with making people pay to switch. The business customers Sprint is acquiring are too valuable, and Sprint won't risk driving them away. But I think the migration is at least a year away, maybe longer.


    Oh, btw, Nextel is not and never has been on GSM. They use a proprietary technology called IDEN. IDEN doesnt' support data services, which is why Nextel wants this merger.
    Bob Meyer
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  4. #4  
    I am only guessing, but this is my prediction. I believe that what made the merger attractive to Sprint was the Business customer combined with the direct connect network. Since all carriers now legally have the ability to use the walkie talkie feature Nextel previously had sole access to they really had little to hold onto on to. If anothe carrier starting really pushing walkie talkie especially towards business they could begin to see a decline in market share and value. It was merge now while they have value or die a slow death.
    In order for Sprint to stay in the game they have to begin migrating toward GSM technology. In other words we all need a new phone at some point. My guess is that the Nextel customers who probably have a much lower default rate and spend a little more get free phones. Sprint banks on its individual customer wanting the direct connect and sells it as an upgrade at a price high enough to gripe about but not out of reach. Will guess two months free direct connect come with this upgrade. $10 a month for unlimited direct connect on top of your current plan.
    This would preserve the sure money while at the same time generating revenue gains even if the customer base stays flat or even suffers a small loss. In the end either way with consolidation of personnel and operations combined with liqudation of uneeded assets(buildings, towers and such) you increase profits the first couple of years.
    Then everyone with stock bails and we here that Sprint/Nextel fails to meet expectations in about 2008.
    Remember this is purely guess work.
    Last edited by jdennyj; 01/22/2005 at 02:10 AM.
  5. #5  
    Why would Sprint need to migrate towards GSM to stay in the game? I thought CDMA technology was more advanced than GSM and its has much higher speeds when it comes to data and its what I would think attracts a lot of their customers because unlimited data is only 15/month. The only good thing I can think think about when is comes to GSM tech. is you can get some really awesome phones from over seas like the ones from this site: www.wirelessimports.com
  6. #6  
    1st GSM offers better more dependale coverage in rural areas. Second smart cards. this is the ticket to iniversal phones, something manufacturers should push for to lower prosuction cost. As the world changes to a global economy and other nations begin to catch uo with the U.S. it has the potential to offer no roaming world wide when all truely work 100% on satelite. Lastly when all become truely satelite pure no more towers. Data can be sent and based on the satelite DSL providers data transfer should not be an issue. Plus another reason to sell new phones.
  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by jdennyj
    1st GSM offers better more dependale coverage in rural areas.
    To me it seems like CDMA offers better coverage in rural areas: http://www.wsj.consumerreports.org/wsjreport59c.html
  8. #8  
    CDMA has better coverage than GSM in rural areas. But there might be better analog coverage in rural than CDMA. Only GSM advantages I know of are global capability and using data services do not roll over calls to voice mail.

    Sprint/Verizon need to come out with a few dual GSM/CDMA phones so that you can roam globally.

    With EVDO and faster CPUs for phones, there can also now be the possibility of VOIP (voice over IP) phones. This should allow talking on the phone _while_ using data services.
    Last edited by xenophonite; 01/22/2005 at 05:23 PM.
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  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    Nextel is not and never has been on GSM. They use a proprietary technology called IDEN. IDEN doesnt' support data services, which is why Nextel wants this merger.
    Do iDen phones have SIM cars? All my Nextel friends when I was in Atlanta last year had SIM cards in their phones, which led me to believe they were on GSM. hmmmm
  10. #10  
    As I said I am only guessing. I believe satelite pones are the future. If I were to bet money as an investment thats where I would go long term. Satelite also gives you the ability to integrate telivision and internet with your wireless service. Yes Nextel phones use cards and are not GSM(I mis spoke) I have benn wrong before and have lost my share of bets. I will still stand behind the rest of my prediction. Sprint customers buy phones to get direct connect, Nextel get free upgrades with CDMA. Sprint customers in smaller plans pay $10 extra for direct conneect, maybe even a second tier of direct connect with limited messages for $5. Revenues up a year or two, then the bail. Earnings down 2008.
    If I were Cingular I would look at buying Direct TV or Dish Network and look towards a solution that allowed my TV service and Wireless service to run on the same satelite. Integrate satelite DSL and try to increase my market share by offering a better overall price point for the three service package. Kind of like Verizon and SBC are doing with local phone, DSL and wireless plans now. And again maybe what I am proposing is not possible I do not know all of the techno specs and requirements.
  11. #11  
    this is not a guess i was given this info from a reliable source- however it is subject to change
    around Q3 this year they intend on beginning the transfer of nextel customers to sprint's network. motorola is apparently working on a nextel style phone that works on iden and cdma for the time of "transition"(my source is reliable- but i'll believe that one when i see it.). When the switch becomes mandatory they will likely offer 20% off a phone with an additional $150 off, i imagine the stipulation would be that a new sprint contract would be signed. since new sprint phones are usually much less expensive than nextel phones- that will probably appease most people... They are not officially merged yet because governing bodies still have to approve it- but the engineers will work hardest on getting the PTT networks talking to each other once things have gotten approved. i've also been told that businesses will keep the same sales reps and other reps where possible- "legacy" nextel accounts will get former nextel reps.
    this following stuff is me guessing
    following sprints previous footsteps with convergence of wireless/wireline services, reps will most likely get assigned a "buddy" from the other side to get to know how their side of the business works...
    i think that will actually work pretty well. a ptt treo has not been ruled out according to my source, but most likely the more mainstream phones will get that functionality first
    when they actually retrofit nextel towers is anyone's guess and what happens to the NASCAR series is another thing up in the air...
    Treo 800w 8/08
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    previously: Treo 700wx 12/06, Sprint 6700 3/06; Treo 650 11/04; Treo 600 1/04 (gone); Samsung i500 (gone); Hitachi G1000 11/03 (gone); Nokia 7110 5/00(best phone ever)
  12. emtkopan's Avatar
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    #12  
    I've been with Nextel for nine years now. I love my nextel phone. I just recently got my treo 650 and Sprint service. From what I've been reading and have verified with several of my friends who work for Nextel this is what is going to happen. Motorola will continue to make nextel phones until Dec. 2007. The merger whould be complete by Dec. 2007. What will happen is Nextel which is on iDen (a form of TDMA) will switch from iDen to CDMA and use EVDO. Sprint-Nextel will use a program called Qchat developed by Qualcomm. I've seen the online demo and it is awesome. Imagine simultaneous "walkie-talkie" and multimedia to all the phones during a chat session. No recording a clip then sending it. Everyone sees it. Qchat will also allow "walkie-talkie" from the iDen network to the Ready Link network. Sprint should start rolling out phones this year with GPS capabilities like the current Nextel phones. Iden does have data services however they cannot improve much more than they already have on the iDen network thus the switch to EVDO. The future phones will be using the data services much more. I believe VoIP wise. Nextel will continue to build iDen towers until Dec. 2007. They will keep these towers up as a backup for those customers not wanting to get a new phone. Sprint will start building onto Nextel's towers thus increasing their coverage area. This is not a one company bought out another company merger. This is a 50-50 merger. Presidents, VPs, and others will be retained from both companies to make the transition smoother and the company run better. And that's all I know about that. Hope this helps.
  13. Minsc's Avatar
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    #13  
    Quote Originally Posted by jdennyj
    As I said I am only guessing. I believe satelite pones are the future. If I were to bet money as an investment thats where I would go long term. Satelite also gives you the ability to integrate telivision and internet with your wireless service.
    I'm going to have to disagree with you on this. Satellite phones (and their companies' stock) was all the rage back in the late 90's, but they never took off. Way too expensive, questions over available bandwidth, and most importantly - they don't work indoors. In fact, they really don't work all that well outdoors unless the conditions are ideal. (no rain storms, trees in the way, etc)

    Terrestrial-based systems (which is what we currently have) work well for the vast majority of people - and coverage is getting better every day. Data speeds will soon be at the point where streaming live video/audio will be easy.

    Satellite phones had their chance and failed, and I think they'll continue to remain a niche market for the very few people who really need coverage at sea, or while climbing Mt. Everest.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by emtkopan
    This is not a one company bought out another company merger. This is a 50-50 merger. Presidents, VPs, and others will be retained from both companies to make the transition smoother and the company run better. And that's all I know about that. Hope this helps.
    What you've explained is what I hear as well. But it really is a Sprint buyout. No Nextel technology will be left/updated after 2007. All the forward moving tech is from knowledge base of Sprint/Qualcomm and essentially none is Nextel's. In 5 years, it will ultimately be a migration of Nextel users to Sprint with transition tech only for tactical uses, not long term.
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  15. #15  
    Satelite is actually how curent land line signals are sent around the world. Land based signal boosters may be needed for now, but technology will overcome todays short falls.
    Ask your self this question. In the 90's how many people had satelite television? Remember those 6' to 8' disk in peoples backyards(very few peoples backyards). How many business's and homes have satelite now?
    Cell phone technology in the 90's was just emerging. Wireless as we know it has actually only been accessable for 20 or so years. Motorola took the technology to then Vice President Bush who showed it to President Regan. Regan signed an executive order freeing the frequencies that made wirless as we know it possible. Affordable wireless has really been available for about 10 years. In ten years we have gone from almost 100% analog to digital and now we are moving to another digital format, GSM.
    When you consider the the speed of which technology changes I believe it will evolve into satelite use. What will the phone companies do with the satelites they use for landline now as the landline market shrinks.
    Heres another example, in 1993 when I got on the internet for the first time it was slow, difficult to navigate and few people had it. Less than 20 years and people have wireless networks on multiple computers in their homes. You can surf the web from your phone practically anywhere, your lap top in many places or even your fridge or control your cool stove program from your phone so that dinners ready when you get home.
    Going digital from analog has actually required more towers than the analog signal required. As satelite technology advances and more private sector companies become involved, a trend that is moving quickly. Cost will come down. At some point real estate, cost to maintain and refit will surpass the cost of an improved satelite signal that can multi task. This is also important because people want one device that can do more. Sprint already offers a phone you can watch TV on.
    I really have little research to back up my thoughts, just what I think will happen. Sometimes I reply just to provoke thought.
    By the way someone bought that bankrupt Satelite phone system for a song. It still exist and is actually growing. With the signal today it is used by militaries and people who live in very remote areas. But the future may change that.
    Last edited by jdennyj; 01/25/2005 at 02:15 AM.
  16. Minsc's Avatar
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    #16  
    I hear where you're coming from, but I don't think you can make a logical connection between satellite TV and wireless phone usage. While there are some overlaps, I think they're apples and oranges for the most part.

    There's still 2 fundamental problems as I see it. The first is technology. As I mentioned before, satellite signals really don't work indoors. If you have a satellite TV, you have a fixed dish that doesn't move, and has a clear-view of the sky with no obstructions. Even with that, as any satellite TV customer will tell you, a rain storm causes your signal to get whacked.

    Secondly, there's an economic question. There's a huge investment in terrestrial-based towers, and while I don't have any data I would venture a guess that probably at least 85% of the world's population is covered by some type of wireless phone signal. In other words, there's simply no need for satellite anymore. (unless you're one of the few who needs coverage while sled-dogging in the Yukon territory, for instance)

    Back in the 90's when terrestrial coverage was not all that great, the promise of satellite phones was alluring. Now, however, the need just isn't there. We've got most of the world covered already. High-speed data is either here already, or will be soon. There's just no real advantage to satellite that's worth the hundreds of millions of dollars it would take to deploy to the masses. Even if the costs come down, what's the advantage??
  17. #17  
    Quote Originally Posted by jdennyj
    If I were Cingular I would look at buying Direct TV or Dish Network...
    It isn't too likely that Cingular could buy DirecTV since it is owned by News Corp. Plus, Fox (also owned by News Corp) just got in bed with Verizon to deliver TV to their phones.

    Cingular would probably have a better chance prying Dish Network away from Echostar.
  18. #18  
    The signal has already changed three times in the very short life of the technology. It seems to me the towers seem to have a projected life before replacement or refit.
    I understand the satelite signal issue. I just believe that a new technology will overcome the issue.
    I also believe it makes since to try find one standard signal that can be used for wireless communication, television and internet.
  19. #19  
    Satellite is fine for one-way communication but is awful for some two-way applications because of latency due to distance, especially if chatty IP-based applications. Voice can be done well over SAT if designed to consider latency but VOIP would probably be difficult to pull off. Seems like it would be difficult to significantly reduce latency unless doing laser communication to SAT.
    Last edited by xenophonite; 01/26/2005 at 12:44 PM.
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  20. GIR
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    #20  
    Quote Originally Posted by meyerweb
    Oh, btw, Nextel is not and never has been on GSM. They use a proprietary technology called IDEN. IDEN doesnt' support data services, which is why Nextel wants this merger.
    I think I read somewhere that IDEN is TDMA based... Initially does Sprint no good, though I wonder how they can fold the technology into their own PTT offerings over CDMA? If they could the benefit I see would be to absorb Nextel's freq spectrum to enhance their own capabilities.
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