iDEN is an outdated network technology with very slow data, high operating costs and a declining user base. It makes sense to phase it out and use the spectrum for more modern technogies.
The first phase of the iDEN phase out, which involves shutting down some redundant iDEN towers, has already started in Louisiana. Last month Sprint notified postpaid Sprint/Nextel users in the rest of the country that beginning in April they will be decommissioning some iDEN cell sites and that in-building coverage may be impacted.
A leaked Sprint employee document tells support personnel that qualified postpaid iDEN customers who call complaining of coverage issues should be offered 99¢ upgrades to CDMA phones, including CDMA Push To Talk (Walkie Talkie) phones for those who use the iDEN PTT feature.
Up to now prepaid Boost Mobile iDEN customers have officially been kept in the dark about the iDEN Phase out. But no more. Today I got the following text message on my Boost iDEN phone:
BSTFREEMSG We are making changes to our networks and will reduce select Nextel towers in your area. Click http://msg4u.us/im11 for details.Clicking the link took me to a page with the following text:
BOOST UpdatesIt will be interesting to see what, if anything, Boost will offer customers impacted by the April shut down of some towers or by the total shutdown of the iDEN network. One problem with switching iDEN customers to CDMA is the Boost currently has no CDMA PTT phones to offer to Walkie Talkie using iDEN customers.
As a customer who has an iDEN Series device that operates on the Nextel National Network, we want to ensure you're aware of the changes we are making to our networks, as they could impact your wireless experience.
Beginning in April 2012, we will begin the process of reducing the number of Nextel towers. These activities may impact your coverage on your current network.
We value your business and strive to deliver an exceptional wireless experience. If you encounter changes to your network coverage and have questions, please contact Boost at 1-888-266-7848.