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Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

Journeyman

Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

I recently moved and I am getting no reception on my sprint phone.  According to the coverage maps there is no sprint coverage in my area, but there is Nextel device coverage.  I am not too sure exactly what this means.  I would appriciate some clarification.

I have an LG android phone.

Basically to my understanding this means I need a whole new phone that is "Nextel" instead of "Sprint" is that correct?  I looked at sprint's website for phones, but it didn't give me a clear cut example of which phones are nextel and which are sprint. Could anyone help me figure out what the best way to get a working phone in my area is? (I definitely want something with internet etc, this is possible on the nextel network right?)

15 REPLIES 15
Wizard

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

Nextel is a separate network that was acquired by Sprint some years ago and is now being decommissioned. Unfortunately, this probably means you will have to find another wireless provider.

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Wizard

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

Nextel devices use an older technology that operates at 800 MHz. Modern Sprint devices operate at 1900 MHz. As a rule the higher the frequency the better clairity and speed you will see, but the lower the frequency the better signal penetration you will experience. Spint is in the process of consolidating it's technologies to reduce redunency and the Nextel technology will no longer be offered after the middle of next year. Instead, all the old 800 MHz equipment will be converted to the Sprint side of the network so we can offer that same signal penetration that the Nextel customers currently enjoy. You can pick up a Nextel device for now and next year you should be able to convert your line back to Sprint once the conversion is completed, or you can go ahead and pick up a Sprint device, and contact 800.927.2199 to see if you eligible for an Airave device.

Journeyman

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

Hi Alcepi1, the difference between the Sprint network and the Nextel network is that they are two completely different technologies, and Sprint basically has two complete networks set up to make them work.  A CDMA network for the Sprint phones and an iDen network for the Nextel phones.  In a nutshell, coverage with one could be completely different than coverage with the other.

For your uses, if you have Nextel coverage in your area then yes in theory a Nextel phone would do sort of what you want.  However, data speed is extremely slow on the Nextel iDen network.  With a smartphone on the iDen network, you'll likely get no better than 22kbps speeds (half dialup). 

Journeyman

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

What is an Airave device?  is there any way to check and see when the nextel tower in my area will be changed?  Where can I look to see what devices work on this nextel network? Are there any android or iphones that will work or is it going to have to be an old beep beep type phone? 

My zip code is 36549 by the way if it helps to look at the area. 

I have a sprint device currently by the way, but it's got 0-1 bar at the house and constantly dropping calls.

Journeyman

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

Citybett, you say " With a smartphone on the iDen network, you'll likely get no better than 22kbps speeds (half dialup)." does that mean that I can use my current LG android smart phone to connect to this network for the time being so I can at least use the phone? Even if the speed is slow I have a wireless connection at the house for data, I just need a way to make and receive calls.

Journeyman

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

Hi Alcepi1, no, your LG Android phone will not connect to the Nextel iDen network.  Your android phone has the CDMA hardware in it and is just not compatible.  Your choices for Nextel iDen smartphones are pretty limited.  I believe your choices are either the Blackberry 8350i or the Motorola i1.   The Blackberry 8350i is based on the 8300 curve smartphone, so the technology behind it is 4-5 years old by now.  The Motorola i1 is another old Android phone running version 1.5 of the Android OS.  So you'll likely find most android apps won't function with the i1.

As for making and receiving calls, or using the Push-to-Talk, a Nextel phone does those functions very well. 

Wizard

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

An Airave is a device that we refer to in the industry as a femptocell. It is like setting up a mini-tower in your home. It intercepts your CDMA (Sprint) signal and converts it to IP and transmits this information back to the Sprint servers through your existing broadband internet (ie cable or dsl), so seperate internet is required. If you have high speed internet I would recommend you go this route over picking up a Nextel capable device since the iDEN network is being decommisioned in 2013. Plus you will get to enjoy the Sprint network when you're in town.

Journeyman

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

To add to what PhysicsGuru mentioned, here's a link to more information about the Airave femtocell from Sprint's website.  So if you already have a Sprint phone and you want to make it work, this is likely your best bet.

http://www.sprintenterprise.com/airave/tellMeMore.html

However, be aware that these don't work perfectly either.  I've got a pretty lengthy discussion going on right now on that subject, just something to be aware of if you choose to get an Airave from Sprint.  Here's a link to that discussion.

http://community.sprint.com/baw/thread/87873?start=0&tstart=0

Wizard

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

You will have to have a Sprint tower within 15 miles for the Airave to work. And it will only provide coverage at one location.

Wizard

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

What is your city and zip code?

Journeyman

Re: Sprint v. Nextel devices (coverage problem)

I live in Lillian, AL  36549.  Thanks for all the great advice guys. 

I'm a little confused why I would have to be within 15 miles of a sprint tower for the airave to work if it runs off of my broadband

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