ForumTopicPage
cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

Journeyman

what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

I can appreciate that Sprint-Nextel has finally conceded the value of Nextel & iDEN, and it is good to know that the new handsets & plans are finally beginning to become available. That takes care of one huge deficit we've had for the past few years.

 

But what about network capacity? It is a proven fact that the iDEN network can't handle much more than 17 million subscribers total, so exactly what plans are in place for expanding the bandwidth & coverage of the iDEN network? If your Boost Unlimited Monthly plan and the new Nextel DC for business plans are successful, you run the risk of network gridlock again. Having experienced that myself for a couple of years, it is not pretty, and you will start to lose customers again if you allow that.

 

Please delineate plans to bolster iDEN against increased subscribership.

 

Thank you,

 

  Nxtl4me

 

 

(moved to new thread, changed subject.  w.england)

Message Edited by wengla02 on 01-28-2009 12:30 PM

21 REPLIES 21
Journeyman

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

Our customers on the Nextel National Network enjoy the fewest number of dropped calls in the industry (dramatic shift from where we were two years ago).   We have taken significant strides to proactively manage our network capacity and increase efficiency.  Lastly, we are targeting users that are more inclined to use/value PTT, interconnect and data (business centric users and individual users). 

Journeyman

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

I appreciate the response, but the fact that it was answered somewhat obtusely speaks volumes. No capital expenditures on iDEN, that's clear.

Honestly not trying to be negative, but I am a hard-core realist (engineering background, it comes with the territory) and I hope your confidence in being able to proactively manage the load on iDEN is well-founded, for all our sakes.

Nxtl4me

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?


@Tim Donahue wrote:
Our customers on the Nextel National Network enjoy the fewest number of dropped calls in the industry (dramatic shift from where we were two years ago). We have taken significant strides to proactively manage our network capacity and increaseefficiency. Lastly, weare targeting users that are more inclined to use/valuePTT,interconnect and data (business centric users and individual users).

Tim, glad to know that you're ONLY comparing today's network experience to that of 2 years ago. Nextel's weakest point has always been its capacity and coverage. Still, I know from personal experience that iDEN today drops far more calls than it did pre-merger. That's disappointing. But the increase in efficiency is a good thing. But as Nxtl4me pointed out, there doesn't seem to be any pressure to actually invest capital into the network to expand coverage and capacity.

So, if coverage and capacity are not increasing, then what is the game plan going forward to attracting new customers to Nextel? You mentioned that you're targeting users that value PTT, but PTT is on a SERIOUS decline since so many iDEN subs have left this company outright, and iDEN users in general have never been truly heavy data users (most likely due to the lack of speed offered over iDEN, I'm sure). So what will attract new users to Nextel? Iis it just going to be killer pre-paid (and post-paid?) rate plans? Obviously handsets haven't been a priority (and given that we'll only see 2 iDEN phones in the next 6 months, while CDMA gets 10), so what will be the big draw to Nextel?

Journeyman

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

Why is everyone so adimant on expanding coverage for iDEN? When I was on iDEN, I've been to the gates of hell and back and never had an issue with coverage. I've been in the middle of nowhere illinois, tennesee, indiana, wisconsin, iowa and ALWAYS had service.

They need(ed) to expand capacity and even then there was one area that always gave me a system busy I was always able to make a call when needed. Now with all the deacts they probably don't have to worry about capacity.

Journeyman

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

Great questions and commentary on this topic, I will attempt to address many of them

 

1)      Nationally – Blocks and drops have never been this good (pre or post merger)

 

2)      We have and will continue to invest in iDEN network, increasing efficiency and coverage.  No network is perfect and we continue to invest where we see the greatest need.

 

3)      We are better managing capacity and  forecasting models around increased usage to minimize some of the issues incurred 2 years ago

 

4)      In regards to what are we doing to attract new users?  We have dramatically improved network performance (and are continuing), launched 4 new iDEN devices Sept-Dec 2008 (incl. the BB 8350i), launched 5 new Qchat devices in 2008, are launching three new iDEN devices in 1Q 2009, launched an aggressive ad campaign starting 3Q 2008, launched new price plans specifically for work groups and have expanded the application portfolio.  Nextel Direct Connect does things no other solution can perform and is the most efficient means of communicating, so it can/will certainly attract new users.

Journeyman

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

Regarding capacity, I would expect some users may switch to QChat phones, which is a win-win way to free-up existing capacity on iDEN to support more voice calls and more PTT sessions.

A more radical way would be to convert the Nextel frequency band to CDMA with QChat; this would triple the capacity, and it would also be a way to improve signal quality for CDMA services inside buildings, due to the better penetration of the lower Nextel frequencies (850 MHz). Most of the CDMA phones can already roam near these frequencies, so it would be fairly easy to engineer the needed handsets.

Neither idea does anything to widening the coverage, which was part of the original question. Of course, cell-phone networks could always use better coverage.

At some point, having money to buy new towers will depend on being cost-effective. Sprint is trying to keep two complete and distinct cell-phone networks operating, while building a third one (4G). Verizon is only paying for one network and buying more towers for that one network. Sprint needs to make the Nextel experience just as good on CDMA as iDEN, and then no one will complain when iDEN is phased out. The resulting cost savings would free up money to buy new towers and widen coverage for all customers.

Without leaving anyone in the lurch, all the new phone designs (from here on out) really need to support QChat, so the network merger will begin soon and get finished soon.

Message Edited by sp13 on 02-15-2009 05:08 PM

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

<blockquote><hr>sp13 wrote:<br><p>Regarding capacity, I would expect some users may switch to QChat phones, which is a win-win way to free-up existing capacity on iDEN to support more voice calls and more PTT sessions.</p><p></p><p>A more radical way would be to convert the Nextel frequency band to CDMA with QChat; this would triple the capacity, and it would also be a way to improve signal quality for CDMA services inside buildings, due to the better penetration of the lower Nextel frequencies (850 MHz). Most of the CDMA phones can already roam near these frequencies, so it would be fairly easy to engineer the needed handsets.</p><p></p><p>Neither idea does anything to widening the coverage, which was part of the original question. Of course, cell-phone networks could always use better coverage.</p><p></p><p>At some point, having money to buy new towers will depend on being cost-effective. Sprint is trying to keep two complete and distinct cell-phone networks operating, while building a third one (4G). Verizon is only paying for one network and buying more towers for that one network. Sprint needs to make the Nextel experience just as good on CDMA as iDEN, and then no one will complain when iDEN is phased out. The resulting cost savings would free up money to buy new towers and widen coverage for all customers.</p><p></p><p>Without leaving anyone in the lurch, all the new phone designs (from here on out) really need to support QChat, so the network merger will begin soon and get finished soon.</p><p></p><div class="message-edit-history"><span class="edit-author">Message Edited by sp13 on </span><span class="local-date">02-15-2009</span><span class="local-time"> 05:08 PM</span></div><hr></blockquote><p>It's far from a win-win. CDMA is now actually feeling capacity constraints on their data network side. Why else do you think that a 5GB cap has been put into place? Plus, the whole point of Q-chat is to have the ability to use Q-chat in all of the places that iDEN PTT operates in today (if not more so). If you look at the maps, iDEN still outstrips Q-chat coverage. That's pathetic, and won't help customers seriously consider Q-chat as a viable option.</p><p></p><p>As for converting the frequency of iDEN to CDMA, that's actually not a bad idea. But how to you do so when you have 13M+ users that rely on that frequency that utilize a completely different network interpretation for that frequency? Are you suggesting that Sprint pony up a charge and buy all current Nextel users CDMA Q-chat phones? Mind you, these phones have all been found to be problematic where EVDO rev A isn't operating properly. So simply swapping phones, though an option, won't necessarily work due to a lack of coverage as stated before (let alone the need for firmware upgrades for the phones to operate properly).</p><p></p><p>As for Sprint building a third, you obviously must have been in a cave for the past year or so. Sprint sold off its WiMAX assets to Clearwire, and with it their need to build out the 4G network. Additionally, Verizon and AT&amp;T are both trying to build out their 3G networks, and are both additionally looking forward to building out a 4G LTE network. That's not easy for them to fund either. </p><p></p><p>While duplicating the iDEN experience on CDMA is a good thing, the problem is that Sprint hasn't. Not by a long shot. Can Q-chat PTT to others? Yes. Can Q-chat do Push-to-Send? No. Push-to-Email? No. Push-to-bar code scan? No. Sprint has a LONG way to go before they can even consider dismantling iDEN.</p><p></p><p>Which brings back the question of expanding the networks and what kind of handsets are we to see. If all future handsets come with Q-chat (on CDMA), then the Nextel experience on CDMA becomes more realistic. So far, we've been told by Sprint execs that this WILL NOT happen. And that is why this company needs to keep up both networks. Like it or not, it must be done. Or be prepaired to see T-Mobile move in and take over the #3 spot for largest national service provider...and watch Sprint drop down to 4th. :)</p>

Journeyman

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

<blockquote><hr>Tim Donahue wrote:<br>Our customers on the Nextel National Network enjoy the fewest number of dropped calls in the industry (dramatic shift from where we were two years ago). We have taken significant strides to proactively manage our network capacity and increaseefficiency. Lastly, weare targeting users that are more inclined to use/valuePTT,interconnect and data (business centric users and individual users).<hr></blockquote><blockquote>In Tim's first response it is like we are talking to an automated Press Release! Glad to see that he went more in depth later on.</blockquote><blockquote>I think that with the capacity and bandwidth restraints we have to think of it this way, Qchat takes bandwidth and iDEN has limited capacity. If Boost Unlimited truly takes off, then sprint may need to consider having boost qchat phones to avoid iDEN over crowding again. Qchat is a bandwith hog, OK, but iDEN has problems to considering capacity, Data and its end of life, not to mention iPCS. So looking forward sprint really needs to think deeper about how qchat fits in and putting PTT on EVERY PHONE!, and including it free in EVERY PLAN! Or well frankly, I don't really see there being any Nextel Users left.</blockquote><blockquote>Wow, this is an awful post. I am talking erratically and am all over the place, Thank You for Reading That!^ :)</blockquote><p></p>

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

What I want to know is this:

1. What 3 new iDEN devices in Q1? There were only 2: the i8350i and the i9 Stature. So where's the 3rd device?!?

2. What new workgroup rate plans? The iDEN Business plans were already in place at the end of December. So where are these new work group plans? Or was that merely lip service?

3. What iDEN network expansion is Tim talking about? Brust made it very clear that neither CDMA nor iDEN would be expanded in 2010 or 2011 (since the money would have to be paid in 2009 and 2010). And allegedly Boost is attracting a bunch of customers, so iDEN will again run into capacity constraint issues. How is that good again if you piss off the 8-10M post-paid iDEN users that sitll remain???

Journeyman MDG
Journeyman

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

I think the three iDEN devices for 1st Q were:

 

8350i

i9 Stature

365IS  (Intrinsically Safe)

 

(http://newsreleases.sprint.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=127149&p=irol-newsArticle_newsroom&ID=1252738&highlig...)

 

and to a much lesser (but still cool) degree the yellow i580. (hey, I like the yellow!)

Re: what plans are in place for expanding iDEN Network?

OH yeah...forgot about the 365IS. Thank you. Ok...so at least one of the 3 points was answered.

Community News

This is a PUBLIC ARCHIVE board, all artciles are read only.

Please click here to search the Active Community.