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Sprint Close to Buying Nextel

CowboyNeal posted more than 9 years ago | from the stack-and-attack dept.

Communications 256

NateDawg writes "After the recent merger of AT&T and Cingular, it looks like Sprint is close to buying out Nextel. According to CNet, the different networks could bring expensive problems, but that could be overcome by the diversity of the company's clients. Nextel has many corporate clients, while Sprint appeals to families and teens."

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256 comments

I don't know how it is in the rest of the world... (4, Interesting)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059821)

...but here (Argentina), Nextel offers the best mobile comunications solution, bar none. Yes, it can be expensive, but it's worth it - i have friends who work with their celular & sattelite network and have nothing but praise for the service.

Things always tend to change after a company is bought; i hope they stay doing good.

Re:I don't know how it is in the rest of the world (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059835)

First post! I lost my cherry! :)

Re:I don't know how it is in the rest of the world (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059840)

You, sir, are both a thief and a murderer, for you have killed a baboon and stolen his face

Re:I don't know how it is in the rest of the world (1)

leon.gandalf (752828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060041)

Here in the US they SUCK! Their coverage is less that pathetic AND they are expensive as hell.

idiots (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059822)

man there copycats

We'll see ... (4, Insightful)

nbvb (32836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059824)

We'll see how this goes.

If you think Cingular/ATT is a bloodbath, wait till you see this one.

Divergent technologies, different networks, and completely different corporate philosophies.

Nextel caters to the business user (not typically the white-collar CEO types, but more of the blue-collar type) and it's great for that.

Sprint basically picks up the leftovers that VZW & Cingular don't want (those with iffy credit ratings ...)

Yeah, good luck. Match made in heaven, really.

Re:We'll see ... (1)

cyberise (621539) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059847)

They don't necessarily need to go under one name. Sprint can simply keep the Nextel name and let them run along the same course that the company has done so far. In addition they can now utilize any technologies Nextel may have had to further improve upon their own Sprint network.

Re:We'll see ... (3, Interesting)

nbvb (32836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059886)

iDEN (Nextel) and CDMA2000 (sprint) are about as functionally different as it's going to get.

If they want to act as one, they'll have to pick a technology and run with it.

This merger is just a me-too because of Cingular/ATT ...

Re:We'll see ... (1)

IO ERROR (128968) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060008)

Nextel caters to anybody who's actually trying to get work done. Those people aren't often in management. And Nextel's offerings are very good, though you do pay for it.

Sprint will take anybody. Of course, their "pay up front for the phone" approach generally keeps the worst non-payers away.

I've used both services, and they're definitely for different people and different circumstances. If Sprint pulls off this merger, they're going to be able to offer something to everyone. Whether they completely screw it up remains to be seen.

Re:We'll see ... (3, Interesting)

krbvroc1 (725200) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060437)

Nextel caters to anybody who's actually trying to get work done

Nextel caters to self absorbed individuals who think 'getting their work done' is so importatnt that they can walkie talkie their converstation anywhere and everywhere. Blasting their two-way conversation to everyone in the area. Even when they are driving alone, you'll pass them as they drive 10 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane hunchbacked over the steering wheel conversing with their Nextel walkie-talkie. I put Nextel users who behave this wasy one step above SPAMMERS and smokers.

Re:We'll see ... (2, Informative)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060602)

This is a minority of users. I've used Nextels at two jobs now, and experienced it at two where others used them, and they can be extremely convenient when in places where it's difficult to get a phone set up, and inconvenient to run an earpiece.

In addition, Nextel's PTT (dunno about Verizon's) can be used for group communication, where one person sends a message to multiple people, which can be used to get a response from first available, or just to get a message out to many scattered workers. This is especially useful on construction sites, where, for example, all of the foremen can be contacted in one shot.

Re:We'll see ... (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060443)

I chose Sprint because they have the best reception in my area. ATT, Verizon, Nextel all had worse connectivity in general, in my area. I guess there are other players, I don't pay attention.

And I hate Nextel for the push to talk feature. The connect / disconnect beeps for EVERY little statement drives me nuts from across the room. I also don't need to hear one side of the conversation, never mind both. This seems to cater to people that can't have a normal conversation, and to those that crank up the volume so much that the speaker distorts madly.

Sprint will take anybody. Of course, their "pay up front for the phone" approach generally keeps the worst non-payers away.

My phone was free after rebate. You could buy more expensive phones, but I chose to buy the best free phone.

I hate the $150 break-contract fee, but it seems everyone has that.

Nextel has everything to gain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060243)

Nextel has everything to gain from this.

Nextel has been getting ready to get off of the 800 band anyhow since they are interfering with emergency services. Here's the catch though, Nextel does NOT have the money to aquire a whole new band and no one would buy the old 800 or if they did it would be for very cheap. In comes Sprint and Nextel gets to slowly wean their costomers off of the 800 band onto Sprints without the enormous expense of buying their own band.

Nextel also gets the benefit of Sprints nationwide longdistance. No more need to make other deals for that "FREE" longdistance everyone comes to expect. Realize that the wired end is still very valuable as Sprint is wholesaling it many other companies like Cable providers who are trying to get into the local telephone buisiness.

Also Sprint is wholesaling other parts of its network out, like the 5 year deal with AT&T to provide them wireless serivice.

The only thing Sprint is really getting is buisness customers, which it is salivating over... other than that Nextel is making out like a bandit.

Credit Raitings and Cingular? Yeah Right! (1)

strredwolf (532) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060318)

Early on, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, and TracPhone came out with prepaid cellular. AT&T called their's "Free2Go" and "Prepaid Advantage". I was the latter, because the phone was cooler. This was back in 2000.

In 2003, AT&T Wireless One upp'ed and brought out the GoPhone service -- Prepaid w/automatic debit. I got the one w/Wireless Internet.

Now, in 2004, AT&T Cingular are one, and my GoPhone service is little more than a renamed Take Charge service.

My credit? Shot.

Re:Credit Raitings and Cingular? Yeah Right! (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060456)

I don't understand, are you saying the phone service killed your credit rating, or that your credit rating prevented you from getting a contract plan in the first place?

HORSE SHIT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060396)

Sprint basically picks up the leftovers that VZW & Cingular don't want (those with iffy credit ratings ...)

Try again. You are referring to Clear Pay, a pay-as-you-go style program promoted 3 years ago by "previous management." Yes, this program clearly was an attempt to inflate the total number of "Gross Ads," a measurement of added subscribers over time, which for good or bad is used as a key indicator (along with other indicators like COH and ARPU) by Wall Street to evaluate the carriers.

It *did* achieve its intended short term goal... gross ads ballooned, however many folks were deadbeats. The program has been reduced to a near halt.

I love how everyone loves to dog on PCS. The fact is, their customer care is pretty weak. They outsource it to some real boners. But their engineering is fairly top notch. Know how I know? I have worked with their network architects and engineers for 20 years.

You ever wonder why Verizon uses CDMA? Think for a moment about when they entered the game, and the technology that Sprint had (and still has) in operation at the time. CLICK! Did everybody hear that?? Yes! That was the realization that the core Verizon service in major coverage areas is largley delivered over Sprint PCS's towers, lines and network!

So is Virgin Mobile's! ALL OF IT.

Same with Qwest wireless! ALL OF IT.

These carriers differentiate themselves through market segmentation, customer care, plan and service bundling, and yes, price.

You would think that as detached Slash-dottian engineers, we could be a bit more immune to the marketing and hype, and recognize the physical truths of the system.

Re:We'll see ... (1)

Fishstick (150821) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060503)

Well, this could torpedo my company. We provide oursourced (no, not offshore) billing and customer care operations for wireless carriers. We are in the process of losing AT&T to competitors that serve Cingular, and now we will probably lose Sprint.

Time to dust off the resume again.

Re:We'll see ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060689)

Not necessarily. It is unlikely that Sprint will change any of its existing business arrangements due to this deal.

AT&T was different because it was acquired by Cingular, and if you didn't have business with Cingular, you likely lost it.

But with this merger, it is Sprint that is going to be calling the shots, so I don't think you have anything to worry about. You might worry if your business was with Nextel, but we don't know yet how quickly Nextel will be integrated with Sprint, or if in fact it will be. It could be run as a separate unit within Sprint.

Re:We'll see ... (2, Informative)

doi (584455) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060729)

You may actually have a good chance for work if this does go through. I worked for Nextel for almost 5 years, and their billing system SUCKED. They changed it about 3 years and $2 billion ago, and from what my old co-workers tell me they're STILL having issues with it. Not to mention that Nextel does all of their development work with contractors and outsource companies now...

Re:We'll see ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060739)

Tought CVG had contracts with ATTWS, Cingular, Verizon, Sprint, etc, etc... as well as MANY MANY other non-wireless phone companies (IBM, MSFT, Proctor and Gamble, General Foods, etc)

Re:We'll see ... (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060581)

Although I agree with you on Nextel, I think you're wrong about Sprint. I've been a Sprint customer for about 4 years, and have always contemplated switching because of the price, but then I hear my friends with other providers bitching about this and that, and I think to myself, "Cool, I've never had that problem."

Sprint is expensive, but it's worth it. Like a Macintosh. The quality, features, and reliability are top notch. Customer service has been poor, but I doubt it's any worse than the other providers (hell, it's still better than when I was with Cellular One *cringe*).

Lovin' the nationwide LD and unlimited night minutes after 7pm. I'm going to go give plasma now so I can afford my shared plan...

Misprint (5, Funny)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059830)

According to CNet, the different networks could bring expensive problems, but that could be overcome by the diversity of the company's clients.

This sentence should read: "According to CNet, the different networks could bring expensive problems, but that could be overcome by making the customers pay through the nose"

Re:Misprint (1)

wcitechnologies (836709) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059855)

I hate random political correctness. "Uh, we don't really have an answer for this problem. I know! Lets compliment the customer's diversity!"

Reminds me of a certain episode of South Park.

Re:Misprint (1)

hendridm (302246) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060649)

but that could be overcome by making the customers pay through the nose

In that case, they must have been a deal years in the making! :P

Buiing companies to grow (1)

canuck57 (662392) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059836)

Too bad Sprint didn't learn from NorTel, ATT, Compaq, HP and others. The best way to get to be bigger is to grow a company not in aquiring others.

Another CEO mistake.

Re:Buiing companies to grow (1)

binary42 (801099) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059872)

That is what you think... I have been through many companies and aquiring brings "value" (sarcastically used -- whether or not it makes your company more successful or larger). I agree in a basic sense that companies need to concentrate on themselves before they go out like this but investors just don't think that way so your stock may or may not change in the short term (yeah... darn short sighted CEOs who want their bonus ;) ).

Re:Buiing companies to grow (3, Interesting)

nbvb (32836) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059896)

well, that depends.

When the Bell Atlantic/GTE/AirTouch/PrimeCo merger was announced, it made lots of sense.

For the most part, the technology was the same, and there was little coverage overlap. They basically took 4 companies -- a Northeast, South, West, and Southwest company, and made them one.

Cingular/ATT is all overlap, but at least similar technology.

Nextel/Sprint is even worse..... It's all overlap, and completely different technologies.

Re:Buiing companies to grow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060367)

Nextel is dumping its technology, in a sense, because they have to move their equipment anyhow. So basically they're asking Sprint to help them with their upgrade and move and saying here are all of our customers.

Re:Buiing companies to grow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060711)

Nextel has to get out of the 800 spectrum, and needed a 3G upgrade path. IDEN is a dead end technology. Merging with Sprint and letting Sprint pay for their upgrade to new technology makes a lot of sense for Nextel.

Re:Buiing companies to grow (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059898)

It's probably not a mistake. When companies merge, the top executives can obtain tangible benefits (e.g: commissions, special dividends). As a matter of fact, there are a lot of corporations where the top executives obtain commissions (or other benefits) when they approve mergers, acquisitions ... - their employment contracts states that they are entitled to such "benefits" when they approve such deals (without any clause restraining such intent, even if the deal is bad for the companies involved).

Re:Buiing companies to grow (1)

JavaMoose (832619) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060040)

Actually, if done right, buying a company CAN increase your profits and growth - and can be good for both sides.

For example, the 22bil/yr company I work for just bought a 75mil/yr company that was no2 in a field we couldn't expand into. Now we are in that field, and with what we brought to the table, have grown their business to 100mil/yr in a few month. Into the billions in a few (2) years (projected).

wall st (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059837)

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint and Nextel have tentatively agreed to basic terms of a merger. The $36 billion deal would create a third giant cellular carrier with nearly 39 million subscribers. Although Sprint shareholders will retain more than 50% of the combined company, to be called "Sprint-Nextel", the merger will otherwise be mutual. The new company will have a 50-50 split among board members from each company. The new company would spin off Sprint's local landline operations. Nothing has been finalized yet, but the companies are said to be "advanced negotiations", and an official announcement could come next week.

http://www.phonescoop.com/ [phonescoop.com]

Re:wall st (5, Funny)

Patik (584959) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060033)

the combined company, to be called "Sprint-Nextel"
Darn, I was hoping for Sprixtel, or Nextint, or maybe Sextel.

Re:wall st (1)

AtillaTheKilla (836478) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060667)

maybe nextInt... damn there's that java again

network type. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059845)

Lets just hope they don't go with Sprints "special" technology... then the US would finally be a bit closer to other places (europe & japan etc..) regarding wireless technology (disregarding spectrums right now though.. FCC?).

Re:network type. (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059917)

Sprint uses CDMA, which is the dominant technology in much of Asia (and will be until 3G takes over, if it does). I don't know how popular Nextel's iDEN is outside the Americas, though.

Re:network type. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060038)

You mean GSM as the dominant technology in Asia. The same technology used by OmniPoint/VoiceStream/T-Mobile and more recently Cingular/AT&T.

The only places they use CDMA are USA, Japan, and Iraq.

Which cellular tech.in Japan? (Re:network type) (1)

mah! (121197) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060213)

Not exactly.

According to the Japanese Cellular Phones FAQ [euc.jp] cellular phone networks in Japan use PDC (TDMA-like, used only in Japan) for 2G networks and both WCDMA (successor to GSM) and CDMA2000 (successor to CDMA) for 3G networks.

By the way, GSM is the only global standard which has coverage in almost every country in the world:
with a cheap GSM quad-band phone like the Moto V400, you can roam in 212 countries [gsmworld.com] , and you can keep using the same phone by purchasing pay-per-use SIM cards anywhere. Try that with a CDMA or iDEN phone...

Re:network type. (1)

WhytTiger (595699) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060155)

Just FYI, Nextel ALSO uses CDMA, the iDEN technologies are on top of CDMA. The one major difference I see is that Sprint uses the PCS band (1900 MHz), a technically weaker band while Nextel uses the Cell Band (800 MHz). I would suspect that if Sprit buys Nextel, you will no longer hear "the only all PCS, all Digital..." and the coverage in rural areas on Sprint will improve.

In terms of asia, CDMA should still be the dominant technology into 4G. With improvements like EV-DO, CDMA can attain 3G data rates, so is technically can be a 3G network already.

Re:network type. (1)

blackdevl (34312) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060536)

the fact that iDEN is based on TDMA, kind of makes me think thats its not running over CDMA.

Re:network type. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060597)

iDEN is a variant of GSM, with extra features for low-latency dispatch (that walkie-talkie thing.)

There's a push-to-talk for CDMA networks, but I understand it goes over package data, and is painfully slow to connect. Nextel derided it as 'push-to-wait'.

Nextel and the art of communication (2, Interesting)

Nine Tenths of The W (829559) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059854)

Is this the same Nextel who once showed a fine grasp of taste by running an ad campaign called "The Final Solution" featuring a Hitler impersonator promising to "exterminate all dues"?

More on this here [adl.org]

Re:Nextel and the art of communication (1)

doi (584455) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059877)

RTFA moron.

Re:Nextel and the art of communication (1)

generic-man (33649) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059929)

Yes, it is. Let's boycott a company forever because they made one PR mistake.

Taking your ideology to heart, I'm going to start boycotting Slashdot because of that godawful Slashdot Cruiser they raffled off.

Re:Nextel and the art of communication (3, Informative)

Unknown Lamer (78415) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059977)

An independent dealer issued the advertising materials and Nextel acted quickly to cut relations with them and stop the advertisements.

Re:Nextel and the art of communication (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060167)

People go off the deep end so much in regards to anything that is connected with racism at all, that they can't even see humor in something harmless and discern what is intended to be something more, and when something is just a joke. Look at the commercial for what it is. Don't try to make it into something more. If your white, keep your guilt to yourself. If your a jew, they said dues. Not jews. Let the past be in the past.

goodbye cheap phones / packages (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11059857)

from the article
If regulators approve a Sprint-Nextel merger, Montezemolo said, "those great deals that consumers have come to expect and the ever-better packages will be a thing of the past."


oh well.

---------------
http://freedvr.home.comcast.net/ [comcast.net]

telco dreams (1)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059860)

", the different networks could bring expensive problems, but that could be overcome by the diversity of the company's clients"

"It's a bad deal, that won't work, but we'll be passing those savings on to our customers!"

What about the technology? (1)

prisoner (133137) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059931)

I am a nextel customer. Have been for years. The PTT is the only reason. With the spectrum swap in the recent past and now this, I wonder what happens to the phones that I use for my business? I don't know a hell of a lot about cell phone tech but I don't imagine that my nextel will work on multiple freqs. It is starting to sound like I'm gonna have to buy all new phones. Access to the fast data network on the sprint side would be nice but I don't need it so bad that I'm gonna junk $1500 worth of phones....

Re:What about the technology? (1)

leon.gandalf (752828) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060063)

Sprint has PTT and a much LARGER and more reliable service area. Besied the Nextel phones are CRAP.

Read about Sprint's ReadyLink.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060286)

They have had commercially viable PTT for about a year.

But don't worry. Both networks will be maintained for years. You will continue to receive the same service you expect.

I have been with Sprint since Spectrum/PCS started up in 96.

Re:What about the technology? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060617)

Access to the fast data network on the sprint side would be nice but I don't need it so bad that I'm gonna junk $1500 worth of phones....

Holy shit, Sprint data is fast?! Is that a setting, or have I been using the wrong intarweb? I'd hate to see how slow the competition is. Makes me yearn for my old 1200 bajad modem, and that think didn't cost me an extra $15/month.

Consolidate is expected, plus Nextel Phones rock (4, Insightful)

FerretFrottage (714136) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059939)

In this area consolidation is exepcted. How many carriers can the market space really support...I say 3 just because it's a magic number I think Nextel is currently the number 5 wireless carrier, not sure about sprint, but I think it's in the top 3 (Verizon is/was number 1 last time I checked).

The thing I love about Nextel are their phones. From a developers [J2ME] perspective, the are very easy to work with (except for webjal). Specifically, their iDen network and their programming APIs allow access to the GPS functionality of the phone. The i730 has a complete programmers' guide available for download from the Motorla site. Can't wait to get my hands on their latest camera phone to see if you can programatically control the camera. Then you could snap a pic and tag the info with the GPS coordinates.

Additionally, they [Nextel] have a nice developers site. Downside is that I find Nextel converage to be much worse than Verizon, so I ended up needing a Verizon phone for actual talking and a Nextel one for fun development.

Re:Consolidate is expected, plus Nextel Phones roc (1)

kormoc (122955) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059978)

or just buy a unlocked phone and put it on the verizon network?

Re:Consolidate is expected, plus Nextel Phones roc (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060372)

yes, because iDen == CDMA.

Oh wait, it doesnt.

Re:Consolidate is expected, plus Nextel Phones roc (1)

Stonent1 (594886) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060549)

There's really no such thing as an unlocked Nextel phone. Nextel is the exclusive provider of iDEN phones in the United States. I guess you could take your "unlocked" phone to canada and try to get Telus service but I heard they don't allow outside iDEN phones on their network.

Which is a durable cell phone to get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060596)

I abuse my handsets a lot and they never last too long. Any suggestion on a tough durable handset?

capitalism (-1, Flamebait)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059994)

Sprint could get NexTel's customers by competing with them. That would mean reducing their profits by investing in more signal processing infrastructure, better billing programming, more training for sales and support staff. Attracting customers with better service. Instead, they're reinvesting the profits, gained from customers stuck in the same crappy service as every other American mobile telco, in buying the customers of another telco. This maneuver is pure capitalism, which does nothing for consumers. It shows that the competition that sometimes improves service is an undesired consequence of some capitalism, and that the purer forms leave consumers out of the equation, except as an exploitable resource.

Re:capitalism (0, Offtopic)

Doc Ruby (173196) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060485)

Criticize capitalism with compelling details, and you're "baiting flames":

Moderation -2
50% Flamebait
50% Overrated

Flame a critic, and you're probably "Insightful". If I believed the telcos had their acts together, I'd probably think these mods were astroturf.

As a sprint user... (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | more than 9 years ago | (#11059996)


I kind of like the idea of merging with nextel. Maybe this will eventually make it so I can have one of the memory chips that allows me to transfer my account/number/phone memory right to another phone just like Nextel. Right now, I cannot do that with Sprint, which makes it a hassle and a $35 cost to activate a new phone.

But thing that irritates me the most about Nextel phones is that people feel it is a good idea to carry out entire conversations with the radio feature...STOP IT!!! And if more people (ie the Sprint customer base) get this feature, I think I will be driven insae. If you need to have an entire conversation, just call them instead of repeatedly beeping back and forth in the grocery store! Or at least turn off the sound so the rest of us can't hear it.

Re:As a sprint user... (1)

Lisandro (799651) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060022)

I think the radio feature was unilimited with the basic fee. That might have something to do with it... ;)

Re:As a sprint user... (2, Interesting)

Dun Malg (230075) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060676)

I think the radio feature was unilimited with the basic fee. That might have something to do with it... ;)

Actually, minutes for 2 way come from a pool shared by all phones on the plan, usually. People tend to use 2 way because their boss (who likely pays for their phone) doesn't see who's using 2 way on the bill, but if you call someone using the cell phone it shows up itemized on the bill and he'll say "who the hell were you talking to for 65 minutes during work that day?"

Re:As a sprint user... (1)

Martin Blank (154261) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060655)

I'm on my third phone with Nextel, and not once have the chips been movable to the new phone. There are ways to transfer the data, but swapping chips does not seem to be one of them, unless it's the same model, or perhaps very nearly so.

Does me no good (1)

DongleFondle (655040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060000)

I would personally much rather see Sprint teaming up with a carrier that actually has decent coverage in more rural areas. In my opinion, for the demographic Sprint caters to, they should be focusing more on expanding their network off of the major metropolitan areas and putting investment into their own company instead of trying to buy up some non-compatible competitor. What possible good could this do me as a Sprint user?

Re:Does me no good (1)

cybertears (778765) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060299)

in my area nextel is the only carrier that covers places that every other carrier can't. My grandparents live only 10 minutes out of Columbus and sprint, att, verizon, all of them don't work worth shit... not even roaming. Nextel works perfect. I'm hoping it will be easy to switch from my sprint service to nextel service once this merger is final.

Re:Does me no good (1)

DongleFondle (655040) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060402)

Yeah, there are a LOT of situations around the country where one company is dominant in the non-metropolitan areas. In my area, (and well, many others) Alltel is the only provider that will cover you out in BFE. But if you look at the two coverage maps for Sprint [sprintpcs.com] and Nextel [nextel.com] , you will see that they are already catering to all the metropolitan areas around the country. My point was that instead of buying a company that has basically already done exactly what they are doing with a completely non-compatible technology, they should invest that money in their own company, expand their network and give the people in the rural areas competition and choice.

Virgin Mobile (1)

Patik (584959) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060023)

What will become of Virgin Mobile, which uses Sprint's network? Hopefully it will stay the same at worst or add Nextel's network at best.

Heh... (1)

mswope (242988) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060034)

"while Sprint appeals to families and teens."

More like Sprint is *tolerated* by families and teens. At least it's cheap.

AT&T Wireless, not AT&T (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060091)

Just a note, AT&T didn't merge. It was a company called AT&T Wireless. That company at one time did come completely from AT&T, but was diversified before AT&T Wireless decided to merge with Cingular. Today, AT&T is still on it's own. It's pretty small by it's previous standards, and now that Spring is merging I expect AT&T's time is coming.

NEXTEL is my cheapest option (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060107)

I know I'm in the minority. But people complaining about NEXTEL's prices don't realize that they're the cheapest option for some people. First of all, free incoming calls is HUGE. As it stands now, my minutes are tapped only for outgoing calls made on the weekday during the day. I have a 600 minute free incoming plan and I use at least 2,000 minutes every month. I'll typically have at least 1200 minutes of incoming calls with the rest being spread out between nights and weekends and prime time. But I have still never exceeded the 600 minutes.

3,000 minutes for $70/mo? I'll take it. It just fits my calling patterns best.

Re:NEXTEL is my cheapest option (1)

SeaFox (739806) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060222)

First of all, free incoming calls is HUGE. As it stands now, my minutes are tapped only for outgoing calls made on the weekday during the day. I have a 600 minute free incoming plan and I use at least 2,000 minutes every month.

Can it really be said you have free incoming minutes if there is a 600 minute limit in there. Sounds like just another plan stipulation.

I have an older T-Mobile plan that gives me the first incoming minute free, unlimited.

Re:NEXTEL is my cheapest option (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060271)

You misread my post. I have unlimited incoming minutes.

From the post:
As it stands now, my minutes are tapped only for outgoing calls made on the weekday during the day.

Re:NEXTEL is my cheapest option (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060313)

I cant beleive that 'free incoming minutes' is a selling point for you guys in the states! Ive never ever had a contract which made me pay for incoming anything (calls, data, sms), and ive had a mobile phone for going on 10 years. Where am I? The UK. My current contract costs me less than $30 per month including insurance for the phone, 200 free any time any network minutes per month, and 30 sms messages per month, and the phone (Samsung E700) was completely free.

Re:NEXTEL is my cheapest option (1)

geniusj (140174) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060495)

It evens itself out. I know that in the UK no cell customers pay for incoming calls. However, last I checked, it costs quite a bit more to call a UK cell phone than it does to call a UK land line. In the US, there is no difference. My theory is that the cost is made up by the extra charge levied on the calling party. It just looks like two different approaches. But here in the US, as far as I know (and someone PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong), NEXTEL is the only carrier that is currently offering free incoming calls.

Re:NEXTEL is my cheapest option (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060585)

Ahh that might be it then, we do have to pay for incoming if we go international with the phone, but thats starting to change, since the telecommunications watchdog has told the various telecoms companies to bring down the charges on fixed-to-mobile calls. That said, our mobile number range is completely different to fixed lines (07*** verses 01***, with 08*** for non geographic calls), whereas Ive been told the US has it all mixed in, same range for both fixed and mobile?

Re:NEXTEL is my cheapest option (1)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060727)

In the US we have a smaller differentiation. US numbers are 10 digits if you ignore the 1 country code. The first three numbers make up an area code which usually include a city (NY now has two LA might have two also) but generally they encompass a small region. Mobile and fixed lines share an area code. The next three numbers are for an exchange and are generally consistent within cities and towns (if you are in a small town you all have the same three numbers but the next town over will have a differeent set of three numbers) mobile numbers use a different set of 3 exchange numbers.
With regard to billing, from a fixed line, we have free local calling based on what is called a LATA which generally coveres an entire town, so you get free calls to your entire town from a fixed line. From a fixed line you do not pay for recieving a call.
Mobile calls are priced based on accessing the network either send or recieve, and the differentiator is time. During business hours mobile plans generally have a fixed number of minutes of calling (say 200-1000 per month) to send and recieve calls, after hours and on weekends most plans sold today allow either unlimited or enough minutes to be unlimited for most people.
It's my understanding that the big differences between Europe and US telecom are calling party pays, higher pop density, and the US had higher fixed line penetration prior to the development of wireless telecom which is why we have lagged Europe in mobile penetration (even though generally the larger number of carriers has resulted in considerably cheaper mobile service in the US. We're only at about 50% penetration of mobile phones.

Nextel's spectrum only useable by IDEN tech? (2, Interesting)

richardoz (529837) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060108)

I wonder what possible technology can be used for the 800Mhz spectrum to carry cellular/pcs/what-have-you traffic other than IDEN technology.

The 800Mhz frequencies Nextel uses are the leftovers from the SMR group with channel spacing of 25Khz and are shared with Public Safety and Heavy Industrial (like utilities). It's not a clean contiguous block of spectrum like the PCS carriers have.

This must be a consolidation of companies for other reasons...

Re:Nextel's spectrum only useable by IDEN tech? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060780)

This must be a consolidation of companies for other reasons...

yeah--power, ego, and jealousy.

All these mergers and one that I wish would happen (1)

reiggin (646111) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060111)

I just want Verizon to buy out Alltel. Alltel has this magic hold on some people in the Southeast and if Verizon would just go ahead and swallow them up, I could call EVERYONE i know for free on the Verizon InNetwork.

Verizon's InNetwork is the best in my opinion. Free calls all the time to Verizon customers. What we need is a monopoly by Verizon so that all my calls will be free. :o)

Re:All these mergers and one that I wish would hap (1)

g0hare (565322) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060468)

That's because ALlltel has COVERAGE, baby! Nextel does not have it.

Let's get something accurate first... (2, Informative)

sacremon (244448) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060142)

AT&T did not merge with Cingular. AT&T Wireless, which had already been spun off from AT&T, merged with Cingular. AT&T is still around as a separate company.

Sprint will destroy Nextel (2, Interesting)

rubmytummy (677080) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060263)

I was a Sprint customer two separate times for a total of three years. I thought the design of their network services was incompetent: as an example, they never did provide two-way SMS, you had to use a very slow WAP page to send messages. Stability of calls was consistently inconsistent. The brand of phones that treated me best (Nokia) they carried the fewest models of, and most of the others had poor design and quality. They were constantly doing backflips trying to sell useless flashy techno-gewgaws, and ignoring the idea of improving basic services. The only company that was worse, in my experience, was AT&T.

Nextel, on the other hand . . . Best I can tell, Nextel's service has it all over everybody, bar none. They offer network features no-one else can even come close to, and I don't just mean the walkie-talkie thing. Their services and features are actually interesting, useful, and well documented! Almost everyone I know who uses Nextel just loves them. The only shortcoming I've ever even heard of is modest geographical coverage, which, sadly, was the show-stopper for me. So now Nextel's merging with Sprint. What a disaster for Nextel. Both the differences in their technology and the fact this is a merger not a buyout will prevent Nextel from fixing Sprint, unlike Cingular with AT&T Wireless. (The latter really stank; trust me on this.) Sprint's grasping incompetence will suffuse Nextel like red dye bleeding through the laundry, and where we had a big clumsy company and a smaller, really good one, there'll just be one really big, rather poor one. What a shame.

Re:Sprint will destroy Nextel (1)

NitroWolf (72977) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060712)

It's unfortunate your entire post is one giant lie. Sprint has had two way SMS for the past 5 years (or more). I have no clue as to where you got the idea you had to use a WAP page for sending text messages. *boggle.

Nokia phones are the lowest reliability phones on the market. They are literally the crappiest phones you can buy. If they "treatet you well," I would hate to see what treats you poorly.

Sprint also has had a PTT solution similar to Nextels for over a year now. Eh.

This would be cool. NOT! (1)

rice_burners_suck (243660) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060312)

It would be cool if all telecommunications companies merge into one huge telecommunications company.

It would be cool if all software companies merge into one huge software company.

It would be cool if all automobile companies merge into one huge automobile company.

It would be cool if all toy companies merge into one huge toy company.

Apply the above four to all other types of industries.

Then, it would be cool if all the resulting huge companies merge into one really, really, really huge company that does everything. It would be so big that nobody would be able to compete against it.

And then, that company would purchase the government, and enslave all the people.

Backwards (1)

maukdaddy (244282) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060335)

You have it backwards:

Sprint serves mostly corporate clients, whereas Nextel serves mostly families and teens.

COOOL! (1)

mrshowtime (562809) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060336)

It's so awesome that two shitty companies have now merged together! The only reason Sprint "Merged" with Nextel, is because Nextel just got 6.5 BILLION dollars in free bandwidth from the FCC to fix their own fuckups! (interfering with emergency frequencies)

Re:COOOL! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060601)

Actually this is not a Nextel fuckup as you might believe! This is a Motorola problem because they can't build a better public safety radio. If cab drivers were to still use the spectrum that Nextel bought from them, public safety would have the same problem. Let's blame the cab drivers now!

Here's how this will work. (5, Insightful)

s.o.terica (155591) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060373)

The reason that Sprint wants Nextel is that Nextel is the network that has best been able to take advantage of the Network Effect, i.e. the effect where each node on a network is made more valuable by each additional node that is added. Nextel has Direct Connect, its walkie-talkie service that is hugely popular with businesses, and the main reason that Nextel has the lowest "churn" rate in the industry. Nextel business customers won't switch to another network because then they won't be able to Direct Connect with other Nextel phones anymore. Period.

So, Sprint/Qualcomm came up with a competing alternative to Direct Connect called ReadyLink, but it's not anywhere near as useful as Direct Connect because there aren't nearly as many other people who have it.

So in the short term, what Sprint is going to do is to make changes on the network side to allow Sprint phones to walkie-talkie with Nextel phones. That will effectively instantly make more valuable both Nextel's phones and Sprint's phone.

In the longer term, Nextel is going to have to move to new spectrum that the FCC has given them due to Nextel phones interfering with emergency vehicle communication. Because of this, they will have to move customers to new phones. So since they have to move their network and swap out their customers' phones anyway, there is no reason that they wouldn't just take the opportunity to move to the significantly more efficient, flexible, and forwards-compatible CDMA 1xRTT (and soon EV-DO high-speed data) standard (that Sprint just happens to run on.

Bingo. Now it begins to make sense, eh?

there *is* something around the corner (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060421)

... most people don't know that Nextel Broadband [http://www.nextelbroadband.net] uses the *new* iDEN spectrum and employs the Flarion Flash-OFDM technology [http://www.flarion.com] .

The Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill NC test market has been 'live' for a year or so, and I am a customer since this past spring. VERY good!! I can surf at 80 MPH. And it's even easier when somebody else is driving ;-) /.'ers should know that this merger simply accelerates this service's availability.

Also, Sprint's tower spacing is better "tuned" for the common frequencies they will end up sharing, and in 90% of cases they are already co-located. The merger will incent them to put up new sites, which is the problem they have now, insufficient critical mass to support the coverage rollout both desperately need.

My only question is how the Nextel side will incent their users to ditch their old phones and move to the new band. The already-in-the-works spectrum swap requires it, so, I just figure people will be given either new phones or a subsidy that allows them to get either a free cheap new model or a big credut to a more feature-rich 1900MHz model.

Where is the money coming from? (1)

matth (22742) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060438)

My understanding was Sprint was coming close to bankrupt in their wireless division? I know personally here where I live in Williamsport, PA Sprint closed down their store, as well as stopped construction on a tower in the area because they said they ran out of funds.... how are they affording to purchase Nextel?

And I still don't have a cell phone. (0, Offtopic)

PrintError (708568) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060441)

And I don't want one.

This just in: (2, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060459)

Man doesn't have cell phone, and insists on telling people.

Link Nextel PTT with Sprint PTT (ReadyLink)? (1)

chamilto0516 (675640) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060450)

I wonder where linking Nextel PTT with Sprint's PTT (called ReadyLink) falls in the merger plan. I got one of those ReadlyLink phones as a replacement and from what I can tell, I'm the only one with one. I have had it for 4 months now and have been unable to find someone with it to even test the silly service/technology.

What did I expect, it is only available to people if they purchase one of only 4 Sanyo phones.

Re:Link Nextel PTT with Sprint PTT (ReadyLink)? (1)

davie (191) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060755)

Samsung is adding Ready Link to its line. If I remember correctly, the SPH-a760 [samsung.com] will be the first device to include the feature.

Nextel, NASCAR? (2, Interesting)

trevor_hellman (572628) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060471)

This seems odd as Nextel just made a huge commitment to NASCAR. I think it was a 10 year contract to sponsor their top Cup division. In addition, they must have spent a ton this year alone branding their name on the NASCAR circuit. Why would Sprint want anything to do with that?

Trevor

Re:Nextel, NASCAR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11060700)

I wonder if they would then spend the money renaming the nextel cup series again, I doubt it. I know many racing fans were skeptical on how nextel would handle their first year as the Cup sponsor, but I think they performed very well

Re:Nextel, NASCAR? (2, Informative)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060750)

Just a quick FYI, but outside of the blue states NASCAR is one of the most popular activities in the area. While the millions of people who enjoy the store may not mean a hill of beans to you, they are generally the target market for NEXTEL (who happens to have the highest fees and lowest churn in the industry) so they must be doing something at least a little bit right. Also they are almost as profitable (per sub) as Verizon (who carries a tremendous advantage because of its size).

Sprint appeals to families and teens?? (1)

spitefulcrow (713858) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060520)

Around here (suburban NY) all the families and teens have Nextel (ugh) because the PTT feature caught on. So when I walk around at school between classes all I hear is "BLEEP yo what up my homie?" Not very many people I know have Sprint. I'd say the most popular carriers used in this area are Verizon, Nextel, and Cingular.

NYT had an interesting tidbit on this - (2, Interesting)

caveat (26803) | more than 9 years ago | (#11060522)

From their article a few days ago on these talks (their current cover story omits this info):
A deal could be reached as early as next week if the talks continue apace. In the meantime, the talks may bring to the game a third player, Verizon Wireless, which held several internal conference calls yesterday to discuss the possibility of making a run at Sprint, executives close to Verizon Wireless said.
If you think Sprint-Nextel would be a bloody mess, just try and imagine Sprint-Verizon...ow, my head...
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