Learn about Nextel Communications, a company that started out as a two-way radio service provider in New Jersey in 1987 and grew into a national network by acquiring SMR operators in the late 1980s and 1990s. One of the company’s ground-breaking technological innovations was the integration of a dispatch radio, telephone, data, and text messaging into one device called iDEN, which was made available to the public in 1996. The service, marketed as Direct Connect, offered a continuous and reliable mobile connection similar to a walkie-talkie. Nextel was also one of the first cellular carriers to launch a no-roaming-fee service, providing customers with nationwide coverage.
Why was Nextel unique?
Nextel’s early innovations in wireless communication technology allowed it to provide reliable and continuous service for mobile workers across the country. Its Direct Connect feature, similar to a walkie-talkie, gave customers an always-on connection. Additionally, Nextel was one of the first cellular carriers to offer nationwide coverage with no roaming fees.
What was Nextel’s main product?
Nextel’s primary product was its iDEN technology, which combined multiple functions into one device, such as a dispatch radio, telephone, data, and text messaging. The service eventually evolved into Direct Connect, which allowed for continuous communication with mobile workers.
When did Nextel launch its national mobile service?
Nextel began acquiring SMR operators in the late 1980s and early 1990s, which enabled it to develop a national network. Its iDEN technology was made available in 1996, and it became one of the first cellular carriers to launch a no-roaming-fee service across the country.
What was Nextel’s impact on the wireless industry?
Nextel’s innovations in wireless communication technology paved the way for the development of more advanced and reliable mobile networks. Its iDEN technology, which integrated multiple functions into one device, was ahead of its time and set the standard for mobile communication products. Additionally, Nextel’s no-roaming-fee service was a game-changer for the industry by giving customers affordable nationwide coverage.
Is Nextel still in business?
No, Nextel Communications is no longer in business. In 2005, Sprint acquired the company and merged its operations under the Sprint brand. The iDEN network was finally shut down in 2013.
Nextel Communications played a key role in advancing the wireless communication industry through its innovative technology and pioneering services. Its impact is still felt today in the development of modern mobile networks and devices. Though the brand is no longer in existence, its legacy lives on.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What does Nextel stand for?
The name “Nextel” was a combination of the words “next” and “telecom.”
What happened to Nextel?
In 2005, Sprint acquired Nextel Communications and merged its operations under the Sprint brand. The iDEN network was finally shut down in 2013, and the Nextel brand no longer exists.
What was Direct Connect on Nextel?
Direct Connect was a feature offered by Nextel’s iDEN technology. It allowed customers to communicate with each other instantly and continuously, similar to a walkie-talkie.