the first cell
phones to offer
way to connect
to other wireless
to talk” feature
to use walkie
talkie functionality. Nextel
1987 and changed
its name to
in 1993. Nextel,
the former wireless
brand of Nextel
uses time division
band (SMR) and
was one of the
in the United
States to offer
a national digital
For some time, there were industry rumors that Nextel would be acquired. On
December 15, 2004 Sprint and NEXTEL announced they would merge to form Sprint
Nextel Corporation. Sprint and NEXTEL shareholders overwhelmingly approved
the merger in July, 2005. The merger was approved by the FCC and U.S.
Department of Justice on August 3, 2005. Sprint Nextel was officially formed
on August 12, 2005, when the deal was completed. While billed as a merger
of equals, the transaction was actually the purchase of NEXTEL Communications
by Sprint Corporation.
Sprint Nextel currently offers cell phone service under its Sprint PCS and
Nextel brands. Since the merger, Sprint Nextel has begun to acquire former
affiliates. So far Sprint Nextel has acquired Gulf Coast Wireless, US
Unwired, and IWO holdings.
The Nextel brand currently has over 16.1 million subscribers. Many
of those subscribers were concerned that they would be required to replace
their handsets due to incompatibility between Sprint technology and Nextel
technology. Sprint Nextel has reassured those subscribers that they would
continue to support both networks. Dual-band phones are being researched
to work on both networks simultaneously.
Nextel was the major title sponsor of NASCAR’s top racing series, called
the NEXTEL Cup. The series will be changed to the Sprint Cup by 2007. As
a result of that sponsorship, Nextel offered several models of NASCAR themed
Sprint Nextel continues to offer the Direct Connect feature. Nextel
options include national and international walkie talkie, Nextel Nexmail (send
a voice message to any e-mail address), and Nextel Direct Send (send or receive
contact information instantly). Nextel Group Walkie Talkie can instantly
connect a group of up to twenty people nationwide. Nextel Direct Talk
SM Off-Network Walkie-Talkie is helpful in emergencies in remote locations
where there is no network. Nextel Direct Talk will allow you to communicate
to others within a six mile range.
Sprint Nextel expects to absorb the Nextel brand by the end of 2010.
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