We knew that that Sprint’s iDEN network was on its way out but the Now Network has given it an official death date: as early as June 30, 2013. The move paves the way for Sprint to push forward with its 4G LTE ambitions.
Sprint got the iDEN network after it merged with Nextel (it’s officially “Sprint Nextel”) a few years ago and it never really handled that deal well. That may be why the Sprint board recently voted down an acquisition of MetroPCS, although that merger may have had easier technological integrations.
Regardless, Sprint will be sunsetting the iDEN network and it will be notifying these customers soon. One of the main benefits of the iDEN network is that it enables push-to-talk, so it has many customers in government and in verticals like construction. Sprint will be transitioning these customers to its Direct Connect PTT service, which runs on its CDMA network.
The move allows Sprint to utilize the iDEN spectrum for its 4G LTE network and it recently announced a $1 billion credit agreement for new equipment. Even when the 4G LTE network is rolled out, the company will be keeping CDMA alive.