Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) announced on Tuesday its plans to shutter its iDEN Nextel Network as early as June 30, 2013. The company has already stopped selling iDEN devices in certain markets and will completely discontinue selling the product during the next few months.
The move is part of Sprint’s “Network Vision” plan, which includes consolidating multiple networks to increase efficiency and data speed, and enhance coverage and call quality.
Sprint, the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier, made clear its intentions to support customers with the transition from iDEN to its new “Direct Connect” technology that operates on the company’s 3G CDMA network. Direct Connect, which includes push-to-talk capabilities, was launched last October.
The telecommunications company has a lot riding on its new strategy. It has struggled to compete with AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) and reported weak earnings results for five consecutive years.
Sprint will inform business and government customers of the Nextel shutdown via written notice beginning Friday.