Nextel Communications

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Nextel Communications logo.

Nextel Communications Template:Nasdaq is a telecommunications firm based in the United States which provides a national mobile communications system. Unlike other cellular operators, Nextel utilizes the specialized mobile radio band (SMR) and was one of the first operators in the United States to offer a national digital cellular coverage footprint.

It has over 11 million U.S. subscribers, and as of 2003, claims to serve "198 of the top 200 U.S. markets."

Nextel also offers pre-paid services through the Boost Mobile brand.

The company has long worked closely with a single vendor, Motorola, on both equipment and standards, though competitor Kyocera is reported to be working on compatible handsets. The close relationship has yielded the iDEN protocol which uses time division multiple access (TDMA) technology. Some of Nextel's special features include its push to talk feature, which simulates the half-duplex operation of a two-way radio. A downside of this sole-source and proprietary standard has been a lack of innovation in handset size and weight, compared to mobile telephony industry trends, though this too is changing.

Nextel has a huge advantage in the US push to talk industry, though in 2003 Verizon Wireless and Sprint PCS have each launched a push to talk feature and other cell phone providers have announced plans to launch similar half-duplex features. Nextel and Verizon entered into a legal battle in June of 2003 over Verizon's advertising for their push to talk feature. The companies reached a settlement February 13th, 2004. Early advertising for Verizon's service was heavy, but it became almost nonexistent fairly quickly -- whether this was due to poor reviews of the service is unclear.

Nextel announced plans in 2003 for its next generation, or 4G offerings. It will use an extension to iDEN called WiDEN, also from Motorola.

On December 10, 2004, media reports suggested that Sprint Corporation was prepared to acquire Nextel Communications for over $35 billion dollars. [1] (

On December 15, 2004, Sprint and Nextel announced that they will merge and create Sprint Nextel. Current plans for Nextel's push to talk service now includes Nextel migrating its push to talk service to CDMA after the merger is completed with Sprint in second quarter, 2005. The merger deal is pending shareholder and regulatory approval.




FleetCall was founded in 1987 and changed its name to Nextel Communications in 1993. In 1995, wireless pioneer Craig McCaw became a significant investor in the company.

In late 2004 on December 15th, 2004, Nextel and Sprint jointly announced that they will merge and create Sprint Nextel. The merger deal is pending shareholder and regulatory approval.

Nextel and NASCAR

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NASCAR Nextel Cup logo

In 2003, Nextel and stock car racing organizer NASCAR announced a sponsorship agreement by which NASCAR's top racing series would be called the Nextel Cup starting in 2004; the series was formerly the Winston Cup. Many NASCAR fans are outraged at how NASCAR has changed since Nextel began to sponsor the sport. The American racing movie Driven from 2001 contains lots of Nextel advertising.

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