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Sprint Close to Buying Nextel 256

NateDawg writes "After the recent merger of AT&T and Cingular, it looks like Sprint is close to buying out Nextel. According to CNet, the different networks could bring expensive problems, but that could be overcome by the diversity of the company's clients. Nextel has many corporate clients, while Sprint appeals to families and teens."
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Sprint Close to Buying Nextel

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  • by Lisandro ( 799651 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @10:39AM (#11059821)
    ...but here (Argentina), Nextel offers the best mobile comunications solution, bar none. Yes, it can be expensive, but it's worth it - i have friends who work with their celular & sattelite network and have nothing but praise for the service.

    Things always tend to change after a company is bought; i hope they stay doing good.

    • Nextel offers the best service for me as well (Michigan). I can get service in the middle of lakes near Coldwater where my other various uncles/grandparents/etc cannot get a signal at all. The walkie-talkie feature is by far the best with Nextel. The only bad thing about Nextel really is the ticking noise you near in nearby unshielded speakers even when you aren't using the phone. If anything remotely changes for the worst, I will absolutely be cancelling my service, because I really do not want to be pay
  • We'll see ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nbvb ( 32836 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @10:39AM (#11059824) Journal
    We'll see how this goes.

    If you think Cingular/ATT is a bloodbath, wait till you see this one.

    Divergent technologies, different networks, and completely different corporate philosophies.

    Nextel caters to the business user (not typically the white-collar CEO types, but more of the blue-collar type) and it's great for that.

    Sprint basically picks up the leftovers that VZW & Cingular don't want (those with iffy credit ratings ...)

    Yeah, good luck. Match made in heaven, really.
    • They don't necessarily need to go under one name. Sprint can simply keep the Nextel name and let them run along the same course that the company has done so far. In addition they can now utilize any technologies Nextel may have had to further improve upon their own Sprint network.
      • Re:We'll see ... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by nbvb ( 32836 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @10:51AM (#11059886) Journal
        iDEN (Nextel) and CDMA2000 (sprint) are about as functionally different as it's going to get.

        If they want to act as one, they'll have to pick a technology and run with it.

        This merger is just a me-too because of Cingular/ATT ...
        • Calling this a "me-too" is suggesting that Sprint and Nextel would merge because the cool kids are doing it. Yea, it looks like they're just jumping on the bandwagon, but this is big business not teenagers we're talking about. Because of the way that U.S. wireless carriers are set up, smaller companies seem to be losing relevance on a daily basis. Some expert said it was about survival of the largest, not survival of the fittest. This is going to make three large wireless companies that are fairly close
          • Bzzt. Verizon's prices are basically the same (within $5 and/or 100 minutes) of all the other major players. Verizon does not have a market corner on cool phones, but they are getting some nice ones. They also have the market cornered on network reliablity, absolutely period, and no one else will ever touch them.

            Cingular's phones are definitely cool, but only on the high end. The low end cool phones are completely cornered by Sprint. Also Sprint and Verizon's handsets are FAR more reliable, as they wil
            • But if you want the coolest phones, you get T-Mobile. Of course, you'll never be able to make a call without the other party going "What? I can't understand you." but you'll ahve an awesome phone.

              I don't know where you're from, but I'm guessing you're not in Southern California. Right now, T-Mobile has one of the best networks out here. It was like night and day when I moved from AT&T TDMA to T-Mobile GSM.

              I don't know how things are going to be once Cingular and T-Mobile comb apart their networks, bu
        • This merger has been rumored for about 2 years now. The cingular&ATT merger took place because AT&T was getting its teeth kicked in and because cingular didnt want to be the small kid on the block.

          Technologies be damned they are buying into a completely seperate market and thats a smart thing to do right now. I have had sprint for 5 years and have never had a problem with the service. I have had one problem with a phone that they let me return.
    • Nextel caters to anybody who's actually trying to get work done. Those people aren't often in management. And Nextel's offerings are very good, though you do pay for it.

      Sprint will take anybody. Of course, their "pay up front for the phone" approach generally keeps the worst non-payers away.

      I've used both services, and they're definitely for different people and different circumstances. If Sprint pulls off this merger, they're going to be able to offer something to everyone. Whether they completely scre

      • Re:We'll see ... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by krbvroc1 ( 725200 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @12:41PM (#11060437)
        Nextel caters to anybody who's actually trying to get work done

        Nextel caters to self absorbed individuals who think 'getting their work done' is so importatnt that they can walkie talkie their converstation anywhere and everywhere. Blasting their two-way conversation to everyone in the area. Even when they are driving alone, you'll pass them as they drive 10 miles under the speed limit in the fast lane hunchbacked over the steering wheel conversing with their Nextel walkie-talkie. I put Nextel users who behave this wasy one step above SPAMMERS and smokers.
        • Re:We'll see ... (Score:3, Informative)

          This is a minority of users. I've used Nextels at two jobs now, and experienced it at two where others used them, and they can be extremely convenient when in places where it's difficult to get a phone set up, and inconvenient to run an earpiece.

          In addition, Nextel's PTT (dunno about Verizon's) can be used for group communication, where one person sends a message to multiple people, which can be used to get a response from first available, or just to get a message out to many scattered workers. This is e
          • Sprint and Verizon's group-talk works much the same way, and it's free, whereas with Nextel, only the 2-way directconnect is free, you pay for all group calls.

        • That people misuse technology doesn't make the technology itself bad. The walkie-talkie feature is immensely useful, but you definitely have no business using it while driving.
      • I chose Sprint because they have the best reception in my area. ATT, Verizon, Nextel all had worse connectivity in general, in my area. I guess there are other players, I don't pay attention.

        And I hate Nextel for the push to talk feature. The connect / disconnect beeps for EVERY little statement drives me nuts from across the room. I also don't need to hear one side of the conversation, never mind both. This seems to cater to people that can't have a normal conversation, and to those that crank up the
        • The connect / disconnect beeps for EVERY little statement drives me nuts from across the room.

          It's fashionable to beep. Nextel wants exactly the attention you describe. Would their phones get noticed if they weren't annoying as hell? It's the same as instant messaging with the boop-beep and beep-boop with every damn message. When I was in college, I could have thrown a chair at the instant messengers. And they didn't have a care in the world.

      • I/O, I'd expect better than this comment from you :P

        "pay up front for the phone"?? Where are you buying your equipment? Oh, wait, you're in Iowa aren't you.. yeah.. Iowa isn't actually Sprint, it's some partner that supplies Sprint with the service, and they don't provide instant rebates. Virtually everywhere else in the country you get anywhere from $150 to $290 off each phone with activation...

    • Early on, AT&T Wireless, Cingular, and TracPhone came out with prepaid cellular. AT&T called their's "Free2Go" and "Prepaid Advantage". I was the latter, because the phone was cooler. This was back in 2000.

      In 2003, AT&T Wireless One upp'ed and brought out the GoPhone service -- Prepaid w/automatic debit. I got the one w/Wireless Internet.

      Now, in 2004, AT&T Cingular are one, and my GoPhone service is little more than a renamed Take Charge service.

      My credit? Shot.
      • I don't understand, are you saying the phone service killed your credit rating, or that your credit rating prevented you from getting a contract plan in the first place?

        • No, he's saying he was dumb enough to do anything automatic-debit. Giving any company access to a checking account for anything but deposits is just insanely stupid. It is not convenient--it is downright stupid. Why? Because they make mistakes. Where is your money? They have it. How to get it back? Sue us. Suddenly $0.37 for a stamp doesn't look so bad.

          • This happened to me once. State Farm Insurance did the automatic-debt thing anyway two months after I had cancelled it. They ended up bouncing my rent check for me. Gee, thanks.

            To their credit, with a couple of days, State Farm had put the money back, plus my bounced check charges and late rent penalty. They even faxed a letter to my landlord saying it was all their fault. But still, it shouldn't have happened in the first place.
            • To their credit, with a couple of days, State Farm had put the money back,...

              Yes, this is to their credit, but I can imagine plenty of companies who will just hold on to the money. For example, my old cell phone company kept billing me for months after cancellation--I dread what would have happened if they got the money directly (I think this is actually part of their business model). I'm sure getting the money back from a hospital or nursing home would be like squeezing blood out of a rock. Add lawyer
  • Misprint (Score:5, Funny)

    by Nine Tenths of The W ( 829559 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @10:40AM (#11059830)
    According to CNet, the different networks could bring expensive problems, but that could be overcome by the diversity of the company's clients.

    This sentence should read: "According to CNet, the different networks could bring expensive problems, but that could be overcome by making the customers pay through the nose"
  • wall st (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 11, 2004 @10:42AM (#11059837)
    The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint and Nextel have tentatively agreed to basic terms of a merger. The $36 billion deal would create a third giant cellular carrier with nearly 39 million subscribers. Although Sprint shareholders will retain more than 50% of the combined company, to be called "Sprint-Nextel", the merger will otherwise be mutual. The new company will have a 50-50 split among board members from each company. The new company would spin off Sprint's local landline operations. Nothing has been finalized yet, but the companies are said to be "advanced negotiations", and an official announcement could come next week. []
  • Is this the same Nextel who once showed a fine grasp of taste by running an ad campaign called "The Final Solution" featuring a Hitler impersonator promising to "exterminate all dues"?

    More on this here []
  • ", the different networks could bring expensive problems, but that could be overcome by the diversity of the company's clients"

    "It's a bad deal, that won't work, but we'll be passing those savings on to our customers!"
    • could be overcome by the diversity of the company's clients

      I swear I hear one more thing about diversity overcoming problems, I'll wring someone's neck.
      • In this case, that diversity talk is a nonsensical lie broadcast to the harshest critics of monopoly to lull them into complacency. In general, though, the alternative to monopoly is diversity, the kind of plurality that survives surprise crises through a multiplicity of reactions. Which is why, when the diversity is relevant to the structure, it is reassuring to critics of monopoly. Which, in turn, is why this telco merger is using its style, though its substance is false.
  • I am a nextel customer. Have been for years. The PTT is the only reason. With the spectrum swap in the recent past and now this, I wonder what happens to the phones that I use for my business? I don't know a hell of a lot about cell phone tech but I don't imagine that my nextel will work on multiple freqs. It is starting to sound like I'm gonna have to buy all new phones. Access to the fast data network on the sprint side would be nice but I don't need it so bad that I'm gonna junk $1500 worth of pho
  • by FerretFrottage ( 714136 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @11:03AM (#11059939)
    In this area consolidation is exepcted. How many carriers can the market space really support...I say 3 just because it's a magic number I think Nextel is currently the number 5 wireless carrier, not sure about sprint, but I think it's in the top 3 (Verizon is/was number 1 last time I checked).

    The thing I love about Nextel are their phones. From a developers [J2ME] perspective, the are very easy to work with (except for webjal). Specifically, their iDen network and their programming APIs allow access to the GPS functionality of the phone. The i730 has a complete programmers' guide available for download from the Motorla site. Can't wait to get my hands on their latest camera phone to see if you can programatically control the camera. Then you could snap a pic and tag the info with the GPS coordinates.

    Additionally, they [Nextel] have a nice developers site. Downside is that I find Nextel converage to be much worse than Verizon, so I ended up needing a Verizon phone for actual talking and a Nextel one for fun development.

    • I actually just got back from Nextel's developer conference (Miami Beach!! Beats the heck out of New York)...and yes. You can control pretty much all the aspects of the i860 via the interfaces in the J2ME dev kit. They've provided access to everything, including the call APIs. You should be able to get dev stuff from Nextel or Motorola's iDEN site.

      It's a pretty nice phone to. You're supposed to be able to activate download apps via an iFUN transaction (buying a J2ME app via the wap deck, as from cellma

  • I kind of like the idea of merging with nextel. Maybe this will eventually make it so I can have one of the memory chips that allows me to transfer my account/number/phone memory right to another phone just like Nextel. Right now, I cannot do that with Sprint, which makes it a hassle and a $35 cost to activate a new phone.

    But thing that irritates me the most about Nextel phones is that people feel it is a good idea to carry out entire conversations with the radio feature...STOP IT!!! And if more people
    • I think the radio feature was unilimited with the basic fee. That might have something to do with it... ;)
      • I think the radio feature was unilimited with the basic fee. That might have something to do with it... ;)

        Actually, minutes for 2 way come from a pool shared by all phones on the plan, usually. People tend to use 2 way because their boss (who likely pays for their phone) doesn't see who's using 2 way on the bill, but if you call someone using the cell phone it shows up itemized on the bill and he'll say "who the hell were you talking to for 65 minutes during work that day?"

    • I'm on my third phone with Nextel, and not once have the chips been movable to the new phone. There are ways to transfer the data, but swapping chips does not seem to be one of them, unless it's the same model, or perhaps very nearly so.
      • As a longtime Nextel user I have also never been able to move the chip to the new phone, even on the exact same model. Apparantly it has something to do with the way the #'s are recorded in their billing system or some junk. Thankfully they have always transferred all of my data to the new phone for free.

    • Maybe if you just buy a data cable, then you can actually manipulate your data using a real computer, as well.. it's much better than having a stupid memory chip that can be destroyed, shorted, cloned, erased, and other bad things.
  • What will become of Virgin Mobile, which uses Sprint's network? Hopefully it will stay the same at worst or add Nextel's network at best.
  • I know I'm in the minority. But people complaining about NEXTEL's prices don't realize that they're the cheapest option for some people. First of all, free incoming calls is HUGE. As it stands now, my minutes are tapped only for outgoing calls made on the weekday during the day. I have a 600 minute free incoming plan and I use at least 2,000 minutes every month. I'll typically have at least 1200 minutes of incoming calls with the rest being spread out between nights and weekends and prime time. But I
    • I cant beleive that 'free incoming minutes' is a selling point for you guys in the states! Ive never ever had a contract which made me pay for incoming anything (calls, data, sms), and ive had a mobile phone for going on 10 years. Where am I? The UK. My current contract costs me less than $30 per month including insurance for the phone, 200 free any time any network minutes per month, and 30 sms messages per month, and the phone (Samsung E700) was completely free.
      • It evens itself out. I know that in the UK no cell customers pay for incoming calls. However, last I checked, it costs quite a bit more to call a UK cell phone than it does to call a UK land line. In the US, there is no difference. My theory is that the cost is made up by the extra charge levied on the calling party. It just looks like two different approaches. But here in the US, as far as I know (and someone PLEASE correct me if I'm wrong), NEXTEL is the only carrier that is currently offering free
        • Ahh that might be it then, we do have to pay for incoming if we go international with the phone, but thats starting to change, since the telecommunications watchdog has told the various telecoms companies to bring down the charges on fixed-to-mobile calls. That said, our mobile number range is completely different to fixed lines (07*** verses 01***, with 08*** for non geographic calls), whereas Ive been told the US has it all mixed in, same range for both fixed and mobile?
          • The thing is, of course, the minutes aren't free, they're just paid for by someone else. The problem is that you have no incentive to choose a cell provider that has a low incoming call charge because you're not paying for that call. Thus you get the stupid consequence of a competitive commodity good that still has to have regulated prices. In the U.S., the person who pays for the call is the same person that chooses the provider, thus providing an incentive to shop around.
  • I wonder what possible technology can be used for the 800Mhz spectrum to carry cellular/pcs/what-have-you traffic other than IDEN technology.

    The 800Mhz frequencies Nextel uses are the leftovers from the SMR group with channel spacing of 25Khz and are shared with Public Safety and Heavy Industrial (like utilities). It's not a clean contiguous block of spectrum like the PCS carriers have.

    This must be a consolidation of companies for other reasons...
  • I just want Verizon to buy out Alltel. Alltel has this magic hold on some people in the Southeast and if Verizon would just go ahead and swallow them up, I could call EVERYONE i know for free on the Verizon InNetwork.

    Verizon's InNetwork is the best in my opinion. Free calls all the time to Verizon customers. What we need is a monopoly by Verizon so that all my calls will be free. :o)

  • by sacremon ( 244448 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @11:50AM (#11060142)
    AT&T did not merge with Cingular. AT&T Wireless, which had already been spun off from AT&T, merged with Cingular. AT&T is still around as a separate company.
  • I was a Sprint customer two separate times for a total of three years. I thought the design of their network services was incompetent: as an example, they never did provide two-way SMS, you had to use a very slow WAP page to send messages. Stability of calls was consistently inconsistent. The brand of phones that treated me best (Nokia) they carried the fewest models of, and most of the others had poor design and quality. They were constantly doing backflips trying to sell useless flashy techno-gewgaws, and
    • It's unfortunate your entire post is one giant lie. Sprint has had two way SMS for the past 5 years (or more). I have no clue as to where you got the idea you had to use a WAP page for sending text messages. *boggle.

      Nokia phones are the lowest reliability phones on the market. They are literally the crappiest phones you can buy. If they "treatet you well," I would hate to see what treats you poorly.

      Sprint also has had a PTT solution similar to Nextels for over a year now. Eh.

      • Sprint did not offer real SMS until the beginning of 2004. Prior to 2004, all of Sprint's messaging was implemented via a web-based product called shortmail. All Sanyo phones through the 8100 and all Samsung phones through the a620 were shortmail phones.

        Shortmail is a sub-optimal messaging solution because it is slow and the implementation is unnecessarily complex. Shortmail is a pain to support: troubleshooting involves verification of access to the Vision network (a properly provisioned device, succes

        • You are so wrong, I don't even know where to begin.

          Shortmail was used concurrently with Sprints SMS service. There was no web-based product that was required to be used, regardless of whether you were using shortmail or sms; it was transparent to the user.

          Regardless of the complexity of the back end authentication, the user experience was that of being able to send and receive SMS messages, and the user has been able to do that for the past several years. So the original posters premise is totally false
          • My coworker has a Sanyo phone with Sprint service. He cannot send or receive SMS without going through the WAP interface. He has called customer service to confirm this, and they said he must purchase a new phone in order to have true SMS functionality.

            It is absolutely not transparent to the user. If I send him SMS he has to sit there and wait for 5 minutes for the slow WAP site. Strangely if I send him an email to it goes straight to his phone, but he cannot reply.

          • You don't know where to begin because you're clueless on the subject. Prior to two-way SMS, there was one-way SMS which was Mobile Terminated only, meaning that messages could not be sent from the device and could not be replied to, and there was Shortmail. Shortmail is "two way", but relies on a web interface. You may not believe this, but I know it to be a fact. Why do you suppose the Shortmail Inbox is accessible from the Vision Home Page? Why is it that a device that is unable to authenticate to AAA (e

      • Actually, Nokia's phones are consistently top notch... except for the ones they make for Sprint.

        It's too bad all the other networks that Nokia makes good phones for suck ass.
        • Sorry, my work phones from Cingular have all been Nokias (5100, 8200 and...I forget, one that had a nice number pad for once) and they suck ass. Not durable in the least. I drop mine every now and then. The 5100's battery would slide off the contacts and cause me to drop calls, the 8200 had horrible reception...I have a ton of complaints in regards to Cingular's Nokia series of phones.

          Sprint's Sanyo 8100 and 8200 have been great to me, though.
          • ah, yes, i love my 8200, i just upgraded from the 8100 about a week ago.. going to exchange it for the 7400 now that it's out. *drool*

            all sanyo needs is megapixel+ cameras, and bluetooth (especially with something besides just headset mode.. sigh) and they will absolutely rock.
  • It would be cool if all telecommunications companies merge into one huge telecommunications company.

    It would be cool if all software companies merge into one huge software company.

    It would be cool if all automobile companies merge into one huge automobile company.

    It would be cool if all toy companies merge into one huge toy company.

    Apply the above four to all other types of industries.

    Then, it would be cool if all the resulting huge companies merge into one really, really, really huge company that does ever

  • It's so awesome that two shitty companies have now merged together! The only reason Sprint "Merged" with Nextel, is because Nextel just got 6.5 BILLION dollars in free bandwidth from the FCC to fix their own fuckups! (interfering with emergency frequencies)
  • by s.o.terica ( 155591 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @12:27PM (#11060373)
    The reason that Sprint wants Nextel is that Nextel is the network that has best been able to take advantage of the Network Effect, i.e. the effect where each node on a network is made more valuable by each additional node that is added. Nextel has Direct Connect, its walkie-talkie service that is hugely popular with businesses, and the main reason that Nextel has the lowest "churn" rate in the industry. Nextel business customers won't switch to another network because then they won't be able to Direct Connect with other Nextel phones anymore. Period.

    So, Sprint/Qualcomm came up with a competing alternative to Direct Connect called ReadyLink, but it's not anywhere near as useful as Direct Connect because there aren't nearly as many other people who have it.

    So in the short term, what Sprint is going to do is to make changes on the network side to allow Sprint phones to walkie-talkie with Nextel phones. That will effectively instantly make more valuable both Nextel's phones and Sprint's phone.

    In the longer term, Nextel is going to have to move to new spectrum that the FCC has given them due to Nextel phones interfering with emergency vehicle communication. Because of this, they will have to move customers to new phones. So since they have to move their network and swap out their customers' phones anyway, there is no reason that they wouldn't just take the opportunity to move to the significantly more efficient, flexible, and forwards-compatible CDMA 1xRTT (and soon EV-DO high-speed data) standard (that Sprint just happens to run on.

    Bingo. Now it begins to make sense, eh?

  • My understanding was Sprint was coming close to bankrupt in their wireless division? I know personally here where I live in Williamsport, PA Sprint closed down their store, as well as stopped construction on a tower in the area because they said they ran out of funds.... how are they affording to purchase Nextel?
    • Why do you say that you understand that Sprint ran out of funds? Have you checked Sprint's financials lately? Have you looked at the financials involved in the potential merger? Your understanding in this matter is very worthless.
    • While I detest Sprint, the events you mention are very likely not connected to Sprint in any way. Sprint stores are all owned by local small businessmen who re-sell Sprint service. Sprint does not own the store in Williamsport. Further, most cell phone towers are not owned by cell phone companies. They are sited, built, and maintained by independent companies like Crown Castle who rent space on their towers to cell phone companies. It's one of the reasons you may see three or four sets of cell phone an
  • I wonder where linking Nextel PTT with Sprint's PTT (called ReadyLink) falls in the merger plan. I got one of those ReadlyLink phones as a replacement and from what I can tell, I'm the only one with one. I have had it for 4 months now and have been unable to find someone with it to even test the silly service/technology.

    What did I expect, it is only available to people if they purchase one of only 4 Sanyo phones.

  • Nextel, NASCAR? (Score:2, Interesting)

    This seems odd as Nextel just made a huge commitment to NASCAR. I think it was a 10 year contract to sponsor their top Cup division. In addition, they must have spent a ton this year alone branding their name on the NASCAR circuit. Why would Sprint want anything to do with that?

    • Re:Nextel, NASCAR? (Score:2, Informative)

      by nelsonal ( 549144 )
      Just a quick FYI, but outside of the blue states NASCAR is one of the most popular activities in the area. While the millions of people who enjoy the store may not mean a hill of beans to you, they are generally the target market for NEXTEL (who happens to have the highest fees and lowest churn in the industry) so they must be doing something at least a little bit right. Also they are almost as profitable (per sub) as Verizon (who carries a tremendous advantage because of its size).
  • by caveat ( 26803 ) on Saturday December 11, 2004 @12:56PM (#11060522)
    From their article a few days ago on these talks (their current cover story omits this info):
    A deal could be reached as early as next week if the talks continue apace. In the meantime, the talks may bring to the game a third player, Verizon Wireless, which held several internal conference calls yesterday to discuss the possibility of making a run at Sprint, executives close to Verizon Wireless said.
    If you think Sprint-Nextel would be a bloody mess, just try and imagine Sprint-Verizon...ow, my head...
    • As soon as I heard about the AT&T/Cingular merger I wondered if this ment that Verizon would buy SprintPCS within 2-3 years. Just like AT&T and Cingular both use GSM, Verizon and SprintPCS use CDMA. What would be really interesting is if Nextel, SprintPCS, and Verizon merged. What would Cingular think? :)
  • I just got my nextel, the beauty of the thing is It's got unlimited incoming calls. I can bet the first thing to go will be that service.

  • greater detail (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward =20041210203609990007 []

    Sprint-Nextel deal talk sparks vendor concern
    By Sinead Carew, Reuters

    NEW YORK, Dec 10 (Reuters) - The prospect of a deal between Sprint and Nextel Communications sparked concerns on Friday about a shrinking U.S. market for mobile network equipment, sending shares of Nextel's key supplier Motorola Inc. down almost 8 percent.

    Sprint Corp. is in advanced negotiations to buy Nextel Communications Inc. for more than $36 billion in a most
  • Nextel was going to be to the next great thing when it was rolled out a decade ago. They suffered from the "We have better technology ergo we don't have to do anything else" syndrome. I can't really understand why Sprint would want to pay that much for Nextel's clients. In either case Verizon should buy Sprint and hopefully increase and improve Sprint's coverage area which is the worst of the major cell players. I am a Sprint customer and I experience digital roaming practically everywhere I go.
  • That we're going to have to listen to that goddamned chirp even more often?

    Push to talk ... AND DIE.
  • if Sprint goes through with this, and doesn't just gut all of Nextel, and offer every one of their customers a great deal on a Sprint phone with ReadyLink, they are completely stupid.

    Nextel's network sucks, Nextel's telephone service sucks, and Sprint's ReadyLink works a lot better (albeit somewhat differently) than DirectConnect.
  • Half of the articles I read about this merger mention only Sprint, Verizon, and Cingular/AT&T. What about T-Mobile? Aren't they a player too? I use their service right now and the coverage isn't necessarily the best, but the quality of the calls is good, it's a nationwide GSM network, the plan is affordable, and their customer support staff has been pretty universally friendly and helpful.

I've noticed several design suggestions in your code.