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Sprint To Purchase $1 Billion of Network Gear From Ericsson, Shutting down iDEN Services in 2013

in News, Ericsson, Sprint, LTE

Sprint Nextel has reached a $1 billion credit agreement to finance equipment purchases from Ericsson. The company announced this credit facility with Deutsche Bank and a syndicate of other banks today.

Operator also plans to transition business and government customers from its iDEN (2G) Nextel National Network onto Sprint Direct Connect.  A push to talk service, Direct Connect operates on Sprint’s 3G CDMA network. Sprint also announced that it plans to cease service on the iDEN Nextel National Network as early as June 30, 2013 as part of its Network Vision plan.

Sprint launched Sprint Direct Connect in October of last year. The service provides broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, and rugged and reliable handset options. Sprint Direct Connect coverage is expected to broaden throughout 2012.

Sprint already has launched first LTE devices and plans to provide 4G LTE and enhanced 3G service in Atlanta, Baltimore, Dallas, Houston, Kansas City and San Antonio in mid-year.

Network Vision is expected to add net economic value for Sprint from reduced roaming costs, cell site reduction, backhaul efficiencies, more efficient use of capital, and energy costs savings. Sprint anticipates that iDEN Nextel National Network push to talk functionality will become inoperable as early as June 30, 2013; however, Sprint CDMA voice and data services on PowerSource devices (dual mode iDEN and CDMA devices) will still be available. The company has already discontinued selling iDEN devices in certain channels. It will discontinue selling iDEN devices in all channels and all brands carrying iDEN Nextel products over the next several months. Sprint will continue to support customers with iDEN devices during the network transition and will work with those customers to ease their transition to Sprint’s CDMA service.

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