Sprint Nextel said it will begin phasing out the iDen network it acquired with its purchase of Nextel in 2005, The Huffington Post reports. The shutdown should be complete in 2015 and the carrier says the move should result in 40 percent cost savings.
When Sprint bought Nextel for $36 million, Nextel had 18 million subscribers. That number has eroded to 11 million due to poor customer support and network performance, and left Sprint writing down 80 percent of the purchase three years after the deal.
The iDen network phase out is part of Sprint's $4 billion to $5 billion network modernization that will deliver a push-to-talk feature. Sprint has already enlisted Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung Electronics as vendors for the network modernization program, according to eMoneyDaily. The program is expected to net Sprint a savings of at least $10 billion over the next seven years.