Humberto Saabedra is the Editor-in-Chief of and an occasional columnist for He can also be found musing on things at @AnimeNewsdotbiz

27 responses to “Sprint Preparing to Discontinue QChat in Favor of iDEN Again (Updated)”

  1. Don Louie

    So my dreams of a ptt smartphone have been dashed

  2. afkae

    Wait and see Don Louie… Wait and see…

  3. Don Louie

    What’s to wait on, don’t want that IDEN Curve or anything like it because CDMA more dependable and accessible

  4. Sean O'Martin

    One possibility is that Sprint will bring back the hybrid phone, with the PTT running on the iden platform and the voice and HIGH SPEED data on the CDMA. That could offer choices for smartphones with PTT.

  5. Ron COllins

    How is your hope of a ptt smartphone dashed when there is the BB 8350I nextel phone?

  6. Christopher Price

    I believe the hopes were for a QChat phone. While the Wi-Fi in the 8350i does a lot to compensate for the lack of 3G data… the lack of EV-DO and PTT in a smartphone is still painfully obvious. Especially as other carriers now offer such solutions, and are winning over corporate clients.

  7. Don Louie

    Thanks Chris, I thought that was clear. IDEN is good at what it does, on the ptt side, but is still lacking

  8. Ray Rothfeldt

    Another boondoggle down the drain. Sprint cannot seem to do anything well in the world of PTT. If they had spent all of the funds they poured into QChat into iDEN, maybe – just maybe – it would be a viable solution. But honestly, how do they hope to sell iDEN to anyone without data services?

  9. Christopher Price

    There is always the iDEN + WiMAX pairing theory. And, with Motorola so heavily invested in both technologies, it couldn’t hurt to offer up WiMAX-enabled phones with nationwide coverage outside of the WiMAX footprint.

    Especially with Motorola also so invested in Android. At this point, I see nothing stopping an iDEN + Direct Connect + WiMAX smartphone.

  10. Sprint calls it quits with QChat | Unfiltered

    […] efforts back onto the network which popularized the service: Nextel’s iDEN network. A Sprint official told PhoneNews that while Sprint would continue to support existing QChat handsets in the market, no new CDMA PTT […]

  11. JailBird

    iDEN + WiMAX would be killer… now they just need a WiMAX Airave 🙂

  12. i like dan hesse

    I wish I cold beep someone from a “real” blackberry someday…

  13. wb

    Does not matter how you put it, PTT is not popular anymore. Texting has been getting more popular over the years, the trend for now is social networking now. I don’t think PTT will be popular again on any network, does not matter if its 4g 5g or 6g. It just shows that sprint mad a poor decision buying nextel.

  14. grant

    WB you are wrong there. PTT is meant for people like in construction for example, that just need to talk imediatley. I am in construction and everybody I know uses nextel PTT. It has always been for business, boost introduced it to younger consumers. Sprint is making the right move. It may not seem like what sprint is doing is helping right now, but they are laying the foundation for a successful business. Dan Hesse has changed the company dromaticly. Sprint added over 700,000 customers to boost the first quarter and has done about the same for the 2nd and third, and are predicted to do the same for 4th quarter if not better. that is about 3 million customers in a year, I would say that is pretty good. And no matter what, There will always be a crowd for Direct connect. Maby not for regular consumers but always for business. Nextel is the fast ptt on the planet, you can’t beat it. Sprint is making a comeback and this helps them. Besides iden is used for boost, with all the people they have added they can’t afford to get rid of it. Qchat is going down the drain. GO SPRINT KEEP it UP

  15. JJ

    Your right sprint PTT is the fastest on any network and when it comes to business customers sprint has that market cornered.
    Sprint has done a lot to turn around but it has a lot more to do. They might have gained 700,000 customers like you said but in april sprint lost 1.3 million customers. The 700,000 they gained doesn’t even dent the million number.
    Sprint got even more customers through boost mobile but lost a little more than 800,000 customers in October.
    So they are trying to do better but they are walking back more than they are forward.
    I myself like sprint and will stay with them as long as I can. I think they have the best high speed network including cost effectiveness, but if they keep loosing customers the way they are they won’t be around too much longer. If someone ends up buying them out they won’t be as competitive as they are now. I hope that doesn’t happen.
    In the end they have the fastest PTT and also one of the fastest and most reliable network. But they have to make some drastic changes and fast.

  16. grant

    I agree jj. They do need to make more changes and do it fast, but you can only do so mouch so fast. Sprint is making all the right changes, the one thing they have going against them is a bad name, or reputation if you will. I too have sprint and have had them for quite a while, I will admit things go so bad for a while there I thought about leaving. Sprint has improved its customer service, come out with a better line up of phones, and is improving its network. Sprint already has a headstart on 4g which will help drasticly. If they stay on the path and keep puting up wimax as fast as they can. they will have a nationwide network about a year before verizon and att. All I am trying to say is that some of the Changes take time, like building the network or fixing their reputation. If they do ever get bought out, I will be very disapointed too. I have had att and verizon. With verizon, I was paying 160 a month to everything on my phone, now I have any mobile anytime, and it only costs me 69.99.
    Sprint will come back, they just need to take their time and make the right decisions. I am not saying they need to make them slowly. Just unlike in the past, they need to make sure they know where their money is going. Make the right decision if you will, but I am not worried. They have the best service, best prices, and best phones. I am happy.

  17. 44

    The point is they bought nextel and ran it in the ground with their SPRINT s**t. Nextel was fine till sprint came along. They took a company that was well known for PTT and tried to turn it into another hi speed data company and s**t on us nextel users. Its cheaper to go to boost considering theyre basically giving the iden biz to boost.

  18. JJ

    How did sprint ruin nextel? Last I checked before hybrid nextel phones came around nextel had horrible coverage. Everytime I called someone on nextel I got the message “please wait while we locate the nextel subscriber you are trying to reach” then I just the voicemail. Now, when I call a nextel customer they actually pick up. Sprint expanded the nextel coverage not make it worse. It was only the merging of iden and cdma that screwed everything up. I know a lot of businesses use nextel ptt but most people use more data then the ptt. So it was very smart of them to mix evdo with nextel. Boost is very good but again they only run 1xx so if you want high speed thats not going to work. If you want ptt then have fun with boost.
    Last time I checked more people were using more data than ptt. High speed data is the future. So you can go back to using your ptt while I tether my highspeed evdo phone to my laptop.

  19. Benjamin A

    I would have to say that there are some major roads that are covered by others including Sprint CDMA that Nextel doesn’t. Two major examples are I-70 from Salina KS to Denver (450 Miles) and I-10 from El Paso to San Antonio (550 Miles). If they care so much about iDEN service then at the very least they should catch the coverage up with its CDMA brother.

  20. Duker

    Sprint took iden for granted in the beginning of the merger. They have learned from their mistake….

  21. bottomline

    Here here jj ! I agree with u completely ! Anyone who says that sprint ruined nextel is an idiot…….. Nextels reception was atrocious ! In fact, the merger helped nextel alot more than it helped sprint !

  22. d larson

    What you people DON’T understand is iDEN (Nextel) is not a cellphone. It is a nationwide trunked digital radio system for business, industry and government with “interconnect” into the PSTN (phone landline system). Before Sprint bought it thats what it was sold as. Mostly business had Nextel’s for dispatching workers and crews. It does not have the capacity to carry lot’s of phone traffic and data, but it is the BEST and ONLY robust nationwide trunked two-way radio system. For me it SO MUCH easier to push a button and INSTANTLY be in touch with my wife and associates. Texting is a joke when you think about it. It is a pain to dial a phone, wait for a connect and talk duplex. Just takes too lonk. Beep Beep and my voice is coming out of my wifes speaker! Use it for it’s strong points. If you REALLY need data and to yak yak on a phone for hours, get a Sprint hybrid that does Nextel PTT and Sprint PCS phone. Sprint needs to concentrate on marketing iDEN to business groups again, and not touting it as a cellphone!

  23. JJ

    Very true. It is very convinient to be able to push a button and connect instantly. Its also safer than texting. That is why the hybrid phones are so great. They have all the features of ptt and you can text and use data on it like other phones. Nextel PTT is the fastest and also the easiest to use. I had the ptt from verizon and you could never hear when somebody tried to contact you via ptt. Hopefully sprint does the right thing and continues to pursue in making it better.

  24. LM

    Love/Hate, I agree before Sprint Nextel had pretty bad voice service when people called me they would ever hear “please wait while the Nextel customer you are trying to reach is located” or 10-20 seconds of dead silence followed by my voice-mail…but what I loved was on 09/11/01 my Nextel still worked in Manhattan when no ones cell phone could get through and when I had to go to New Orleans shortly after hurricane Katrina direct connect worked there too. I’m glad Sprint is keeping the service if not I might leave. I want more CDMA voice/data+Nextel Direct-Connect hybrid phones. These two companies merged years ago why haven’t the feature sets of there phones?

  25. LM

    I want a sleek Sprint phone with tons of features with PTT. the Nextel Opus One iDEN Android Phone might be something to wait on.

  26. Louienyc79

    The people that run Sprint are all a bunch a Buddah heads who don’t know what they’re doing. They really need to stop that chain smoking and experimenting with drugs and finally seek treatment, especially Hesse. I heard QChat handsets, two Sanyo Pro 700’s and they sounded clearer than iDEN. It’s better technology, let’s get real here. How is Sprint still in business and how is it’s Nextel division still in existence?

  27. Nate C.

    I use a V950 Renegade and my wife has the LG Qchat phone. We have been using them for about 4 months now and the PTT works just as good as it did w/ my IDEN nextel. Occasionally it will blank out in weak signal areas but I would have had no signal on the IDEN network anyway. I think it works great. I use it for work every day. Everyone else in my company has IDEN blackberry nextels now and it interacts perfectly with them. If it’s true that Sprint is dropping Q-chat then it’s a crying shame because it works really really good and I have all the CDMA features and internet!! SAD SAD!