Nextel Communications, Inc. was a wireless service operator that merged with and continues to exist as a wholly owned subsidiary of Sprint Corporation. Nextel in Brazil is part of NII Holdings, a stand-alone, publicly traded company that is not owned by Sprint Corporation.
Nextel Communications traces its roots to the 1987 foundation of FleetCall by Morgan O'Brien, Brian McAuley, Chris Rogers, and Peter Reinheimer. FleetCall changed its name to Nextel Communications, Inc. in 1993. Nextel provided digital, wireless communications services, originally focusing on fleet and dispatch customers, but later marketed to all potential wireless customers. Nextel's network operated in the 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio band and used iDEN technology developed by Motorola. Nextel's iDen network offered a then unique push-to-talk "walkie-talkie" feature in addition to direct dialed voice calls. Nextel was one of the first providers in the United States to offer a national digital cellular coverage footprint.
Prior to merging with Sprint Corporation in 2005, Nextel Communications, Inc. was a publicly traded company. Shares traded on the NASDAQ under the ticker symbol NXTL. Nextel was headquartered in Reston, Virginia, United States.
At the time of its 2005 merger with Sprint Corp., Nextel had over twenty million subscribers in the United States, and served 198 of the top 200 markets. Nextel Communications, Inc. offered post paid services under the Nextel brand and prepaid services under the Boost Mobile brand.
In late 2010, Sprint Nextel announced plans to decommission the Nextel iDEN network; on May 30, 2012, Sprint Nextel announced that it would shut down the Nextel network as early as June 2013. The Nextel network was officially shut down at 12:01am on June 30, 2013 and Sprint is currently deploying LTE equipment on the 800 MHz spectrum formerly used by the iDEN network.
Sprint Corporation continues to offer pre-paid services under the Boost Mobile brand and also offers push-to-talk services as Sprint Direct Connect using CDMA equipment.