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Nextel Pushes International Direct Connect

Techstination feature for Tuesday, July 20, 2004

Nextel pushes international Direct Connect. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. Other wireless carriers…including Verizon and Sprint are trying to copy the success Nextel has had with its Direct Connect feature…that turns cell phones into walkie-talkies. Direct Connect….has helped give Nextel the most amount of money per customer…and the best subscriber retention rate in the industry. Now the carrier has added international push to talk connections. Nextel network services VP Drew Caplan…

"What we've done this year with international Direct Connect, is expand the instant walkie-talkie service to operate between the U.S., Mexico, Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Peru."

Customers can pay as they go…twenty cents a minute, or get unlimited International one button connections for 20 dollars a month. Caplan says it works just as quickly as domestic Direct Connect links…

"What really sets this service apart from anything else is the fact that whether you're literally next door or you're seven thousand miles away, we make the communication in less than a second."

Where Nextel is limited…is in being able to expand the service. Those connections for now are only possible in countries which have carriers that use iDen technology…

"There are a lot of different things we could do technically and we'll continue to look at the market, look at what our customers are asking for and decide where else we might be interested in expanding."

Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.