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Nextel Direct Connect Goes International

From Nextel’s press release:

Nextel Communications, Inc. in partnership with NII Holdings, Inc. and TELUS Mobility, a subsidiary of TELUS Corporation, today announced the availability of International Direct Connect walkie-talkie service. This service provides under-a-second digital walkie-talkie connections between the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Peru as well as between the United States and Canada. Nextel U.S. subscribers traveling in these countries can now also benefit from data services, including BlackBerry(R) and mobile e-mail, two-way messaging and wireless Web access. Nextel and NII Holdings also plan to launch International Direct Connect service in Mexico this summer.

“Nextel is taking instant walkie-talkie service beyond international borders with ranges of 7,000 miles. International Direct Connect is nothing short of a wireless industry milestone,” said Tom Kelly, executive vice president and COO, Nextel. “International Direct Connect walkie-talkie service is especially appealing to our customers who conduct cross-border business in critical regions such as Canada, which is the United States’ largest trading partner, in industries such as transportation, financial services and manufacturing. It is also of particular interest to our Spanish-speaking subscribers with ties to Latin America.”

International Direct Connect walkie-talkie service provides the same exceptional performance as Nextel’s Nationwide Direct Connect walkie-talkie service with connection speeds under one second. It is an expansion of Nextel’s current coverage in northern Baja California, Mexico, which launched with NII Holdings in September 2003, making Nextel the only cellular provider in the United States to offer cross-border walkie-talkie service. In 1992, Nextel was the first cellular service provider in the United States to offer digital walkie-talkie service.

With International Direct Connect walkie-talkie service, Nextel subscribers can seamlessly send and receive walkie-talkie calls:

  • in the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Peru – wherever Nextel or NII Holdings has coverage – with Nextel or NII Holdings subscribers, or

  • in the United States or Canada – wherever Nextel or TELUS Mobility has coverage – with Nextel or TELUS Mobility subscribers.

Nextel subscribers can now also use select data services:

  • in the United States, Brazil, Argentina and Peru – wherever Nextel or NII Holdings has coverage – with other Nextel subscribers, or
  • in the United States or Canada – wherever Nextel or TELUS Mobility has coverage – with Nextel or TELUS Mobility subscribers.

For example, a Nextel subscriber working remotely in Brazil can now have a walkie-talkie conversation with a Nextel subscriber visiting an office in Argentina. Or a Nextel subscriber living in the United States can send and receive messages on their Nextel BlackBerry while visiting Canada.

Additionally, NII Holdings subscribers can now send and receive walkie-talkie calls with NII Holdings or Nextel subscribers in NII coverage areas in Brazil, Argentina and Peru or in Nextel coverage areas. TELUS Mobility subscribers can send and receive walkie-talkie calls and select data services with TELUS Mobility or Nextel subscribers anywhere in TELUS Mobility or Nextel coverage areas. Subscribers of Nextel, NII Holdings and TELUS Mobility can already send and receive regular cellular calls in each other’s coverage areas (international calling activation may apply).

More than 90 percent of Nextel customers have enabled Nationwide Direct Connect walkie-talkie service on their accounts. Nationwide Direct Connect, which has been available in all markets served by Nextel and Nextel Partners for almost a year, allows users to connect coast-to-coast in under one second.