Nextel “Chirps” On the Decline

One of the sadder stories in the wireless industry is the failed merger between Nextel and Sprint. Many analysts thought it was a bad idea even back in 2004 when it was first announced, never mind the poor results since. Management snafus aside, one of the biggest problems has been a persistent loss of connection quality for Nextel subscribers ever since the two networks began merging.

That’s finally starting to have an effect at the street level. An article in today’s The Washington Post pointed out how the familiar Nextel “chirp” sound has gradually faded from the background of daily life.

“These days, the chirp stands out because it has become so infrequent. More people have been abandoning the service over the past year, following Nextel’s merger with Sprint,” the report said. “The company has lost more than 700,000 monthly subscribers this year, and the carrier warned last week that it expects to lose 370,000 more this fiscal quarter. The vast majority of departed subscribers are former Nextel customers.”

It’s strange to watch a once seemingly-bulletproof brand disintegrate. Nextels had little to no mobile media features, but countless professionals relied on its (at the time) unique push-to-talk feature.

A Familiar ‘Chirp’ Fades Away [The Washington Post]