Nextel Going Mainstream?

Despite their financial troubles, we’ve always been intrigued by Nextel and their unique approach to the market. With their proprietary walkie-talkie like DirectConnect feature they have carved out a niche with business users. But could they be expanding to go after the consumer market? Today they announced the acquisition of NeoWorld, a holding company for spectrum that will help Nextel expand their service. In a related SEC filing they also noted that they are testing a new service for the youth market. Hmmm. While DirectConnect is favored by construction workers and Dennis Franz (Nextel’s burly spokesperson), we could see kids lapping up DirectConnect with the right marketing and price plans. It would be like voice IM for them. Update: We did a little more digging and it looks like Nextel is working with Australian outfit Boost Mobile. Boost runs a pre-paid youth MNVO in Australia on Optus’ network. Nextel plans to launch the trial next month in California and Nevada. Considering that Nextel isn’t a household name with teens, this looks like a smart way for them to enter the youth market.

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