World News 

Technologies of the past: iDEN – Mobile Time

Illustration: Cecilia Marins

The Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) was a wireless cellular technology developed by Motorola and introduced in 1993. It combined the capabilities of a cellular phone, two-way radio, alphanumeric pager, and data modem and fax. The first commercial iDEN handset released was the Motorola L3000 in 1994.

Based on the TDMA architecture, iDEN operated in the 800MHz, 900MHz and 1.5GHz bands. More users can be placed in a single spectrum space, compared to analog mobile phones and two-way radios, using speech compression. Thus, iDEN’s main differentiator was the built-in Push-To-Talk (PTT) function, made famous by Nextel, here in Brazil. The mobile phone essentially turned into a remote control, and it was possible to make private and group calls between three and six people.

Compared to traditional PTT, iDEN allowed significantly greater network coverage. Other benefits included better call quality, support for SMS, voicemail and data transfer, both from the Internet and intranet. iDEN mobile phones use SIM cards similar to GSM, but incompatible with this standard.

Countries such as the United States, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Israel, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, El Salvador and Guatemala had their own iDEN networks, but most were discontinued. Colombia’s Avantel, for example, shut down its service at the end of 2021. In Brazil, Nextel shut down its network in 2018.

Related posts

Leave a Comment