When Sprint Corporation purchased Nextel in 2005, their $35 billion deal created America’s third-largest telecommunications company. The Sprint-Nextel merger has benefited customers by expanding their mobile coverage area, but at the same time, the corporation’s many divisions sometimes cause confusion.
Sprint and Nextel phones come with different plans and features, and customers get their Sprint and Nextel ringtones, wallpapers, and other extras in different ways. For example, unlike Sprint ringtones, Nextel ringtones are generally not available OTA (Over the Air) and must be obtained by other means.
· Which phones are on the Nextel network?
· What is iDEN?
· How can I upload ringtones to a Nextel phone?
· Which jal should I use to get Nextel ringtones?
· How can I make my own Nextel ringtones?
Which phones are on the Nextel network?
The majority of Sprint Nextel’s 50 million or so customers now use the Sprint PCS wireless brand, but those with walkie-talkie enabled phones are using the Nextel Direct Connect Service. This service includes Nextel’s iDEN, Powersource, and QChat phone models.
Except for BlackBerries and a few other specialties, all phones on the Nextel network are manufactured by Motorola. This is because Motorola rarely licenses its iDEN technology to other vendors.
What is iDEN?
iDEN stands for Integrated Digital Enhanced Network. iDEN was developed by Motorola and is used to combine the capabilities of cellular phones and walkie-talkies into one Nextel device.
The technology was released in 1994. After the Sprint-Nextel merger, Nextel remained committed to supporting iDEN through at least 2010. SouthernLINC Wireless, several smaller US carriers, and numerous international mobile phone companies also support iDEN phone systems.
How can I upload ringtones to a Nextel phone?
Nextel users generally cannot receive ringtones via Bluetooth, text messages, multimedia card, or most other common methods. For most phone models, Nextel ringtones can only be loaded with software called a Java application loader, or “jal”. This software can be installed at the Motorola factory or by the consumer.
Here are the basic steps for installing software and downloading Nextel ringtones:
1) Establish an internet connection. Connect your Nextel to the computer with a USB or serial data cable.
A cable may have been provided with your handset. Cables can also be purchased on eBay, from Sprint Nextel stores, and from most computer and office supply stores.
2) Download and install a jal that is compatible with your Nextel phone model.
A jal can often be retrieved from a CD that was packaged with the cell phone. Customers can also request a CD by mail from Sprint or download a jal from a variety of websites such as HarryThompson.com.
3) Now visit a ringtone website and download your choices. Only a few steps are required, and the website will prompt you to take each step.
An easy site to start with is Sprint’s Digital Lounge. The Sprint website and most others can simplify your search by narrowing results to ringtones that are compatible with your model of Nextel phone. Then you can search a database of more than 2 million files by artist, keyword, title or genre. Sprint’s Digital Lounge has categories such as Country Hits, R&B Hits, TV/Movie, and Create UR Own.
Which jal should I use to get Nextel ringtones?
You might need to install a jal program on your phone in order to obtain ringtones. A program called Webjal works for many Nextel phones. The Nextel whiz Harry Thompson offers a free download of Webjal and a list of phones that work with this software. Thompson has also posted a list of alternative jals for other phone models.
How can I make my own Nextel ringtones?
Most ringtone websites offer the option of making your own Nextel ringtones from uploaded files or audio available elsewhere on the internet. Just use a cable to connect your mobile phone to a computer. Then access a Nextel ringtone website and follow the simple instructions for editing a song. You’ll be able to set fade-ins and fade-outs, start your new ringtone at a particular point in a song, and set your ringtone’s length.
Sprint’s Digital Lounge offers Nextel users four make-your-own-ringtone applications. Each includes access to 250,000 songs. One of the ringtone applications is free, and use of the others costs from $2.50 to $4.99 per month.