NEXTEL direct connect, useful? worth it?

i’m currently a Verizon wireless customer and basically have no complaints, i can mostly get connection anywhere here in Brooklyn. but we’ve had this plan for more than a year and i could switch to something else now.

my father wants T-Mobile because its cheap, but EVERYONE i have talked to says T-Mobile is garbage including T-Mobile customers.

NEXTEL sounds interesting ( specifically i need the shared minutes plan between 2 phones ). the idea is we have 2 phones now (1 for me, 1 for my parents//they both work in same office) and if we get this plan for 2 nextel phones we could communicate with each other walkie-talkie style for UNLIMITED time for free.

BUT having never used this walkie-talkie thing i wonder how useful is it really? for those who use it how are you liking it so far ?

My husband uses it all the time. I have no complaints so far with it. The clarity is great–better than actually talking on the phone most times.

The clarity is good - unless some digital static gets in, then you get a burst of screech that would blow your eardrum out.

Also, not all plans include unlimited direct connect minutes. Make sure you get it - pay extra if you have to, because the way those minutes are figured is so strange - it seems like almost double what cell minutes would be.

Look at it this way. You key up - CHIRP! - “Hey Mom?” (That’s two minutes off your plan, one on yours, one on hers.) CHIRP! - “Yes?” (That’s two more minutes.) You haven’t even gotten into the conversation and you’ve used four minutes of time.

That’s why unlimited is essential if you’re going to use Direct Connect.

And, oh yes, I’m a Nextel dealer.

So - worth it? How much are you really going to use it? And would a Verizon 1000 minute a month plan be less expensive and really all the minutes you need?

Now I’m - CHIRP! - done.

Verizon has the same service now - they just call it “Push to Talk” instead of “Direct Connect”. I think you can add unlimited PTT to an America’s Choice plan for $10/mo.

I’ve heard on decent authority that Verizon’s push-to-talk can take a lot longer to hook up. If you investigate getting that, push for a real answer, with numbers in it first.

I never have understood the purpose of this either. It’s the same amount of button pressing. Actually less to just dial and hold the phone up to your ear. Unless you just want everybody around you to hear both sides of the conversation.

Because it’s free, Bruce. I could talk for days on end with direct connect and it wouldn’t cost me a nickel.

And who said anything about it being easier to use? I think anyone with a cell phone knows how to operate the buttons.

I use it all the time. I bought one to make it easier to talk to the contractors I work with. For some reason, I’ll beep them when I have a quick question when I probably wouldn’t call them. It’s easier to get out of the conversation quickly.

After I’d had mine for a while, my boyfriend decided to buy five for his company. He was using a lot of minutes calling his employees, and they were abusing the phone privileges. On some of the phones, he locks out the outgoing part of the cell phone. No more gigantic bills, just the set Direct Connect charge. And we talk to each other quickly several times a day on them.

I don’t find the service to be any worse connection-wise than my previous cell phone. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

Where do I sign up? I didn’t hear they were offering free serivce. Wow! How the hell can they stay in business?

Serviously I am guessing either your company pays the bill or you mean that you have unlimited direct connect service (which you pay for on the monthly bill).

I only pay $40 a month for 750 daytime mins, unlimited nights and weekends and unlimited Sprint to Sprint calls (anytime). I have yet to see a Nextel plan compare to that in terms of price and mins.

For me that is more than enough since I don’t use my cell phone too much during the day.

Mr. 2001 will Verizon’s Push To Talk work with Nextel? I am guessing no.

BruceDaddy, I agree. Few things are more annoying with cell phone users than having to hear both sides of a Nextel conversation. Beep! Beep!

Yep. I pay a monthly fee to use it. How much that is I can’t quite remember right now, but about ten bucks a month sounds right.

After that though, you’re free to use it as much as you like without additional charge.

And while that might not be a big deal to you, since you seem to prefer to talk on the phone the old fashioned way, I like the direct connect service for entirely different reasons.

To begin with, I’m not a phone kind of guy. Nothing bores me or sends me into a stupor more than the idea of spending hours upon hours on the phone. Maybe back in my high school days, sure, but not now. I want to get off the phone almost the second I get on it. Tell me what you want, need, or are thinking and then get off as soon as possible please; I’ve got other things to do.

I know it’s not everyone’s style, but it’s mine. I want to get to the point and be done with it.

You want a conversation? Let’s get together and talk. It’s much more interesting and fun that way… in person.

So, phones irritate me.

Direct connect doesn’t though, because people get into a different mindset when talking on one. It’s almost as if they regress to childhood and the old walkie-talkies we had then and the ‘Roger. Over’ deal. No extraneous talk whatsoever (Mostly). You get to the point and are out. Need to confirm a time? ‘Hey, what time tonight?’. ‘Ahh, about 7:30’. ‘OK. See ya then. Thanks’.

God damn that’s better than the, ‘Hey. Howya doin.’. ‘Oh good. I’m at work and and I’m working on a project that’s due by…’


Direct connector’s don’t do that. It’s treated like important intelligence that needs to be concise and to the point. Chit-chat is for phones.

It’s one of the added benefits to the service, not to mention that it’s free (Kind of oxymoronic, in a way. That people would save the conversations for the charged per minute phone feature instead of the free-for-all walkie-talkie feature. Hmmmm.).

It’s not for everyone, but for those who like it, it’s invaluable on many different levels.

It’s not like you can’t turn it down. It’s not tough.

But some people will be rude regardless.

do the rates on sprint website reflect the actual current rates ? cuz the ones they got posted there don’t look too good. would cost me $70 minimum for 2 phones versus $50 for nextel, if i read it right.

Cnote, so you have Nextel Direct Connect service only? No phone service? I didn’t know they offered that. But it kind of defeats the purpose of having a cell phone, dosen’t it. You can only contact people with Nextel.

Or are you saying you pay an additional $10 per month to have unlimited Direct Connect?

I am not one to have conversations for hours and hours at a time on the phone either but for me a conventional phone call is a little morte respectful. I wouldn’t want a friend from out of state call me to catch up via direct connect. It seems so impersonal.

Unfortunately not everyone shares your idea of how a direct connect should be handled. People do have conversations on them (usually standing next to me on the bus) and you can be curt and get right to the point of the conversation with a phone call just as much as a direct connect. The regression to childhood analogy seems to be a bit far fetched, IMHO.

With a phone call you can leave a voice mail message if the person is not able to get your call. You can’t do that with DC, right?

vasyachkin I would not go by what the web site offers. Check the newspapers and Sprint retailers for specials. To be fair, the plan I have is because I threatened to stop service. I didn’t really want to but I was told it was the best way to get the best deal possible from them. You should wait out your one year contract (I don’t believe in signing up for two year plans but you might not have a choice) before you threatened to leave though.

The ads should offer much better plans than what you see on the web site. Just a hunch but now that Xmas seaon is just around the corner they should start coming out with new plans soon. This goes for all of the cell providers.

I am not trying to sell you to Sprint. It really makes no difference to me who you sign up with. Just take in all the factors of your phone usage. Long distance, calls to other cell service phones, calls made from other regions (not your home calling area) and service (availability) in your area should all be considered. I don’t have problems with Sprint but people in other parts have.

FYI, Mayor Bloomberg just set up a “Cell Phone Dead Zone” complaint line. You may want to check that to see what service seems to be lacking in NYC. I don’t have a link but I just heard of it yesterday.

Since you already have phone service you should have a pretty good indication on how many mins you need or need to share. No matter what service you pick don’t pay for more mins than you need.

vasyachkin, I took a look at the Sprint and Nextel websites and if we are bother looking at the same offers this is what I found.

Sprint -cheapest share plan:
Price $65 - ($45 plus $20 for additional line/pcs to pcs)
Mins -500 (shared)
Unlimited nights and weekend
Long Distance included
Unlimited sprint to sprint calls (included in $20 )

Nextel - cheapest share plan:
Price $50
Mins - 200 (shared) [500 min is $60]
Long Distance included
unlimited Direct Connect

The biggest difference is Nextel’s 200 mins are for the entire month. They do not offer Night and Weekend mins in the share plans. That is a makes big difference to me.

Either way you should find better deals for both in the newspapers. Make sure you check all the fine print and don’t commit to any before you have done your research and found the one best or your needs.

Good luck.

What defeats the purpose more than anything is being obstinately obtuse when faced with relevant information.

But hey, if all you want to do is play these stupid games of yours, then by all means, have at it. Personally, I think it’s a waste of time and childish.

But it does tend to prove my point that I made earlier in this thread; that most people are polite, while others will be rude regardless.

Carry on.

No, the technology is quite different. Verizon uses CDMA; Nextel uses iDEN. Verizon uses the same phone number for calls and PTT; Nextel has one number for calls and another (goofy-looking) number for Direct Connect.

Nextel is the only cell provider I can get where I live.

When we first signed up, my S.O. and I used the direct connect walkie-talkie feature. For about a week. Haven’t used it since.

Look, it’s not convienient. I’d rather pay more for the minutes than use the free: I talk…you talk…no, I talk, did you talk…feature. It’s aggravating. You really should say “over” everytime you send. Bah, good for kids.


NYR407, said what I was going to. I can call Sprint folks for “free” too.

And I was just fishing for a good feature with the button thing.



Person one: Hey, I’m too cheap to buy a real phone!



Person 2: Ya, me too! Over and out.

MHO: Nextel’s are horribly annoying. It’s one thing if you are a contractor walking around a job site. It’s another thing to be walking around a supermarket or mall with everyone within a 30 foot radius being forced to listen to your conversation.

And yes, I know they have a feature do do the quick connect without making it so loud. I just wish people would actually use it.

When I see someone on a Nextel, I think “cheap”. Certainly something to consider if you are in sales or a professional job where appearances matter.

aaight thanx, in the meantime my service was cut off today cuz my father neglected to pay last bill :slight_smile:

so now i will have to get back my $500 security deposit form Verizon and then visit Nextel and Sprint retailers and decide amongst those and Verizon.


If you are ever in a situation (hurricane, terrorism, telephone line hit by falling branch, blackout) where the phone goes out, the direct connect is a godsend.