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Nextel Expands Successful Broadband Trial to Include Paying Customers and Larger Coverage Area

RESTON, Va., Apr 14, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Nextel's Trial in North Carolina's Research Triangle Offers Unmatched Speeds and Convenient Bundled Services, including E-mail, Online Disk Storage and Website Traffic

Nextel Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:NXTL) announced today that the coverage area of its wireless broadband trial, now branded as Nextel Wireless Broadband(SM) service, has more than doubled since first launching in February 2004. The coverage area is now approximately 1,300 square miles and extends to Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and other neighboring communities. This expansion follows several initial success indicators from the trial, including measuring network speed, performance and customer response. The service will also begin accepting paying customers.

"The data speeds of the Nextel Wireless Broadband service are significantly faster than other wireless broadband offerings," said Scott Ellison, program director, wireless and mobile communications, IDC. "Much like how wireless phones began replacing landline phones once performance became similar, we expect much greater demand for wireless broadband service now that speeds are comparable to DSL and cable broadband connections, with the additional benefit of access while on the go."

Nextel Wireless Broadband service is 50 times faster than dial-up connections and is accessible via laptop and desktop computers as well as PDAs. It offers typical downlink speeds of up to 1.5 megabits per second (mbps) with burst rates of up to 3.0 mbps. Typical uplink speeds are up to 375 kilobits per second (kbps) with burst rates of up to 750 kbps.

Nextel Wireless Broadband service is now commercially available at affordable rates to any of the more than one million people who live or work in the coverage area. It can be ordered online, via phone or at local Nextel retail stores. A local marketing and advertising campaign will begin this week to promote the service.

Nextel's wireless broadband trial is also unique because it offers turn-key bundled ISP services in addition to access, including multiple e-mail accounts (up to seven), online disk storage (up to 70 megabytes) and website traffic (up to 300 megabytes per month). Additionally, it offers public, private and static IP addresses.

High User Satisfaction

Until now, Nextel's wireless broadband trial was limited to a test group that included local employees of Cisco Systems, Inc., Nortel Networks and IBM among others. These users have provided very positive feedback about the value of the service, including quality and performance.

"Nextel Wireless Broadband service is allowing me to be remote, be productive and be highly accessible to my team and my clients. My job is very demanding and requires 24-7 access to the Internet and to our remote support infrastructure. Furthermore, many aspects of my job require that I leave the office to increase my productivity. I can even work from my favorite coffee shop with speeds comparable to a cable modem," said Matt Brown, a Nextel Wireless Broadband service trial user and director of enterprise integration and database operations, MercuryMD, Inc.

"Nextel Wireless Broadband service follows me wherever I go with the immediacy and speed that are critical for my work. For example, Nextel Wireless Broadband service allowed me to instant message a six-megabyte presentation directly from my car after I received an urgent request. I parked on the side of the road in the midst of gridlock traffic, pulled out my laptop and easily sent the presentation within minutes," said David Stafford, a Nextel Broadband service trial user and IT analyst, Cisco Systems.

Pricing and Availability

Nextel Wireless Broadband service is available in four different price plans to meet users' varying needs such as speed, number of e-mail accounts and amount of online disk storage. Costs(1) will include:

    --  a monthly service fee (ranging from $34.99 to $74.99 depending
        on the plan) and

    --  a one-time equipment fee, for either a PC card for laptop
        computers or a wireless modem for desktop computers (specially
        priced at $100 for early sign-up).

To sign up for the service or for more information including a map of the coverage in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill, visit Nextel Wireless Broadband service can also be ordered at 1-877-899-6354 or at local Nextel retail stores (locations are listed on


Nextel Wireless Broadband service uses Flarion Technologies' FLASH-OFDM(R) technology, which supplies highly secure broadband access in addition to fast network speeds. This technology is Internet-protocol-friendly, which offers the ability to easily connect to main databases and run applications.

Nextel Wireless Broadband service also provides impressive latency rates, which allow rapid multi-user exchanges. For example, it maximizes the results of real-time applications such as multimedia conferencing and online gaming.

About Nextel

Nextel Communications, a FORTUNE 200 company based in Reston, Va., is a leading provider of fully integrated wireless communications services and has built the largest guaranteed all-digital wireless network in the country covering thousands of communities across the United States. Today 95 percent of FORTUNE 500(R) companies are Nextel customers. Nextel and Nextel Partners, Inc. currently serve 294 of the top 300 U.S. markets where approximately 250 million people live or work.

(1) Sales tax not included.

Nortel Networks is a trademark of Nortel Networks.

SOURCE: Nextel Communications Inc.

Nextel Communications Inc., Reston
Media Contacts:
Chris Grandis, 703-433-3625
Aaron Radelet, 703-433-8246
Investor Contact:
Paul Blalock, 703-433-4300