Before smartphones gained popularity, Nextel was one of the most popular brands of cell phone. The most popular Nextel phones were flip phones manufactured by Motorola. They featured push-to-talk capability which allowed the phone to be used like a two-way radio instead of a cell phone.
The push-to-talk functionality operated in the 800 MHz band and utilized iDEN technology that was initially developed by Motorola. The cellular network for Nextel phones was operated by Nextel Communications. In 2005, when Nextel Communications merged with Sprint, there were over twenty million users of Nextel phones.
The Nextel iDEN network was officially shut down on June 30, 2013. However, Sprint continued to offer push-to-talk functionality, branded as Sprint Direct Connect, through compatible CDMA-based cell phones. Nextel cell phones are still available today, operating on the Sprint network or Boost Mobile network. They represent less than 5% of the global mobile device market.