Though Nextel may be long since assimilated as a company, parts of its branding look to live on thanks to an official announcement from Sprint today. As prior reports suggested, the carrier is reporting that push-to-talk services will continue to carry the treasured "Nextel Direct Connect" branding that has largely represented enterprise PTT service in the US for ages (14 years, to be exact). Furthermore, Nextel Direct Connect will be used "regardless of network platform," indicating that the name will be used even as Sprint works to transition the bulk of its PTT services from iDEN to CDMA. Speaking of CDMA, Sprint is using the same press release to tout a plethora of new Direct Connect devices in the pipe for 2008, spanning the range from "rugged phones that meet the rigors of military specifications to sleek new flip phones" -- and get this, they'll come from "Sprint's leading manufacturers," suggesting that Motorola is going to lose its stranglehold on the service. The more, the merrier, we say!

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Sprint to preserve Nextel Direct Connect branding for PTT