Is that iDEN's swan song we hear playing in the background? Nope, apparently not. Buried in between fits of bad news in Sprint's earnings call yesterday, CEO Dan Hesse chatted up the rollout of its next-gen PTT network, based on Qualcomm's QChat technology that rides atop EV-DO Rev. A. Currently available in just a very small handful of markets -- and only to business customers, at that -- Hesse says that the new Direct Connect goods will be available in 40 markets over the next few months, and on a full 80 percent of its EV-DO Rev. A network by the end of 2008. That setup gives Sprint a nice migration path from its legacy Nextel network, but interestingly, Hesse says that the company's "economic analysis" suggests that it should actually keep running iDEN and QChat side by side. Of course, if this is the same nature of "economic analysis" that got it into the financial pickle it's currently in, it might just be worth... you know, reanalyzing.

[Via mocoNews]

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Sprint says QChat to be in 40 markets shortly