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For other uses, see Iden (disambiguation).

Integrated Digital Enhanced Network (iDEN) is a mobile telecommunications technology, developed by Motorola, which provides its users the benefits of a trunked radio and a cellular telephone. It was called the first mobile social network by many technology industry analysts.[1] iDEN places more users in a given spectral space, compared to analog cellular and two-way radio systems, by using speech compression and time division multiple access (TDMA).


The iDEN project originally began as MIRS (Motorola Integrated Radio System) in early 1991. The project was a software lab experiment focused on the utilization of discontiguous spectrum for GSM wireless. GSM systems typically require 24 contiguous voice channels, but the original MIRS software platform dynamically selected fragmented channels in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum in such a way that a GSM telecom switch could commence a phone call the same as it would in the contiguous channel scenario. The original MIRS System was renamed IDEN in 1994 by Roger Cameron Wood, a young engineering program manager leading the product development effort who also gave the handsets their distinctive industrial design, group software features, and "chirp" audio.

Operating frequencies[edit]

iDEN is designed and licensed to operate on individual frequencies that may not be contiguous. iDEN operates on 25 kHz channels, but only occupies 20 kHz in order to provide interference protection via guard bands. By comparison, TDMA Cellular (Digital AMPS) is licensed in blocks of 30 kHz channels, but each emission occupies 40 kHz, and is capable of serving the same number of subscribers per channel as iDEN. iDEN uses frequency-division duplexing to transmit and receive signals separately, with transmit and receive bands separated by 39 MHz, 45 MHz, or 48 MHz depending on the frequency band being used.[2]

iDEN supports either three or six interconnect users (phone users) per channel, and six dispatch users (push-to-talk users) per channel, using time division multiple access. The transmit and receive time slots assigned to each user are deliberately offset in time so that a single user never needs to transmit and receive at the same time. This eliminates the need for a duplexer at the mobile end, since time-division duplexing of RF section usage can be performed.


The first commercial iDEN handset was Motorola's L3000, which was released in 1994[citation needed]. Lingo, which stands for Link People on the Go, was used as a logo for its earlier handsets. Most modern iDEN handsets use SIM cards, similar to, but incompatible with GSM handsets' SIM cards. Early iDEN models such as the i1000plus stored all subscriber information inside the handset itself, requiring the data to be downloaded and transferred should the subscriber want to switch handsets. Newer handsets using SIM technology make upgrading or changing handsets as easy as swapping the SIM card. Four different sized SIM cards exist, "Endeavor" SIMs are used only with the i2000 without data, "Condor" SIMs are used with the two-digit models (i95cl, for example) using a SIM with less memory than the three-digit models (i730, i860), "Falcon" SIMs are used in the three-digit phones, (i530, i710) and will read the smaller SIM for backward compatibility, but some advanced features such as extra contact information is not supported by the older SIM cards[citation needed]. There is also the "Falcon 128" SIM, which is the same as the original "Falcon", but doubled in memory size, which is used on new 3 digit phones (i560, i930)[citation needed].

iDEN base radio at a cell site

The interconnect-side of the iDEN network uses GSM signalling for call set-up and mobility management, with the Abis protocol stack modified to support iDEN's additional features. Motorola has named this modified stack 'Mobis'[citation needed].

Each base site requires precise timing and location information to synchronize data across the network. To obtain and maintain this information each base site uses global positioning system satellites to receive a precise timing reference[citation needed].


In the United States of America there are a few iDEN service providers, SouthernLINC Wireless and several small public and private iDEN service providers. Numerous private systems exist, including one run by ARINC, covering all major airports. Countries which have operating iDEN networks include Canada, Argentina, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, Jordan, Chile, Israel, Philippines, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Japan, El Salvador, China and most recently India and Guatemala.

Sprint Nextel provided iDEN service across the United States, but its iDEN network was decommissioned on June 30, 2013.

In January 2015, Telus started notifying its customers that its Mike network will be shut down on January 29, 2016,[3] which will eliminate iDEN service in most of Canada.

iDEN network operators[edit]

Network operator Country Push-to-Talk product name
Airpeak United States United States Talk Direct
Airtel Wireless Ltd. Canada Canada Churp
ARINC United States United States
Avantel Colombia Colombia Comunicación Inmediata
Bravo Telecom Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia Push To Talk
China Satcom Guomai Comm Co. Ltd China China
Connect Net United States United States
Fleetcom Inc. Canada Canada Push-to-Talk
GRID Communications Singapore Singapore Push To Talk
Iconnect China China Hong Kong (SAR)
Iconnect Guam Guam iConnect PTT
Inquam Telecom Morocco Morocco
Intelfon El Salvador El Salvador RED
Intelfon Guatemala Guatemala RED
KT Powertel South Korea South Korea
Mirs Israel Israel Walkie-Talkie
Monttcashire Ecuador Ecuador
NEXNET Japan Japan
Nextel Argentina Argentina Argentina Direct Connect
Nextel Brazil Brazil Brazil Direct Connect
Nextel Chile Chile Chile Direct Connect
Nextel Mexico Mexico Mexico Conexión Directa
Nextel Peru Peru Peru Conexión Directa
Procall Pvt. Ltd. India India Digital Push To Talk
Proxtel Wireless Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Direct Connect
Shenzhen Yunliantong Comm Service China China
SouthernLINC Wireless United States United States InstantLINC
Spacedata United States United States
Telus Canada Canada Mike
Vona Brazil Brazil Radio Despacho
XPress Jordan Jordan XPress Direct Connect

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lawson, Stephen (December 7, 2010). "Sprint's iDEN finally headed for sign-off". Retrieved 5 September 2012. 
  2. ^ Motorola iDEN Technical Overview
  3. ^ Important Service Notice: Mike is retiring

External links[edit]