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Maybe Nextel can (Nex)Tell Me?

There's a Nextel ad with Rob Lowe (and some other famous people). Each ad shows a "split screen" effect where the individual one (top or bottom) of the screen has a Nextel phone with their Direct Connect "technology," and the other clone has a "regular" cell phone.

In Rob Lowe's ad, he's looking at a house. He arrives, but finds nobody to greet him. Top Rob calls his realtor to ask if he has the right house, and after getting voice mail, proceeds to snoop around, walking into the backyard, and eventually being confronted by a police officer for trespassing. Bottom Rob "direct connects" to his realtor, finds he's at the wrong address, and goes to the correct house.

Now the question I have is this: if the realtor didn't answer her phone, why the hell would she answer her "direct connect?" I mean, if she hasn't got her mobile phone, she hasn't got her mobile phone, regardless of whether it's a Nextel or a Motorola. What exactly is Nextel selling, and why can't I - a reasonably intelligent chap - figure it out? How in the hell do they expect this advertising to work? You've still gotta have your phone to answer it! If you don't have a connection to the cell network (i.e. you're in an elevator), you can't miraculously "direct connect" then either!

They ran these confusing ads before. A guy missed a sales meeting and bashed apart his architectural sculpture, only to learn that the meeting was rescheduled. Another guy didn't get a voice mail about the recently laminated board room table, resulting in a bunch of sticky briefcases and upset businessmen. The list goes on, and after each commercial, I find myself wonder just what in the hell they're selling.

9 Responses to "Maybe Nextel can (Nex)Tell Me?"

  1. I believe "Direct Connect" is a walkie-talkie thing, not something that requires a cell tower.

  2. It has to use a cell tower or something of some kind, because they're introducing coast-to-coast "Direct Connect" and I've never seen a walkie talkie do more than about 50 miles. Even the military uses (last I looked) satellites and whatnot for communication over a few miles.

  3. The other thing I don't get is why anyone would even want the walkie talkie funtionality. My dad's construction company used to use a walkie talkie type of system back in the 80s when cell phones costed a ton of money. But now, with getting 5 billion minutes for $50/month, what's the advange? It seems like its a feature to sucker in business men who aren't tech savey and think its the latest and greatest must have thing.

  4. Nextel/Motorola's iDEN offerings are really quite intriguing.

    It is a marriage of old and new technology which results in a very cool alternative. I have a couple of contractors that use the synergy to their advantage every day. Where cell phones cannot reach, these guys stay connected. Even behind 10 inches of steel-reinforced concrete the RF signal gets through, while the cell service flounders. Low-tech alternatives are not always bad. I have placed my order for a i95cl and can hardly wait to run it through its paces.

  5. It's pretty simple really .. a lot of people will answer their direct connect "walkie-talkie" calls but will let their cell phone calls go to voicemail.

    It's because they know a direct connect call will last maybe 1 minute at most, but a cell phone call will go on for probably at least 3 or 4 minutes.

    People just don't talk as long on direct connect, so its perfect when you just need a quick piece of information.

  6. Several of my friends use Nextels with only the direct connect service. The standard cell phone part of it isn't even enabled. I myself hardly ever use the phone portion of the device.

    Regardless of how loopy their commercials are, realize this: you may be thinking too deeply into a television commercial, and the Nextel people are still raking in the cash like nobody's business.

    The direct connect feature of the nextel uses the same network of cell towers that the phone does. Contrary to (popular?) belief, the Nextel's direct connect is not a stand-alone two way radio.

  7. Nextel uses the existing cellular iDEN network for "walkie-talkie" style communication, primarily for business and fleet operations. I have no idea why they market it for families (George Lopez commercial), other than they're trying to make Direct Connect more mainstream. I don't see the value to more personal or family-oriented customers. Direct Connect also uses separate minutes than cellular. Also, Phase II Direct Connect National provides Long Distance Direct Connect for a low monthly rate (More than reasonable for a Long Distance supplement or even replacement.)


  8. Not only do I get to hear some ass yelling into his phone, I get to hear his buddy on the other end over Nextel's fabulous speaker-phone/walkie-talkie, followed by an obnoxious beep.

    If these things were really walkie-talkies, they would burn a hole in your head from the power required.

    Nice gimmic.

  9. There is an upshot and a severe limitation. But it is all user preference. You can go the route of the cell phone, usually stuck with person for a couple of min, they can stop you in mid phrase when need be. There is also several downsides to this as well. The signal is weaker, you have to be accepted to start the conversation, so your calling someone about an emergency, they might let your call go unheeded, and they stop you in the middle of a word, right before the climatic point that would justify all your effort in saying something. All that talking goes unheard because they have to stop you at that moment in time to tell you something much more important and thus they will not hear you, disreguard all that you said and yay an argument has started.

    With the wonderful WT function, it is fair. To be honest, it is. There is not a conversation but a dialog. An exchange between individuals who have to wait till one is finished, so that any point, unless spoken incorrectly, will be realized. There is a sense of fairness that they cannot just start yelling into the phone, now not hearing you, and trying to say your f---ing wrong, and that yay they are mother f---ing right. Also, importance. Your words will be heard. If you say something like "answer me! Your daughter is in the hospital!" I'm certain that 99 out of 100 at least will answer. A voice mail might be gotten a little too late. Though there is a dark side to this. Someone can say p3n1s or some four letter word that is slang for p3n1s. d()rk d-ck c-ck ect.... really loudly over the WT feature. While in a mall. Or walmart. I still can't look that girl in the eye. She just was laughing her butt off. But anyways, I digress. It's here to stay. Either as a novelty, or as the wave of the future, the Walkie Talkie feature is here to stay. Deal with it. Peace. Fox Seven X Three out.