Integrated Digital Enhanced Network

What Does Integrated Digital Enhanced Network Mean?

Integrated digital enhanced network (iDEN) is a mobile telecommunications technology from Motorola. Although mainly a cellular network technology, iDEN is best known for supporting cell phones with push-to-talk (PTT) capability that function as walkie-talkies. Although iDEN has some similarities with traditional PTT systems, it also offers many advantages.


Unlike in traditional PTT, iDEN end users are no longer subject to U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing requirements. Additionlly, iDEN supports wider roaming capabilities, allowing a substantial increase in coverage area. Other advantages include better call quality, as a result of using higher frequencies and digital technology, and the ability to make private as well as group calls.

Techopedia Explains Integrated Digital Enhanced Network

The iDEN system supports half and full-duplex operations. Half-duplex enables only one user to talk or transmit while the user on the other end is listening or receiving. In full-duplex, there is an open bi-directional link allowing both users to talk and listen at the same time. Half-duplex is employed in walkie-talkies, while full-duplex is used in cell phones and telephones.

Just like many of today’s advanced cell phones, iDEN phones can support SMS messages, voice mail, and data networking such as VPNs, the Internet, and intranets. iDEN is not the only PTT service. In the U.S., there is Sprint’s Qchat and Verizon’s PTT. On March 2011, Sprint announced that it is decommissioning its iDEN cell sites, with a full phaseout planned for 2013.

Some of the iDEN phones from Motorola include the Brute i686, the i886, the i1, and the i576.


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Margaret Rouse
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Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.