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Nextel to expand phone connection feature

Nextel Communications said Tuesday that it plans to let users of its DirectConnect feature reach anyone in the United States by the first half of next year. The company said it has begun testing the necessary software from Motorola. Nextel customers can use the feature, which connects two phones instantly without dialing, only with someone in the same calling area. Calling area sizes vary from the boundaries of a city to areas that measure thousands of square miles.

Nextel Communications said Tuesday that it plans to let users of its DirectConnect feature reach anyone in the United States by the first half of next year. The company said it has begun testing the necessary software from Motorola. Nextel customers can use the feature, which connects two phones instantly without dialing, only with someone in the same calling area. Calling area sizes vary from the boundaries of a city to areas that measure thousands of square miles.