AT&T launches trials for enhanced push-to-talk services

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AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) launched a new charter program to deploy enhanced push-to-talk services primarily aimed at enterprises.

att ptt kodiak

Click here for a video of Kodiak's PTT offering.

The new services will rely on a technology from Kodiak Networks, a PTT pioneer. The technology, dubbed InstaPoC, is an IP-based technology that allows carriers to deliver voice over LTE, 3G networks and Wi-Fi. Additionally, InstaPoC supports simultaneous voice and data activity without changes to the radio access network, according to Kodiak. The platform's capabilities include one-to-one and one-to-many (for up to 250 contacts) PTT-based communication, centralized dispatch, enterprise-class administration, as well as availability and call alerts.

The trials will allow selected business customers in a range of industries with field workers and dispatchers, including transportation, utilities and manufacturing, to test out the new services. The trials will be done on the Samsung Galaxy S II, but an AT&T spokeswoman told FierceWireless that down the road the program will support a variety of devices, including feature phones, rugged devices and specialty devices. AT&T said it will work closely with customers participating in the program to measure results, and participants will have the opportunity to give feedback.

In addition, AT&T said it is working to integrate traditional private mobile radio (PMR) systems with this enhanced PTT service trial in the hopes of boosting the coverage and speeds of PMR systems. AT&T said it will demonstrate the functionality with Raytheon JPS at the 2012 International Wireless Communications Expo this week.

Of course, AT&T is not the only carrier moving forward with advanced PTT services. Last fall Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) launched its CDMA Direct Connect service, powered by a new solution from Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM), as part of its plan to migrate iDEN customers. Sprint said the new Direct Connect service, which rides on Sprint's 1900 MHz spectrum, offers improved in-building coverage and will triple the square-mile reach of its iDEN-based PTT service. Specifically, Sprint said its new PTT offering will cover 2.7 million square miles and a population of 309 million (with the addition of 1XRTT and roaming coverage), up from the iDEN network's 908,370 square miles covering a population of 278 million.

For more:
- see this release
- see this Kodiak Networks site
- see this Engadget post

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