Regional carrier SouthernLinc struck an agreement with MVNE Prepaid Wireless Wholesale to add nationwide GSM and UMTS service to its iDEN network footprint, though it is unclear exactly which GSM network SouthernLinc will use for the effort.
BARCELONA, Spain--AT&T Mobility recently added Wi-Fi support to its "Enhanced Push-to-Talk (PTT)" service, allowing users to conduct PTT conversations on hotspots, and the carrier also released APIs for the service that will allow customers to add PTT functions to their applications. The efforts are part of the second phase of AT&T's PTT rollout, said M. Mobeen Khan, executive director of Advanced Mobility Solutions for AT&T Business Solutions.
Regional cellular carrier SouthernLinc said it will continue to invest in its iDEN network despite Sprint Nextel's decision to turn off its iDEN network by the middle of next year. However, SouthernLinc CEO Don Horsley said the carrier does have plans for a "nationwide solution" that SouthernLinc will launch in a "very short timeframe."
Starting Jan. 1 Sprint Nextel will begin charging Nextel iDEN customers who have not upgraded to Sprint's CDMA push-to-talk service an extra $10 per month. The step is being taken as Sprint continues to move toward the shutdown of the iDEN network by June 30, 2013.
AT&T Mobility is taking aim squarely at Sprint Nextel's remaining iDEN subscribers by announcing the full availability of its Enhanced Push-to-Talk offering as well as new smartphones for the service.
Two of the nation's four major wireless carriers have recently updated their push-to-talk offerings, an indication that the service still has a loyal group of core users who prefer walkie-talkie-type conversations to plain old phone calls. But it's clear that PTT is no longer the hot-button topic it has been in years past.
AT&T Mobility appears to be preparing to take its Enhanced Push-to-Talk offering nationwide in November. The action could position AT&T to more effectively capture Sprint Nextel's remaining iDEN subscribers due to Sprint's decision to shutter its iDEN network by next year.
When Sprint Nextel reports its earnings for the second quarter Thursday, a key area of focus for analysts and industry watchers will be how many Nextel iDEN subscribers it was able to successfully convert to its enhanced CDMA network.
AT&T Mobility said it is doubling the number of business push-to-talk users in its trials for its Enhanced PTT service, which it expects to make commercially available later this year.
Sprint Nextel said it inked deals with Goodman Networks, Overland Contracting (a construction affiliate of Black & Veatch), Pyramid Network Services and WesTower Communications to decommission the company's iDEN network.