Cingular teams with Kodiak to launch P2T

Cingular Wireless and Kodiak Networks launched the carrier's much anticipated push-to-talk service. Cingular's P2T offering uses GSM voice channels to make the calls, marking a difference from P2T-over-cellular offerings that use GPRS. The companies claim that using the voice channel also allows them to scale the P2T offering across their networks, giving it the broadest reach in the country. Cingular's P2T also boasts push services like voice SMS, group push conferencing, IM-like presence and the ability to instantly change a P2T session to a standard voice call. Cingular also purchased Kodiak's gateways, which have the capability to convert POC-based sessions into Kodiak sessions. The carrier has priced its P2T services at $10 per month. Kodiak said its gateways could also allow the carrier to forge international P2T roaming agreements in the future.

Analysts say the only P2T force Cingular will have to reckon with is Sprint's successful service, which runs over its Nextel iDEN network. Although Verizon Wireless and Sprint (pre-merger) launched P2T service a few years ago using a softswitch IP solution from Winphoria, most agree they have low QoS and subscribers have been slow to sign up. Sprint plans to rectify its P2T service in 2008 by switching to VoIP once its EV-DO A launches.

For more on Cingular and Kodiak's P2T solution:
- take a look at this press release