Sprint appears to be preparing to launch a new push-to-talk (PTT) service called Direct Connect Plus that may well signal a move by the carrier from a Qualcomm PTT platform to one operated by privately held Kodiak.
Sprint and Qualcomm declined to comment on the topic.
On its website, Sprint boasts that its new Sprint Direct Connect Plus “is an enhanced push-to-talk solution that will keep you and your team connected better than ever.” The carrier said the service, which is labeled as “coming soon,” will allow users to make PTT calls over Wi-Fi, to broadcast calls to up to 500 users, to connect to existing Land Mobile Radio systems, and more.
“Sprint Direct Connect Plus will be available on a wide selection of feature phones, smartphones and tablets and available with 3G, 4G LTE and Wi-Fi networks—stay tuned for more information!” the carrier said on its website.
Sprint is listed on Kodiak’s website as one of Kodiak’s carrier partners—along with AT&T, Verizon, Bell Mobility and others—and Sprint’s Direct Connect Plus service is listed as an offering that “leverages the Kodiak platform” and is “coming soon.”
Sprint’s forthcoming service appears to represent a pivot away from the Direct Connect offering that Sprint launched in 2011 with vendor Qualcomm. That service essentially represented a 3G CDMA version of the popular Nextel Direct Connect PTT service that Sprint acquired when it purchased Nextel in 2005.
PTT services allow users to push a button to immediately contact another person or a group of people, much like a walkie-talkie. They are typically used in enterprise settings.
Interestingly, just two days ago Motorola Solutions inked an agreement to acquire Kodiak Networks in a deal that is expected to close later this year. Kodiak was founded in 2001 and is headquartered in Plano, Texas. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Motorola Solutions said Kodiak’s technology is “complementary” to its own existing WAVE PTT portfolio, which Motorola said “includes solutions for high-performance PTT and flexible, ‘over-the-top’ broadband PTT.”
“In the quickly evolving space of broadband PTT, we expect the Kodiak acquisition to expand our offerings and strengthen our ability to provide solutions to mobile network operators, especially for commercial markets,” said Bruce Brda, EVP of products and services for Motorola Solutions, in a release. “Kodiak has a significant presence with mobile network operators and an established reputation for providing carrier-integrated solutions that complement Motorola Solutions’ software and carrier capabilities.”