Push-to-talk services are in the news again. Remember when they were the hottest topic in 2002 and 2003? Operators looking jealously at Nextel's high ARPU thought IP networks would finally allow them to compete. It turned out though that when Verizon launched the first competitive PTT service it couldn't compete on quality. Marketing of the service quickly faded. Cingular and Alltel have launched services using a solution from Kodiak, which uses a circuit-switched network that reduces latency problems. But PTT will probably run into the same adoption problems SMS and MMS faced early on in the U.S. because carriers aren't opening up their networks to interoperability. Sprint Nextel won't have an incentive for a long time to do so because it still has a corner on this market. It's interesting that Verizon now says that text messaging and in-network free mobile-to-mobile provide the instant communications consumers want. Has it totally abandoned PTT or is it waiting for the next generation of EV-DO technology that offers QoS over VoIP and quicker connection times?
To read more about the PTT market:
- check out this piece in The Wall Street Journal (sub. req.)