Orange To Launch Push To Talk
By Carlo Longino, Mon Jan 12 18:00:00 GMT 2004

The annoying squawk goes trans-atlantic as Orange debuts the walkie-talkie-like service.

Orange's launch is not just the first in Europe, but the first carrier-based PTT system on a GSM network in the world (though products like fastchat have been available to GSM users for some time). Now the majority of the world's users can be subjected to other people's awkward conversations. And of course, make good use of the walkie-talkie functionality too.

Carriers around the world are looking to emulate the success of American operator Nextel, whose business is primarily built on the PTT capabilities of their network, and enjoys the highest ARPU of any US carrier. Two US CDMA networks, Verizon and Sprint, have also launched PTT services on their 1X networks, though these services reportedly offer longer latency and lag times than Nextel's.

Nokia has said its first PTT phone, the 5140, will be released in the second quarter, and Siemens expects to have handsets by midyear. Motorola, which supplies PTT handsets to Nextel and Verizon, has also been testing its network solution over GPRS with a carrier in Jordan.