AT&T has announced that its enhanced iDEN push-to-talk network will be available starting in November. The carrier is offering discounts and early-access to the service to those who pre-register. With Sprint shutting down its iDEN PTT service next June to refarm its 800MHz spectrum for LTE use, AT&T is going after those customers in a big way. By taking advantage of the option to pre-register, you can either wait for the start of AT&T's enhanced service to switch, or you can use a pre-release version of the software if you need to use AT&T's iDEN network immediately. Sprint had 4.4 million iDEN customers during June whom the carrier would like to keep on its new CDMA Direct Connect PTT service. AT&T's upgrades allow voice and data to be transmitted simultaneously and in Q1 of 2013, PTT over Wi-Fi will be possible. At the same time, the connection will be seamless allowing for switching between Wi-Fi and cellular.
AT&T's enhanced PTT service will be available in November
AT&T said back in June that it had expanded testing of the service to include "great performance, advanced features, integration with mobile apps and interoperability with radio systems." Using sales events across the country, AT&T has been trying to sign up customers for the service. A source familiar with the carrier's plans confirms that the PTT service will be available for Android models running 2.3
or higher, BlackBerry 7 models and those phones that will be running on Windows Phone 8. Certain featurephones will be able to access the service using Java, although those devices won't have all of the features that smartphone users will have. Besides handsets, those using tablets, laptops and in-vehicle devices can use the service which is expected to cost $30 per month.On its site, AT&T lists a number of phones that are compatible with the program. Those signing up for the early access program are entitled to $100 off the price of a PTT enabled handsets which includes the Samsung Galaxy S III ($99 with discount), Samsung Rugby Smart (Free), Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket (Free), BlackBerry Curve 9360 (Free) and the BlackBerry Bold 9900 ($99)