AT&T's improved PTT service coming in November

AT&T's improved PTT service coming in November
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 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)

source: AT&T via FierceWireless

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13 Comments

1. Rayvelynn

Posts: 124; Member since: Jul 05, 2012

People still use that service? I'm sorry I don't want everybody knowing my business, I might as well talk on speaker phone

2. Ravail

Posts: 182; Member since: Oct 14, 2011

You obviously have never worked in the construction industry. PTT is VERY useful and an quick way to communicate.

4. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

Also, some units can act as walkie talkies and can be used to communicate even without carrier signals.

7. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

Yeah it's off network Direct Connect which I think is on most newer Nextel and Sprint Direct Connect devices.

6. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

The service is still big with government and corporate customers. Back in June Sprint upgraded and tripled it's Sprint Direct Connect coverage & service in preparation for the iDEN network shutdown and is migrating customers right now. My employer is moving some 2000 lines from Nextel Direct Connect to Sprint Direct Connect and the new phones are MUCH better. Sprint is also supposed to be releasing an Android app to enable a bunch of other phones with the feature. I did not know that AT&T had an iDEN Network though???

11. Fuego84

Posts: 357; Member since: May 13, 2012

You don't have to use speaker, you can set the phones to never use speaker unless you turn on the speaker while on a call.

3. cepcamba

Posts: 717; Member since: Feb 27, 2012

BlackBerry Bold 9900 and GS3 same price wut? :p

5. tokuzumi

Posts: 1866; Member since: Aug 27, 2009

6-8 years ago, I used to hear the "chirp-chirp" all the time. Now, I can't remember the last time I heard the chirp, or even saw someone with a Motorola iDEN phone. The HVAC company I use doesn't have them, and they are a good sized company. Now that almost all post paid cell plans include mobile to mobile for free (from the same provider, except for Sprint), it makes the need for push to talk less relevant. It's kind unfortunate, too. This was a cool feature.

8. lsutigers

Posts: 832; Member since: Mar 08, 2009

I just read more on the pricing and if AT&T is charging $30 per line there is no way their going to take customers away from Sprint Nextel as their Direct Connect service runs $5 or $10 per line and has a much better brand and coverage.

9. agentoj

Posts: 105; Member since: Oct 29, 2009

Wonder if AT&T's iDEN will work in Mexico.

10. downphoenix

Posts: 3165; Member since: Jun 19, 2010

Well in some ways, its cool how AT&Ts service will work with many more devices. But on the other hand, LMAO to the price, $30 a month vs $5 on Sprint, and Sprint is the established player in this segment. Nice fail, AT&T!

13. PTTUser1

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

Actually, I read that AT&T will have a $5/month "bolt on" plan that adds PTT to any smartphone with a data plan. So, really, not a fail.

12. PTTUser1

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 19, 2012

AT&T doe NOT have an iDEN network. This post need to be corrected. Their PTT will operate via 4g LTE, 3G, and they say Wi-Fi too. Not even AT&T's previous PTT solution utilized an iDEN network.

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