Sprint Unveils Handsets That Will Launch With Sprint Direct Connect

Sprint Unveils Handsets That Will Launch With Sprint Direct Connect

Sprint revealed the phones it will deploy in the fourth quarter when it launches its next-generation push-to-talk service. The new service will be known as Sprint Direct Connect. The new service will be available in a much larger area than the company's current push-to-talk offering. In fact, the new service will reportedly cover almost triple the square miles of the current offering.

The Kyocera DuraCore, the Kyocera DuraMax, and a Motorola smartphone will launch this fall with the launch of Sprint Direct Connect. The new phones will offer most of the capabilities available on current Sprint push-to-talk phones as well as new features. The devices are expected to support simultaneous data and push to talk, availability notification, and Land Mobile Radio (LMR) interoperability.

                 

Sprint Prepares for 4Q Launch of Sprint Direct Connect with Feature-Rich, CDMA Handsets

First phones come packed with broadband capabilities and next-generation functionality; New phones will operate on push-to-talk footprint that's triple the size of Sprint's current one

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jul 25, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced the initial phones it plans to deploy in the fourth quarter when the company launches its next-generation, push-to-talk service powered by Sprint's broadband CDMA network. The new service - Sprint(R) Direct Connect - will deliver higher bandwidth capacity to keep up with customers' data demands and is expected to extend the company's push-to-talk coverage to almost triple the square miles of the company's current push-to-talk offering.

The Sprint Direct Connect phones to be introduced this fall will be the Kyocera DuraCore and the Kyocera DuraMax. As previously announced, a third handset -- a Motorola smartphone -- will be described closer to the launch of Sprint Direct Connect. The devices will feature most of the capabilities available on current Sprint push-to-talk phones plus next-generation, push-to-talk applications and functionality. Specific availability dates and pricing for each device will be released later.

"Sprint is thrilled to launch Sprint Direct Connect with a strong starting lineup of phones," said Fared Adib, Sprint vice president of product development. "These devices represent the new gold standard in push-to-talk technology."

Devices in 2011

Kyocera DuraMax brings customers advanced technology wrapped in a rugged exterior with a clamshell form factor. It offers military-grade durability, including water resistance when submerged up to one meter for up to 30 minutes. DuraMax comes with an integrated 3.2-megapixel camera and camcorder. The 32GB expandable microSD memory card slot provides the storage capacity required to manage large files on-the-go. Additional key features include:

  • 2.0-inch QVGA TFT main display
  • Military standard 810G specifications for dust, shock, vibration, temperature extremes, blowing rain and immersion
  • Encased in rubber, non-slip Dura-Grip(R) material for sure hold and extra durability
  • Stereo Bluetooth(R) wireless technology
  • 2.5mm stereo headphone jack (supports PTT headsets)
  • 1GB microSD memory card
  • Large-font menu option
  • GPS navigation enabled
  • Supports SMS and MMS messaging and third-party data applications

Kyocera DuraCore is an affordable, high-impact solution for a mobile workforce that relies on push-to-talk. Additional features of this rugged, clamshell-style phone:

  • Military standard 810G specifications for dust, shock and vibration
  • Encased in rubber, non-slip Dura-Grip material for sure hold and extra durability
  • Bi-directional speakerphone
  • Bluetooth wireless technology
  • 2.5mm mono headphone jack (supports PTT headsets)
  • Large-font menu option
  • GPS navigation enabled
  • Supports SMS and MMS messaging and third-party data applications

In addition to Direct Connect(R) and group calling options, the devices are expected to enable Land Mobile Radio (LMR) interoperability, simultaneous data and push to talk, and availability notification. In early 2012, Sprint Direct Connect will offer additional capabilities, including international push-to-talk.

Sprint continues to involve developers in the creation of new applications through its Sprint Gets Rugged application developers program. The program provides information, support and tools needed for developers to port applications to Sprint Direct Connect devices and to create innovative applications.

Sprint Gets Rugged application developer program also will be featured at the Sprint Open Solutions Conference, Nov. 2-4, in Santa Clara, Calif. For more information or to register for the conference, please visit http://developer.sprint.com/devcon2011.

More information on the Sprint Gets Rugged application developers program can be found at http://developer.sprint.com/SprintGetsRugged.

Better Coverage and Capacity

Sprint Direct Connect marks a tangible initial benefit of Network Vision, Sprint's blueprint to deploy a cost-effective and innovative network. Announced in December, Network Vision is expected to consolidate multiple network technologies into one seamless network, resulting in enhanced coverage, quality and speed; better network flexibility; reduced operating costs; and improved environmental sustainability. The plan includes a complete upgrade of Sprint's wireless networks accompanied by changes in device chipsets and network infrastructure.

The expected benefits of Network Vision to Sprint's push-to-talk customers will be wide-ranging:

  • Push-to-talk coverage footprint is planned to increase to nearly 2.7 million square miles and is expected to cover a population of 309 million (with the addition of 1xRTT and roaming coverage) - an increase from the iDEN network's 908,370 square miles covering a population 278 million.
  • In-building coverage is expected to improve significantly through investment in the most advanced CDMA technology and radio equipment.
  • Voice and data capacity is expected to increase significantly as Sprint will be able to fully leverage its industry leading spectrum holdings in 800MHz, 1.9GHz, and - through its relationship with Clearwire - 2.5GHz.

"Our customers are asking for broadband push-to-talk now," said Paget Alves, president-Sprint Business. "We've seen steadily increasing demand for faster data speeds, better and broader coverage, and more applications on push-to-talk devices. Sprint Direct Connect is designed to solve for all three and is expected to come with sub-second push-to-talk call setup time initially in Sprint CDMA Rev. A (3G) coverage areas. Sub-second call setup is expected to expand across the United States with the implementation of Network Vision."

During the nationwide implementation of Network Vision, Sprint expects to continue operating the iDEN network at current best-ever performance levels. As the customer base shifts to more broadband-centric push-to-talk applications on the CDMA network and Sprint launches Sprint Direct Connect, iDEN cell sites are expected to be phased out in 2013. Sprint account executives will work with customers to provide a smooth transition with personalized upgrade assistance. Sprint also plans to offer current Nextel Direct Connect customers attractive device pricing to help transition to Sprint Direct Connect.

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I was never a fan of the push to talk it was that beep before and after every response that annoyed me.

These devices will be great for military personal but not for civilian use.

Reading the specs perhaps that is who they are targeting or an outdoors person. The would work great on a construction site.

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@ThunderBird That is exactly who they will be targeting Construction companies and businesses that need this type of capability. It is a very nice feature for a manager to be able to simply "Walkie talkie" someone on a job site :)

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Then it should do well.

It definitely looks 1990ish.

Looks like my of my old Motorola Star Tac minus the front screen.

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