AT&T Cranks Up Push-To-Talk Charter Program

Guess what? Push-to-talk is still alive, and well, apparently. While Sprint (and Nextel) and usually the companies tied to PTT services, it's AT&T connecting to this one. A new charter program will enable participants to experience new PTT communications, and in a world where everyone seems to be leaving the chirp behind, it's a strange goal to revert back and start up a new charter. The enhanced PTT solution trial, powered by Kodiak Networks Inc. InstaPoC technology, will harness AT&T's mobile broadband speeds, wireless network coverage, and broad portfolio of devices and the power of IP-based technology. That means faster and richer collaboration, lower cost of ownership and great potential for integration with mobile applications.

In addition, AT&T is working to integrate traditional private mobile radio (PMR) systems with this enhanced PTT service trial, and will demonstrate the functionality with Raytheon JPS at the 2012 International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE). AT&T and Raytheon expect that push to talk interoperability across different networks will extend coverage of existing PMR systems and facilitate better communications for field dispatch and operations, when many people from many different organizations need to reach each other quickly.

Selected business customers in a range of industries – transportation, utilities, manufacturing and more – will get a first look at potential PTT services through AT&T's charter program. Participants will use powerful, state of the art smartphones to test the technology. The charter program will provide AT&T and customers with a better understanding of the potential that the enhanced PTT service can offer. AT&T will work closely with customers participating in the program to measure results, and participants will have the opportunity to give feedback on their experiences.

Will PTT have a new life with enhance tech that takes advantage of 4G LTE, 3G and Wi-Fi? There's obviously still a use-case out there, but the real question is this: will any phones support it that can be sexy and svelte enough to rival the Android greats and the iPhone that exists today?