Sprint's Direct Connect Network Launching October 2nd With Kyocera Duramax

Remember the "chirp?" That little bleep used to be all the rage, and while the amount of folks using Nextel / Sprint's push-to-talk services has dwindled over the years, it's still a staple of certain industries, particularly those that work outdoors or in the field. Starting next week, Sprint will be launching their new push-to-talk service, called Sprint Direct Connect. It's a 3G CDMA-based service that serves to expand PTT coverage, enhance broadband support (mobile data) and enable new features that couldn't be used on the existing PTT network.

The Kyocera Duramax will be the phone to spearhead the new service, launching on Sprint for $69.99 on October 2nd. That just so happens to be the same date for Direct Connect to launch, though a full broadening of PTT coverage won't happen until "early 2012." Sprint’s 3G data network and our enhanced push-to-talk platform will deliver instant calls, increased push-to-talk reliability, and support for cutting-edge data applications. Sprint’s broadband speeds will enable customers to experience the latest in technology applications, such as enterprise business productivity applications, social and multimedia support, and even advanced push-to-X capabilities in the future. In early 2012, the Sprint Direct push-to-talk coverage area is expected to grow to match the Sprint CDMA voice coverage area – expected to be almost three times the square miles covered by Nextel iDEN today. Additionally, in 2012, international push-to-talk calling to select countries will also begin rolling out to help support our current customers with international push-to-talk needs.

In the fourth quarter, Sprint will begin to offer three new Sprint Direct Connect devices, including the Duramax. And if you're curious, the existing iDEN network will only be supported through 2013; after that, you better be ready to make the jump!