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Telecom New Zealand push-to-talk (PTT) service is live

Posted on 21-Feb-2005 11:39 | Filed under: News


Telecom has launched Push 2 Talk, its branded push-to-talk service that works like a walkie-talkie over mobile networks. The service enables subscribers using a Telecom Push 2 Talk mobile phone to talk with up to five other Telecom Push 2 Talk users at the same time. Telecom has already sold about 25,000 Push 2 Talk enabled mobile phones since mid December.

The same message can be communicated immediately to a group of people at the same time, increasing efficiency while reducing the potential for miscommunication and the time spent relaying information.

�The service is ideal for simple requests. Instead of calling a colleague to ask where something is, or spending time text messaging them, you can ask them, then and there. It�s changing the way we think about telecommunications. It�s the mid-point between a phone call or email for an extended discussion, and a quick text message for a chat,� Telecom Mobile General Manager Kevin Kenrick said.

Customers using Push 2 Talk can set up a number of calling groups on their phone. To Push 2 Talk, they simply push a button on the side of their phone and select the group they want to speak with. The group members then take turns to speak by holding down the button, like a walkie-talkie. Instead of dialling a new connection each time the customer wants to speak to a new person, the service operates as an �always-on� link, unless a member has chosen to turn it off.

Customers will be able to use Push 2 Talk with other Telecom Push 2 Talk subscribers and it can be used anywhere within Telecom�s 027 network coverage.

The launch follows a trialling period with a range of New Zealand businesses, including Chubb New Zealand, Mainfreight, Carter Holt Harvey and the New Zealand Fire Service. Industries such as construction, service trades and transport, where efficiently coordinating a widely spread workforce is important, look set to receive significant benefits from Push 2 Talk.

There are two Telecom Push 2 Talk phones currently available � the Sanyo 4920 and the Sanyo 7400. The 4920 sells for NZ$199 on a plan while the 7400 is priced at NZ$599 on a plan. More phones are scheduled to be released later this year.

Customers signing up for Push 2 Talk before the end of 2005 will get to try the service for free for the first two months, and will then pay a monthly flat fee of NZ$10 for up to 300 minutes usage per month, guaranteed through all of 2005. Telecom will be introducing charges for Push 2 Talk usage over 300 minutes per month but before doing so will give its customers one month�s notice of what those charges will be and how they will apply.