Motorola Readies Push-to-Talk Phones for the UK

Motorola is prepping two new handsets that will bring walkie-talkie like, 'Push-to-Talk' services to the UK.

Motorola has announced two new GSM handsets as part of its Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC) portfolio — the fashionable C698p and the fun, affordable C381p.

Push-to-Talk is a direct real-time voice communications service that works in a similar way to walkie-talkies. You just press the button to talk to one or many people – hence the name. It is equivalent to instant messaging on the PC, but with voice. It is ready to be offered as a service now, as it makes use of the IP 2.5G GPRS networks that are now established. It will also work over 3G networks. Push-to-Talk takes up less network bandwidth than voice calls, so can be offered at a lower cost.

Push-to-Talk has been going in the US for some time now and Motorola thinks the time is right to bring it to the UK. “Push-to-Talk changes the mobile experience by extending the phone call into a new, more immediate and engaging way to communicate,” said Joel Holl, Director, GSM PTT Products for Motorola’s Mobile Devices business. “A person can Push-to-Talk with his colleagues one minute then conduct a group chat with his family the next.”

The Motorola C698p is a “candybar” styled handset, and offers features such as dual speakers for use with Push-to-Talk, listening to the latest MP3’s or just chatting with friends. It also boasts an integrated VGA camera and a large 65,000-colour display screen — plus key features like preloaded and downloadable games and tri-band technology.

The Motorola C381p meanwhile is a mass market phone, that lets you synchronize your calendar and contacts with your PC via Motorola’s Mobile Phone Tools software and multi-task while on its integrated speakerphone.

Both the C698p and C381p feature Motorola’s signature PoC user interface, dedicated Push-to-Talk key and one-touch access to presence-enabled PoC contacts for quick one-to-one or group communication. They join Motorola’s current portfolio of PoC-enabled mobiles — featuring the popular V400p for GSM operators and T300p and V65p for CDMA operators.

Operator partners will benefit from Motorola’s PoC solutions by being able to offer a new consumer service with limited network implementation requirements. The Motorola PoC solution’s intuitive experience is also expected to help increase average revenue per user by encouraging frequent use of the new feature.

Motorola also announced that it is to work on unifying Push-to-Talk standards to ensure that it works across networks. In February 2004, Motorola announced its PoC Device Interoperability Program, extending its commitment to make its interface specifications available to licensees, and will continue to introduce a wide choice of PoC handsets to the market, benefiting both consumers and operators.

We don’t have an exact release date for the handsets, but the PR agency informed us that they are on the “brink” of being released in the UK.


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