Nextel To Up U.S. Push-To-Talk Range

As has been talked about pretty extensively previously, Nextel is finally going to start experimenting with their nationwide “push-to-talk” service. In what sounds like something of a joke, they’re just rolling out the “nationwide” service in three cities. How is it nationwide if it’s in three cities? Either way, they’ll be very quickly rolling it out in many more cities, and plan to have it rolled out everywhere they have coverage by August. The timing on this is somewhat important as, for the first time, they’re about to face some sort of competition from other carriers on this feature. If you haven’t followed this issue, push-to-talk is basically the “walkie-talkie” feature that Nextel has been advertising heavily – and which they’ve offered for many years. Until now, you could only use it with others in your local calling range. Other carriers used to laugh at puny little Nextel’s extra feature until someone woke up and realized that Nextel was raking in a lot more money per user – mostly due to push-to-talk. Now, they’re all scrambling to offer similar features – though, there are still plenty of questions as to how well they’ll be able to do so. Early tests of other push-to-talk technologies say the latency issues are going to hold it back for a while (though, the carriers all seem to think it won’t be a problem).

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