Sprint Direct Connect -- that's the name of the new Push-to-Talk service coming from Sprint next week (Oct. 2, to be exact), is bringing a lot of changes to Push-to-Talk as we know it today according to Paget Alves, president-Sprint Business.
“We’ve seen steadily increasing demand for faster data speeds, better and broader coverage, and more applications on push-to-talk devices. Sprint Direct Connect is designed to solve for all three.”
Sprint’s 3G data network will be used now instead for Push-to-Talk services instead of the aging iDEN system and while coverage support for Direct Connect won't be as broad at first, Sprint expects that by 2012 direct connect coverage will be almost three times the square miles covered by iDEN.
When it comes to compatible devices, Sprint has stated three new devices will be released in Q3 that are compatible with the new direct connect service. The Kyocera DuraMax and DuraCore will both be available but Sprint left out the other. We're guessing that's because they've not yet announce the previously outed Motorola Admiral, which should support the services as well. Full press release from Sprint is past the break for you all or you could just "chirp" Sprint for more details.
Sprint’s New Push-to-Talk Service – Sprint Direct Connect – to Launch Next Week
OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), September 27, 2011 - Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced a Sunday, Oct. 2, launch date for Sprint Direct Connect®, ushering in the next generation of push–to-talk service from the company that pioneered push–to-talk. Sprint Direct Connect will come packed with broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, rugged and reliable handsets, and a broadening push-to-talk coverage map expected in early 2012.
“Our customers are asking for broadband and push-to-talk,” said Paget Alves, president-Sprint Business. “We’ve seen steadily increasing demand for faster data speeds, better and broader coverage, and more applications on push-to-talk devices. Sprint Direct Connect is designed to solve for all three.”
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.
Sprint’s upgraded push-to-talk platform, designed with Qualcomm, plays a significant role in enabling Sprint Direct Connect enhancements and expanded coverage footprint capability. “Qualcomm is providing Sprint a carrier-grade, IP-based solution that delivers the advanced push-to-talk experiences customers are demanding today and sets a solid foundation for Sprint Direct Connect to support even more advanced communications in the future,” said Michael Wallace, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Internet Services.
Among the initial Sprint Direct Connect services:
- Direct Connect® – Instant, one-to-one push-to-talk calling nationwide, with any other Direct Connect subscriber. Direct Connect is the core push-to-talk feature and is designed for interoperability across Sprint and Nextel network platforms.
- Guaranteed Talk Permit – The assurance that when you hear the push-to-talk “chirp” that your call was successfully transmitted.
- Call Alert with Text – Send an audio alert with an optional text message to let another Direct Connect subscriber know you are trying to reach them and why.
- Group Connect® – Communicate with up to 20 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers all at once – nationwide, at the push of one button.
- TeamDCSM – Communicate with up to 200 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers at the same time nationwide1.
- NextMail® – Send a recorded message to any email worldwide or mobile handset via text message by using the Direct Connect button.
- Availability Notification – Request the availability status of another push-to-talk member and, if they are busy, request a notification when they are free.
Sprint Direct Connect Coverage
Sprint Direct Connect service will continue to evolve. 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.
Sprint Direct Connect Devices
In the fourth quarter, Sprint will begin to offer three new Sprint Direct Connect devices. The first new handset, Kyocera DuraMax, will be available Oct. 2 for $69.99 with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade and after a $50 mail-in rebate via a reward card2. It will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including Web sales (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-Sprint1).
Kyocera DuraMax is the workhorse of the new Sprint Direct Connect portfolio. It has a rugged exterior and non-slip Dura-Grip® surface, a 2.0-inch QVGA TFT main display, 3.2 MP camera with flash and camcorder, and is designed to meet Military Standard 810G for dust, shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, blowing rain and water immersion (up to 30 minutes in one meter of water).
Kyocera DuraCore, a rugged phone built to meet Military Standard 810G specifications for dust, shock and vibration, to withstand tough environments is expected to launch by year-end and a Sprint Direct Connect Android device by Motorola is lined up and expected for fourth quarter.
Sprint Direct Connect marks an important step in the evolution of Network Vision, Sprint’s blueprint to deploy a single, cost-effective and innovative broadband wireless network. Sprint’s Network Vision upgrade will result in enhanced coverage; quality and speed; better network flexibility; reduced operating costs; and improved environmental sustainability. During the Network Vision implementation, Sprint plans to support the iDEN network into 2013 and to assist customers with their migration to the new feature-rich Sprint Direct Connect devices.
About Sprint Nextel
Sprint Nextel offers a comprehensive range of wireless and wireline communications services bringing the freedom of mobility to consumers, businesses and government users. Sprint Nextel served more than 52 million customers at the end of 2Q 2011 and is widely recognized for developing, engineering and deploying innovative technologies, including the first wireless 4G service from a national carrier in the United States; offering industry-leading mobile data services, leading prepaid brands including Virgin Mobile USA, Boost Mobile, and Assurance Wireless; instant national and international push-to-talk capabilities; and a global Tier 1 Internet backbone. Newsweek ranked Sprint No. 6 in its 2010 Green Rankings, listing it as one of the nation’s greenest companies, the highest of any telecommunications company. You can learn more and visit Sprint at www.sprint.com or www.facebook.com/sprint and www.twitter.com/sprint.
"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
* This news release includes “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the securities laws. The statements in this news release regarding network performance, coverage and capabilities, business and network efficiencies, migration of services new technologies, timing of deployment, and products and services, as well as other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements. The words “estimate,” “project,” “forecast,” intend,” “expect,” “believe,” “target,” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are estimates and projections reflecting management’s judgment based on currently available information and involve a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. With respect to these forward-looking statements, management has made assumptions regarding, among other things, development and deployment of new technologies; efficiencies and cost savings of multimode technologies; customer and network usage; customer growth and retention; service, coverage and quality; availability of devices; the timing of various events and the economic environment. Sprint Nextel believes these forward-looking statements are reasonable; however, you should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which are based on current expectations and speak only as of the date of this release. Sprint Nextel is not obligated to publicly release any revisions to forward-looking statements to reflect events after the date of this release. Sprint Nextel provides a detailed discussion of risk factors in periodic SEC filings, including its annual report on Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2010, in Part I, Item 1A, “Risk Factors,” and in Part II, Item 1A “Risk Factors,” of its quarterly report on Form 10-Q for the period ended June 30, 2011.
1 ‘This feature may require Network review or use of eFemtocel’.
2 The American Express Prepaid Reward Card (“Card”) provided in connection with this Rebate offer is a prepaid Card that is usable at U.S. merchants that accept American Express Card. Some limitations apply. The Card is not redeemable for cash (except where required by law) and does not provide ATM access. Use of Card constitutes acknowledgement that it is given as a reward and no consideration, value, or money has been paid by the holder to American Express in exchange for this Card. USE OF CARD IS SUBJECT TO THE CARDHOLDER AGREEMENT. SUBJECT TO APPLICABLE LAW, A $3 MONTHLY FEE WILL BE ASSESED AGAINST CARD BALANCE, STARTING SIX MONTHS AFTER CARD ISSUANCE, UNLESS FUNDS ARE EARLIER DEPLETED. For BALANCE, customer service and Cardholder Agreement, visit americanexpress.com/sprint or call 866-608-3756. Card issued by American Express Prepaid Card Management Corporation