Light Reading

PTT: The New SMS?

Light Reading
LR Mobile News Analysis
Light Reading
7/25/2003
50%
50%
Repost This

Motorola Inc.'s (NYSE: MOT) efforts to market Push To Talk (PTT) services outside of the U.S. has raised debate over the technology's potential to eclipse SMS as the future messaging tool of choice in Europe and beyond (see Motorola Tries PTT in Jordan).

PTT allows people to use their phones as a walkie-talkie, merely pushing a button to talk to another user or group of users. The technology is arguably the voice equivalent of SMS, the text messaging technology that enables users to send or receive notes of up to 160 characters in length on their phone.

PTT has already experienced significant success in the U.S., with Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL) claiming to generate around 20 percent of its revenue from the technology. AT&T Wireless Services Inc. (NYSE: AWE), Sprint PCS (NYSE: PCS)), Verizon Wireless and others are also working on delivering similar voice-over-IP based services (see Verizon Mum on Push-to-Talk).

With the U.S. market established, network vendors and industry startups are now targeting European carriers with PTT offerings in an attempt to encourage a consumer messaging boom similar to the unexpected success of SMS (see Big Three Talk PTT and Radiolinja Trials Push-to-Talk).

According to Forrester Research Inc., 156 million SMS messages are sent in Europe every month, generating revenues of €19.6 billion ($23 billion).

"The mobile world has been racking its brains to find something that will succeed on the scale of SMS," comments James Tagg, managing director of push-to-talk startup FastMobile Inc.. "[PTT] will take off like SMS did. Our estimates suggest that push-to-talk could be worth €150 million ($173 million) in Europe over the next year, becoming a multi-billion-euro market in a few years." [Ed. note: Well, he would say that, wouldn't he?]

Despite Tagg’s drum-banging, European carriers remain skeptical about the long-term benefits of investing in the technology. Few regional trials have been announced, and local analysts seem reluctant to take the service too seriously.

"There isn’t much evidence of PTT’s success in Europe at the moment," says Ovum Ltd.'s principal analyst, Jeremy Green. "It is more of a toy and an interesting niche people will fool around with, rather than the next SMS. It won't be a big earner like text messaging. I don’t believe it is a very big opportunity."

U.S. analysts beg to differ, arguing that it is only a matter of time before PTT becomes a hit with European users. "I find it strange that we haven’t seen that much interest in Europe, as it is a very attractive product," says Ken Hyers, senior analyst at In-Stat/MDR. "Clearly, the strengths of the technology will have to be explained to customers, but people aren’t stupid. They quickly realized that SMS is a useful technology, and I don’t see any reason why they wouldn’t see the advantages of PTT as well."

Hyers adds that the walkie-talkie-style service will appeal to the same segments of the population that SMS initially attracted. "There's certainly no way corporate executives and vice presidents will be using it, but there is a similarity in user demand between the two technologies."

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Ingo.Boltz
50%
50%
Ingo.Boltz,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:42:53 PM
re: PTT: The New SMS?
What PTT proponents fail to see is that one of the main attractions of SMS is non-intrusiveness. I can choose when to read, and when to reply to an SMS. A whole culture of youth communication, including SMS flirting, is based on that fact. PTT is just as intrusive as a regular phone call, and does not offer any communication comfort zone. It is therefore completely different from SMS. I believe it will remain a niche product.
lrmobile_castro
50%
50%
lrmobile_castro,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:42:41 PM
re: PTT: The New SMS?
I have never entirely understood the PTT thing but people love it here in the states, especially on the corporate level. Nextel has done quite well with it as well. I wouldn't discount it. PTT is not necessarily targeted to the teen users and its value is simplicity not lack of instrusion. There seems to be value in that. It also seems to attract a more mature and coporate audience.
iaw1965
50%
50%
iaw1965,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:42:30 PM
re: PTT: The New SMS?
I think that what you have to remember is that in Europe we have a different business model for Mobile services which limits one of the compelling reasons to buy PTT services.

We don't pay to recieve calls here in Europe and so price plans are for calls made only. This reduces the cost of ownership, for major corporations we also have a VPN solution that if you are big enough the handsets are treated as PBX extensions.

If you look at this technology behind PTT we have had it here in the UK for longer than we have had mobile phones, it is called TETRA Radio. Dolphin have been strugling to get customers ever since they consolidated the networks here in the UK.

With 18 years experience in wireless I have to say that PTT is more likely to be a rabbit than it is to be Orange!
GregCSG
50%
50%
GregCSG,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/4/2012 | 11:42:28 PM
re: PTT: The New SMS?
PTT, at least as implemented by Nextel, has some additional features that are very useful to certain customers. Pre-defined talk groups can be set up and messages can be sent to all in that group (group mailing list). It's an all together different type of service that people seem to love or hate.
Flash Poll
LRTV Documentaries
Cable Eyes Big Technology Shifts

4|16|14   |   03:02   |   (4) comments


US cable engineers are facing a lot of heavy lifting in the coming years, notes Light Reading Cable/Video Practice Leader Alan Breznick.
LRTV Custom TV
Maximizing Customer Experience & Assuring Service Delivery in an IP World

4|15|14   |   4:57   |   (0) comments


Steven Shalita, VP of Marketing, NetScout Systems, Inc., discusses the challenges cable/MSO operators face in assuring the delivery of new IP-based services. Key points include the value of proactively managing performance, and using rich analytics and operational intelligence to better understand service and usage trends, make smarter business decisions and ...
LRTV Documentaries
Bye-Bye DVD: Consumers Embrace Digital Video

4|10|14   |   04:17   |   (7) comments


Veteran video analyst Colin Dixon, founder and principal analyst of nScreenMedia, says research shows 56% are using digital video already.
LRTV Documentaries
Video: TW Cable Puts Multicast Gateways to the Test

4|8|14   |   04:13   |   (1) comment


Tom Gonder, a chief architect at Time Warner Cable, explains how its trial of multicast gateways is impacting IP-based video plans.
LRTV Custom TV
Managing & Monetizing Big Data in Operator Environments

4|7|14   |     |   (1) comment


At Mobile World Congress, Gigamon's Director of Service Provider Solutions, Andy Huckridge, and Heavy Reading Analyst Sarah Wallace discuss the 'big data' issues facing carriers and operators today.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Data Center Energy – Build Your Data Center in a Modular Way

4|7|14   |   2:13   |   (0) comments


Dr. Fang Liangzhou, VP Network Energy Product Line, shared his thoughts about the challenges for data centers during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Agile Network Solution – An Overview of Huawei's Agile Network Solution

4|7|14   |   2:31   |   (0) comments


Ajay Gupta, Director of Product Marketing, Networking Product Line, gives an overview of the Agile Network Solutions during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s eLTE Voice Trunking, Video and Data Applied for Railways

4|7|14   |   1:38   |   (0) comments


Gottfried Winter is the Sales Director at Funkwerk, a German specialist in GSM-r terminals and a long-time partner of Huawei. At CeBIT 2014, Winter talks to Light Reading about this partnership and the integration of enhanced voice trunking, video and data functions.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
LeaseWeb Speaks Highly of Huawei's Datacenter Products

4|7|14   |   1:37   |   (0) comments


Rene Olde Olthof, Operations Director LeaseWeb, talks about the next data center transformation during CeBIT 2014.
LRTV Documentaries
Comcast: Reshaping the Cable Network Architecture

4|3|14   |   07:11   |   (8) comments


Shamim Akhtar, Comcast's architect and senior director of network strategy, explains why the cable company is moving to a more distributed network architecture.
LRTV Custom TV
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger at Mobile World Congress

4|1|14   |   3:41   |   (0) comments


VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger speaks to Heavy Reading about the value of virtualization spanning from the data center to service provider networks to mobile devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Analysts' Impressions of Huawei SoftCOM at ONS 2014

4|1|14   |   1:11   |   (0) comments


After visiting the Huawei booth at ONS, Lee Doyle of Doyle Research gives his appraisal of Huawei's SoftCOM solution.
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Invests in Healthcare IT Startup
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/15/2014
Volvo: AT&T HSPA+ Can Drive My Car
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/16/2014
T-Mobile Petitions Operators to Kill Overages
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Cisco & VMware Are Apple & Google of SDN
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 4/14/2014
Mobile Apps Susceptible to Heartbleed, Too
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 4/14/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed