& cplSiteName &

PTT: The New SMS?

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

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        ADD A COMMENT
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.
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Light Readingís Upskill U is a FREE, interactive, online educational resource that delivers must-have education on themes that relate to the overall business transformation taking place in the communications industry.
LIVE NOW!
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
UPCOMING COURSE SCHEDULE
Friday, December 2, 1:00PM EST
The SDN Approach to IP & Optical Integration
Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading
in association with:
From The Founder
Light Reading today starts a new voyage as part of a larger Enterprise.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
Korn Ferry Consultant: How to Find, Cultivate & Be the Best Talent

11|30|16   |   4:10   |   (1) comment


Erin Callaghan, a managing consultant for Korn Ferry Futurestep, shares strategies for companies to improve how they recruit and for women to ensure they don't get lost in the pipeline.
LRTV Custom TV
We Can Make the World More Sustainable

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


GeSI is a global e-Sustainability Initiative organization bringing together 40 big multinational companies around the world. According to GeSI's report, information and communication technology can make the world more sustainable. Luis Neves, chairman of GeSI, shared with us his opinion at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Finding a New Way to Engage Customers & Drive Revenue

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Mobile revenues are declining. Digicel, a player in the Caribbean telecommunications/entertainment space, has found a new way to engage customers and drive revenue. John Quinn, CTO of Digicel, shared with us its story at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016)
LRTV Custom TV
Do You Really Need Gigabit Infrastructure?

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


Altibox is the biggest fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) player and the largest provider of video and TV in Norway. They started out with zero customers in 2002. Now they have close to half a million households and companies attached to their FTTH business. Nils Arne, CEO of Altibox shared with us their story and insight on 5G at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
BTís Openreach Strategy & Its Updates in 2016

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


A lot of developments at Openreach this year in terms of strategy and planned investments. Peter Bell, CIO of Openreach BT, shared with us the updates of Openreach at Ultra-broadband Forum (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
ITU: The Broadband Is Our Future

11|29|16   |     |   (0) comments


At Ultra-broadband Forum, Houlin Zhao, Secretary General of ITU, discussed how important it is for countries, companies and everybody to be working together to help to build the broadband and digital economies (UBBF2016).
LRTV Custom TV
Tackling 5G in Dallas

11|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


Here are our highlights of the 5G North America show in Dallas, Texas with Light Reading's Dan Jones.
LRTV Interviews
Cox Prepping for Virtualization Trials

11|14|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this video interview, Cox's Jeff Finkelstein discusses MSO's plans to test managed business services in early 2017 and tackle Distributed Access Architectures.
LRTV Custom TV
Drivers & Potential of NGP

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


ETSI has created an Industry Specification Group to work on Next Generation Protocols (NGP ISG), looking at evolving communications and networking protocols to provide the scale, security, mobility and ease of deployment required for the connected society of the 21st century. The NGP ISG will identify the requirements for next generation protocols and network ...
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei IP 2020 for Future Networks

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Future Networks should satisfy many requirements such as high throughput, extremely low latency, flexible mobility, intrinsic security, networking automation, and so forth. The Chief Architect of Huawei Future Networks addresses a holistic solution, i.e., IP 2020, to achieve these requirements for various future life scenarios (e.g., autonomous driving, tactile ...
LRTV Custom TV
Digital Object Architecture

11|11|16   |     |   (0) comments


Digital Object Architecture provides a basic information infrastructure that can facilitate interoperability between or among different systems, processes, and other information resources, including different identity management systems. Digital objects are networked objects that are named by digital object identifiers and instantiated by an infrastructure service ...
LRTV Custom TV
BT's Openreach Has High Hopes for Long-Reach VDSL

11|11|16   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


Peter Bell, Network Portfolio CIO at BT's access business Openreach, talks about the operator's trial of a new broadband access technology called Long Reach VDSL.
Upcoming Live Events
December 6-8, 2016, The Westin Excelsior, Rome
May 16-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Hot Topics
AT&T Debuts DirecTV Now on New Video Platform
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 11/28/2016
Apple Seeds 5G? Seeks 'Multi-Gigabit' Chip Designer
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice Plans FTTH for Entire US Footprint
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/30/2016
Altice FTTH Bill Could Hit Almost $9.6B in US
Iain Morris, News Editor, 12/1/2016
Samsung Bows to Investors, Considers Revamp
Iain Morris, News Editor, 11/29/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Join us for an in-depth interview between Steve Saunders of Light Reading and Alexis Black Bjorlin of Intel as they discuss the release of the company's Silicon Photonics platform, its performance, long-term prospects, customer expectations and much more.
Live Digital Audio

Even when there's a strong pipeline of female talent in the comms industry, it tends to leak all the way to the top. McKinsey & Company says women experience pipeline leakage at three primary points: being unable to enter, being stuck in the middle or being locked out of the top. Each pipeline pain point presents its own challenges, but also opportunities to stop the leak. Wireless operator Sprint is making a conscious effort to improve its own pipeline from new recruits to the C-suite, and it wants the rest of the industry to do the same. In this Women in Comms radio show, WiC Board Member and Sprint Vice President of Enterprise Sales Nelly Pitocco will give us her take on the industry's pipeline challenges. Pitocco, who joined Sprint in May and has spent 20 years in the comms industry, will also offer solutions, share how Sprint is tackling the challenge within its own organization and take your questions live on air.