AT&T Lures Sprint Subs With PTT iPhone App

AT&T has earned another bragging right in its push-to-talk (PTT) battle with Sprint: It became the first carrier to offer 4G PTT capabilities on the iPhone Monday. Via a new enhanced PTT app available to the iPhone 5 and 4S, AT&T is bringing business customers the walkie talkie-like service over its LTE network or Wi-Fi. The app will integrate with other business apps and includes a contact list of up to 1,000 names and the ability to group-call up to 250 people at once. Why this matters
PTT has long been a mainstay of field workers across a number of industries, and Sprint Nextel Corp. was the champion of the service over its Nextel iDEN network. Sprint, however, is slated to finish shutting down the Nextel network by the end of this month. While it's been working hard to migrate its customers to its CDMA Direct Connect service with enhanced P2T services, AT&T has been busy poaching them away. Having support for the iPhone -- which no other operator currently offers -- will help it continue to do so. The battle for PTT subs, typically content on 2G networks, is quickly becoming a 4G game. Like Sprint, AT&T is also planning to shut down its 2G network, a position that Mobeen Khan, AT&T's executive director of advanced mobility solutions, said in a CTIA interview that every carrier will face sooner or later. "All carriers feel the pinch of spectrum and need to transition to next-generation technology," Khan said. "It is inevitable." For more — Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading

Sarah Thomas 6/11/2013 | 6:44:35 PM
re: AT&T Lures Sprint Subs With PTT iPhone App To clarify, Sprint is not shutting down its 2G CDMA network, just iDEN. Khan and I were discussing M2M at CTIA when he mentioned the inevitability of 2G network shut downs. It's a big difference between AT&T and Sprint's strategy -- Sprint is gaining those customers that want to stick with 2G for cost savings, while AT&T is encouraging them to upgrade to 3G or 4G.

BTW -- Khan says that all will eventually shutter 2G. Raco Wireless CEO John Horn's response to that was "psh" (more or less) -- that will be years from now for some, and they will likely shut down 3G at that time as well, so there isn't a point in moving to 4G today just because you're worried about an eventual 2G shutdown.
Sarah Thomas 6/10/2013 | 4:02:31 PM
re: AT&T Lures Sprint Subs With PTT iPhone App It's interesting to see such a basic tech, typically on lower-end rugged handsets, evolving to include so many new features and devices. AT&T's free app will likely appeal to a lot of enterprises, and the addition of Wi-Fi calling is a big deal for a service the relies on instantaneous communications, often in remote areas.
Sign In