Verizon Mum on Push-to-Talk
The chatter on Internet discussion forums is that the carrier is expected to launch phones capable of supporting the walkie-talkie-like service from Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) soon. Indeed, the Nextel-1 group (free subscription required) has found what appears to be an online demo of a Verizon PTT version of the Motorola v60.
However, Verizon Wireless is determined to stay silent on the matter of PTT. "The only thing we have to say about push-to-talk is that we're going to launch this year," company spokeswoman Brenda Raney told Unstrung. "I'm not going to talk about phones, services, or anything of that nature."
If Verizon did launch its PTT service next month it would likely be the first major carrier in the U.S. outside of Nextel Communications Inc. (Nasdaq: NXTL) to offer the service to its customers. The success of Nextel's Direct Connect PTT service is what has encouraged other major carriers in the U.S. to scramble to offer the service (see Nextel's Nationwide Walkie-Talkie).
Carriers have experienced some technical problems in rolling out initial PTT services on packet-based 2.5G networks (see Walking, Not Running, to PTT and Ericsson: Pain-to-Talk?). However, most analysts expect to see some limited PTT rollouts this year from the likes of AT&T Wireless Services Inc. (NYSE: AWE), Sprint PCS (NYSE: PCS), and Verizon, with larger implementations expected in 2004.
— Dan Jones, Senior Editor, Unstrung