Qualcomm Pursues 4G Push-To-Talk

Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM) is working toward offering push-to-talk (PTT) capabilities over 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) but expects it to be several years before the walkie-talkie style functionality becomes commercially available.

PTT is a technology that allows users to push a button on their phone and instantly chat with another person or group on the same operator's network. It is a popular feature on the old Nextel iDen network, and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is now starting to deploy the technology across its 3G CDMA network using Qualcomm's QChat software. (See Sprint Network Vision and 4G LTE Plans Should Integrate with Clearwire .) Ed Knapp, Qualcomm SVP of business development and engineering, told Light Reading Mobile last week that the chipset designer is also working on PTT for 4G and hopes to get those features incorporated in Release 12 of the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) LTE standard. This likely means that push-to-talk might be commercially available in LTE handsets by 2015 or 2016.

Operators today are mostly working off LTE release 9, which was frozen at the end of 2009. Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) is expected to be one of the first operators to incorporate some of the LTE Advanced features in 2013.

Commercial handset launches aren't the only area, however, that Qualcomm believes will be interested in 4G PTT. "Emergency workers," are eager to get the walkie-talkie style communications on a new network, according to Knapp.

— Dan Jones, Site Editor, Light Reading Mobile

joset01 12/5/2012 | 4:49:05 PM
re: Qualcomm Pursues 4G Push-To-Talk

Of course, emergency workers would need an LTE public safety network in place before they can use any features like PTT.

krishanguru143 12/5/2012 | 4:49:04 PM
re: Qualcomm Pursues 4G Push-To-Talk

PTT was a big selling point with Nextel, but those days are gone.  PTT was added to the CDMA stsrems that Sprint and Verizon Wireless both ran and it just never took off.  For the most part, public interest is just not there.


As With ANYTHING that Qualcomm does; they hold the license/patents and want everyone to pay for it.  They have done this time and time again.  Notice how you need to use QChat for it to work on the Sprint network?  I'm sure the GSMA sees right through Qualcomm and knows their true motives.


What Has Qualcomm done for W-CDMA or LTE?  They had their onw 2.5G solution and didn't do a thing for W-CDMA; that was all Japan.  That was used as a base for 3G, which Qualcomm had their own offereing so they did nothing on it.  Qualcomm had their own 4G plans and it wasn't LTE.


Even the Qualcomm Snapdragon they made changes too; so to fully use it, the programmers need to code for it.


Qualcomm and standards do not go hand in hand.

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