Sprint Direct Connect service, a part of its Network Vision blueprint that shifts its push-to-talk service from iDEN to CDMA, will launch during the fourth quarter.
introduced Direct Connect, the planned next-generation of its push-to-talk
services, powered by its broadband Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) network.
Direct Connect will launch during the fourth quarter, Sprint said in a March 16
announcement, and offer three times the square-mile reach of its current PTT
will launch with an initial portfolio of rugged devices from Motorola and
Kyocera, including an ultra-rugged camera flip phone and an Android-running
smartphone with a touch-screen and QWERTY keypad. In addition to the capabilities
of Sprint's current PTT phones, the new devices will feature next-generation
PTT applications, high-speed data access, high-resolution cameras and
transition to CDMA is complete, Sprint plans to phase out its iDEN network,
which it acquired during its 2004 purchase of Nextel.
seen steadily increasing demand for faster data speeds, better and broader
coverage, and more applications on push-to-talk devices," Paget Alves,
president of Sprint Business, said in a statement. "Sprint Direct Connect
is designed to solve for all three, and is expected to come with sub-second
push-to-talk call setup time initially in Sprint CDMA RevA coverage areas.
Sub-second call setup is expected to expand across the U.S. with the
implementation of Network Vision."
Vision is the long-term blueprint
for overhauling the Sprint network, which
the carrier shared in December 2010.
Vision is expected to consolidate multiple network technologies into one
seamless network, resulting in enhanced coverage, quality and speed; better
network flexibility; reduced operating costs; and improved environmental
sustainability," Sprint explained in the statement. "The plan
includes a complete upgrade of Sprint's current wireless networks accompanied
by changes in device chipsets and network infrastructure."
benefits are expected to include an increase in Sprint's PTT coverage area of
nearly 2.7 million square miles, increasing the population serviced from 278
million people to 309 million. In-building coverage is also expected to
improve, as are voice and data capacity, as Sprint leverages its 800MHz, 1.9
GHz and 2.5GHz spectrum holdings. (The latter, Sprint added, comes, thanks to
its partnership with 4G WiMax provider Clearwire; it's over the 2.5GHz spectrum
that Clearwire provides 4G services to Sprint and Clear devices.) Additionally,
all of Sprint's PTT devices are expected to be interoperable.
the new push-to-talk service powered by a broadband network and featuring
competitively priced rugged handsets and smartphones will represent an
unmatched offering in the market," said Alves.
network, applications are still a make-or-break feature, and Sprint plans to
involve developers in the creation of new PTT applications through its Sprint
Gets Rugged developer program. It'll also engage partners about developing a
PTT accessories portfolio, and reach out to customers who require custom PTT
solutions to help with their migration to the CDMA network.
Sprint said, it plans to expand its device portfolio further with new features
and form factors, including devices that support PTT conversations for up to
200 participants and international PTT calls.