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Telecom Unveils Push 2 Talk


Mon, 21 Feb 2005

Telecom Unveils Push 2 Talk

Telecom has launched Push 2 Talk – a walkie-talkie style T3G mobile service that enables subscribers using a Telecom Push 2 Talk mobile phone to quickly talk with up to five other Telecom Push 2 Talk users at the same time.

Telecom has already sold about 25,000 Push 2 Talk mobile phones since mid December.

This means the same message can be communicated immediately to a group of people at the same time, increasing efficiency while reducing the potential for miscommunication and the time spent relaying information.

Telecom Mobile General Manager Kevin Kenrick said he expected Push 2 Talk to catch on quickly with customers.

“The service is ideal for simple requests. Instead of calling a colleague to ask where something is, or spending time text messaging them, you can ask them, then and there.

“It’s changing the way we think about telecommunications. It’s the mid-point between a phone call or email for an extended discussion, and a quick text message for a chat,” Mr Kenrick said.

Customers using Push 2 Talk can set up a number of calling groups on their phone. To Push 2 Talk, they simply push a button on the side of their phone and select the group they want to speak with. The group members then take turns to speak by holding down the button, like a walkie-talkie. Instead of dialling a new connection each time the customer wants to speak to a new person, the service operates as an “always-on” link, unless a member has chosen to turn it off.

“Push 2 Talk is the mobile phone version of popular PC-based instant messaging services. It means you can talk to several members of your team at once, without having to place separate calls to each,” Mr Kenrick said.

Customers will be able to use Push 2 Talk with other Telecom Push 2 Talk subscribers and it can be used anywhere within Telecom’s 027 network coverage, which currently covers around 97% of the places where New Zealanders live, work and play.

The launch follows a trialling period with a range of New Zealand businesses, including Chubb New Zealand, Mainfreight, Carter Holt Harvey and the New Zealand Fire Service. Industries such as construction, service trades and transport, where efficiently coordinating a widely spread workforce is important, look set to receive significant benefits from Push 2 Talk.

The launch of Push 2 Talk is the latest T3G mobile service, following last November’s launch of the super fast Mobile Broadband mobile data network and December’s launch of video messaging.

There are two Telecom Push 2 Talk phones currently available – the Sanyo 4920 and the Sanyo 7400. The 4920 sells for $199 on a plan while the 7400 is priced at $599 on a plan. More phones are scheduled to be released later this year.

Customers signing up for Push 2 Talk before the end of 2005 will get to try the service for free for the first two months, and will then pay a monthly flat fee of $10 for up to 300 minutes usage per month, guaranteed through all of 2005. Telecom will be introducing charges for Push 2 Talk usage over 300 minutes per month but before doing so will give its customers one month’s notice of what those charges will be and how they will apply.

ENDS


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