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Sprint Expanding Push-To-Talk Customer Base

Overland Park, Kan. – Sprint is broadening its Direct Connect push-to-talk (PTT) service to expand the potential PTT customer base beyond construction workers, manufacturers, emergency responders, and others who use ruggedized, military-spec PTT handsets.

The carrier launched an Android app that brings PTT capability to the Kyocera Rise smartphone and soon to other CDMA smartphones, including the LG Optimus Elite.

The app, called Sprint Direct Connect Now, uses Qualcomm technology and “effectively extends Sprint’s growing push-to-talk franchise – with more than 1 million Sprint Direct Connect customers – to a new market of users who want push-to-talk but may not want the Direct Connect ‘button’ that comes with it,” the carrier said.

Earlier this year at CTIA’s Wireless 2012, Sprint said it planned to offer the app, which it said at the time would perform similarly to ruggedized Sprint CDMA phones with dedicated PTT button.

The current ruggedized PTT handsets are the DuraCore, DuraPlus and DuraXT from Kyocera and the Android-based Motorola Admiral.

Sprint also offers PTT service on iDEN-network phones, but the carrier is phasing out the 2G iDEN network.

At the CTIA show, the company said it expected the app-based PTT service to be fully interoperable with its existing CDMA- and iDEN-based PTT phones.