Siemens Offers First Push and Talk Phone

Siemens mobile will offer their new CX70 (PaT) Push and Talk phone with global walky-talky reach. The new PaT phone service will offer instant communication for coordinating tasks, spreading information, making appointments or just staying in touch.

This is how Push and Talk works: First, the user selects the people he or she wants to talk to from a list. At the push of a button, all of these previously defined addressees immediately receive an invitation which they can accept or decline. As soon as the participants have confirmed, the initial caller pushes the PaT button and starts the chat, which everyone hears simultaneously. There is no time-consuming call setup, because the “Always On” feature of the GPRS network maintains the connection all along. Any group member can reply immediately by pressing the PaT button. The communication can only go in one direction at a time, however: whoever presses the PaT button first, talks first.

Push and Talk is therefore similar to traditional voice radio, although the new service can do much more. Since it runs over mobile networks, it can be used anywhere, even internationally. And PaT calls can be heard only by the registered members of a group call — a clear benefit in terms of security.

The potential of Push and Talk is huge. As operators roll out the service through all their networks, they are adding a new option which is characterized primarily by speed. According to industry analyst Northstream AB, Push and Talk will increase traffic over mobile networks. The mobile voice chat supplements SMS and eliminates the cumbersome setup of conference calls. This mobile service will soon be able to replace the traditional radio communications of freight forwarders, courier services, taxi companies or building contractors. For private users, Push and Talk has a chance of becoming the latest trend. It is conceivable, for example, that network operators will offer open PaT forums. “Push and Talk” is a new service for the mass market,” according to Lothar Pauly, Member of the Board of Siemens’ mobile communication division. “This service is not only interesting for contractors and field staff, but is also an attractive offer for young people, clubs and associations, i.e. for anyone who wants to maintain contact with lots of people, either privately or professionally.”

In addition to the optional PaT function (depends on the operator), the CX70 has a 3-D Java engine and a large, high-resolution display with 65,536 colors.

Push and Talk has been successful for many years in the U.S., where according to a study by market research company Zelos PaT ranges in second place among desirable mobile phone features, directly after a color display. But Push and Talk will penetrate the whole market only if information can be exchanged easily between the different mobile networks and devices. As the driving force behind group calling via mobile phone, Siemens mobile stresses compatibility for all PaT components on the basis of the IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), which provides the underlying and non-proprietary technology via packet-switched data transmission over GPRS and UMTS networks. All mobile phones from Siemens mobile guarantee access to IMS networks and are equipped with an open industry-standard PaT client to ensure trouble-free communication with phones from other suppliers and most network infrastructures. In addition, IMS is the control layer for future innovative mobile phone services such as video transmission, multimedia messaging systems and virtual reality applications. Lothar Pauly: “With Push and Talk via IMS, our phones come with the future already built-in.”


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