Regional US wireless carrier C Spire Wireless has launched a cloud-based push-to-talk (PTT) service powered by Kodiak Networks and using Ericsson’s IP-based cloud technology.
The IP-based service, offered by subsidiary C Spire Business Solutions, features a new PTT app that enables individuals and organisations to communicate with groups simultaneously over Wi-Fi, 3G and 4G LTE data connections.
C Spire had already launched a PTT service with long time PTT provider Kodiak Networks (which also runs AT&T’s PTT service), but this is an enhanced service offering sub-second call set up, larger contact lists (1,300) and talk groups (130 talk groups) and 250 members group that can be created and administered from a central website. It also has the ability to combine PTT services and mobile applications and comes with tougher security protection thanks to 256-bit encryption.
The new PTT service is targeting businesses, government agencies and service organisations with features that help customers communicate faster, to larger talk groups and across more types of devices than before.
The strategic partnership between C Spire and Ericsson will allow CSBS to offer new PTT services across a suite of new devices, including smartphones, and transition existing customers from its current legacy platform to the new cloud-based platform over the next 12 months.
Ericsson said that with PTT as a cloud service, carriers like C Spire are able to provide advanced services without the need for extensive network infrastructure modifications – offering a future-proof solution that can be continually managed and updated in the cloud.
CSBS will be looking to pick up customers churning from the recently closed Sprint Nextel iDEN PTT network. Nextel (merged with Sprint in 2005) dominated the US PTT market by offering a PTT feature in addition to direct dialled voice based on iDEN technology developed by Motorola. At the time of the merger, Nextel has 20 million subscribers.
Sprint Nextel announced it was decommissioning Nextel’s iDEN network at the end of 2010, as it wanted to reuse the 800MHz spectrum for LTE services. The network was finally closed on 30 June 2013. Sprint continues to offer PTT services via its subsidiary, Sprint Direct Connect, using CDMA and LTE equipment.
‘PTT continues to be very popular across many different industries with its simple, affordable approach,” said Craig Borncamp, director of business sales for C Spire Business Solutions. 'Working with Ericsson to introduce Kodiak Networks IP-based cloud services technology in our network places us at the forefront in helping customers take full advantage of the inherent benefits of this service.’
‘With PTT as a cloud-based service, we can easily integrate applications and help companies like C Spire more effectively manage this service for their customers,’ said Craig Stein, head of Broadband and Media Accounts for Ericsson. ‘Cloud-based PTT services help reduce the amount of time and equipment and network investments for operators.’