|fastchat(tm) European Availability Announced|
Posted: 12-Apr-2003 [Source: fastmobile]
[fastmobile announces availability of its push-to-talk service, fastchat(tm), in Europe.]
US based Fastmobile announced availability of their push-to-talk service, fastchat(tm), in Europe this past week. This is the first P2T service launched anywhere outside of the US.
fastchat(tm) effectively turns a phone into a walkie-talkie sending 'voice texts' to and from other fastchat users individually or between a group. To talk to friends, a user simply selects the friend or group of friends, presses and holds the talk-button, and talks. Releasing the talk-button ends that particular message. If the recipient is not immediately available the message is stored in the system and delivered later rather like a voice text. This represents a significant improvement over SMS by bypassing the slow and clumsy process of entering text via phone keypad.
fastchat uses the phone's native voice capturing and playback mechanisms. Users don't have to purchase any additional hardware, clip-on extensions, or the like. The speech is sent over the data channel so no special hardware or infrastructure has to be added to the operator's network. fastchat works in all countries that have GPRS-enabled networks. Significantly for operators, fastchat is easy to install and complies with all existing and planned standards.
Fastmobile's managing director, James Tagg, reports estimates suggesting the P2T market could be worth 150 million euros in Europe over the next year.
fastchat will be available to consumers and business users from April 7th, initially via the web at www.fastchat.com, for Nokia 7650 and 3650 handsets with the Sony Ericsson P800 following soon. fastmobile plans full support for all GPRS-enabled Smartphones and mass-market Java phones.
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