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Siemens Entire Product Portfolio to be PoC Ready mid-2004
Posted: 16-Dec-2003 [Source: SIemens-mobile]

[Siemens to be first provider to have its entire product lineup end-to-end push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) ready by mid-2004. PoC employs IP-based IMS switching technology.]

Munich -- The mobile communication group at Siemens AG - Siemens mobile for short - wants to further advance the market for walkie-talkie functionality on mobile phones (PoC: "Push-to-Talk over Cellular") and assume a lead position in this area. By mid-2004, Siemens mobile will be the world's first provider to make its entire product range available for PoC, which is based on the open, cross-vendor specification. And this will be end-to-end: from mobiles to components for the mobile radio infrastructure. Extensive tests are already underway. Mobile operators in the USA, Europe and Asia will be conducting their own trials on Siemens' technology during the first half of next year. The commercial introduction of push-to-talk services by these carriers is scheduled for mid-2004.

PoC offers particularly promising market potential. There is keen consumer interest in walkie-talkie functionality on mobile phones because it allows either one person or a whole group of people to be called at the press of a button. And just like on a walkie-talkie, incoming voice messages are received automatically. The "always on" function of GPRS and the mobile phone's handsfree facility mean that no special effort is required on the part of the recipient. This means it's a simple application that adds an attractive, flexible function to the mobile phone and offers spontaneous, uncomplicated communication especially for groups.

Mobile operators will also benefit from PoC. They can boost the yield from their investments in GSM/GPRS networks and offer their customers an extra service which is easy to use. Because it is based on the existing network, installation in the network is economical, swift to implement, and a natural step toward UMTS. This is because PoC employs IP-based IMS switching technology which is in any event being introduced in the networks with the UMTS third mobile radio generation. The keen interest from operators points up the potential of PoC: more than ten mobile operators across the world will be testing the new service during the first half of next year and are planning its commercial launch in mid-2004. There is a high level of interest in PoC especially in the USA, China, Germany, Italy, and the UK. In the long term the service will work with all customary mobile radio standards which support the IP-based voice services: GSM/GPRS, UMTS, and also W-LAN.

As a market driver of the innovative service, Siemens mobile supports open standards. Together with leading enterprises operating in the mobile sector, it approved a first specification for PoC in September 2003. Having compatible solutions is the only way to develop a mass market and provide customers with seamless communication. Mobile operators will be able to use PoC-enabled mobile phones from Siemens for test purposes already in the first half of 2004. After the test period devices will be available in the shops for end customers to buy. Virtually all new middle class models of Siemens mobiles will be equipped with this service in 2005.

Lothar Pauly, member of the board of Siemens mobile and responsible for operative business, said: "PoC is a topic of global interest that will be a big hit in 2004. We're putting great effort into driving the market, backed by our wealth of expertise: from mobile phones, middleware, and applications right up to the infrastructure. We'll be the first equipper to present customers with a complete end-to-end offering in the area of PoC that's already based on the open, cross-vendor specification. We don't want any proprietary solutions."

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