Kyocera Wireless Corp., a leading global CDMA wireless handset manufacturer, announced the introduction of its first handset to include one-touch, walkie-talkie functionality in its feature set. The Kyocera 3250 will be the first and only push-to-talk handset offered by wireless provider ALLTEL when its Touch2Talk(tm) service is introduced on January 22.
Kyocera Wireless Corp. is focused on becoming a world leader in CDMA handsets supporting push-to-talk services. The Kyocera 3250 has been optimized to support Kodiak's Real-Time Exchange(tm) platform, the technology powering the new ALLTEL service. Along with Kodiak's technology, which delivers the short-burst conversations over voice channels, Kyocera has also announced it will support voice-over-internet-protocol (VoIP) platforms such as Togabi Technology's PacketCHAT(tm) and Qualcomm's BREWChat(tm). Additional handsets from Kyocera, supporting multiple push-to-talk technology platforms, will reach domestic and foreign markets in the first half of 2004. These include a variation of Kyocera's KE/KX400 Series, which includes the highly popular Phantom, Blade and Rave models.
"CDMA providers throughout the world are enhancing their networks to meet the growing demand for push-to-talk services and we're pleased that a number of them, like ALLTEL, will launch their service using Kyocera handsets," said Tsuyoshi Mano, president of Kyocera Wireless Corp. "Recognizing that there are numerous technology options for carriers, we've engineered our handsets to support the industry's broadest range of technology platforms while providing end-users with the feature-rich, easy-to-use functionality they've come to expect from Kyocera phones."
Wireless industry watchers predict the demand for push-to-talk services, previously offered only by a single U.S. carrier, will experience huge growth over the next few years. In 2003, the number of people using the services grew to an estimated 2.3 million, with total users to reach 340 million worldwide by 2008, according to MobilInfo.
"We certainly see push-to-talk as one of the key technologies driving the evolution of CDMA services globally in 2004," said Kevin Burden, program manager for analyst firm IDC's Mobile Devices services. "Successful handset manufacturers will be those who can balance the diverse feature and price demands of consumers with the broad range of technology and platform requirements of the carriers. Kyocera appears to share this vision."
The Kyocera 3250 handset, currently offered exclusively by ALLTEL in the U.S., borrows its form factor from the durable Kyocera 3245 handset, adding a dedicated button to deliver push-to-talk functionality. The tri-mode, CDMA handset features a large seven-line color display and is BREW-enabled for downloadable applications, ring tones and productivity tools. Other features include speakerphone, voice dialing, two-way text messaging, GPS locator and multiple language settings.
"The tri-mode Kyocera 3250 is a great fit for our diverse customer base and the ideal phone to help ALLTEL launch our Touch2Talk service," said Kevin Beebe, ALLTEL group president of communications. "The phone has a lot of appeal to business users and consumers alike because it delivers a full range of great features in a way that's easy to understand and easy to use."