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Orange Launches Talk Now(tm) service
Posted: 02-Sep-2004 [Source: Orange]

[Orange announces Europe's first advanced PTT service, Talk Now.]

Over the last nine months, Orange has engaged in customer trials across Europe to develop and refine the commercial Talk Now(tm) service, giving customers a new instant way of communicating alongside their existing voice and messaging services. It enables easy-to-access instant one-to-one and group calling with the added benefit of a real-time availability icon, so customers can see who is available to talk, and who is not. Customers can also create "team lists" that can be used to facilitate instant conference calling with up to 10 participants at any one time. Talk Now can also be switched to silent mode to ensure that people in the vicinity are not disturbed. It is available today from Orange Business Solutions in the UK, and will be available later in the year for UK small business and personal customers.

Orange UK will initially be offering a promotional Talk Now tariff, allowing corporate customers to make group calls for the price of a standard voice call. Following this, Talk Now customers will have the option of choosing either a bundle or a pay-as-you-consume tariff. Full commercial tariff details will be available once the promotional period has ended.

As well as the UK, Talk Now is due to be launched this year by Orange in France, then in Switzerland, the Caribbean, Romania, Slovakia, The Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Belgium (Mobistar) and Jordan (Mobilecom) during the following months.

Orange named Alcatel, LG, Nokia, PalmOne and Sagem, as the first manufacturers in its Talk Now pan-European handset catalogue. The service will have a common user interface regardless of the handset. In the UK, the service will initially be available on the Treo 600.

Orange France also conducted trials with over 300 consumers aged 34 years and under. The triallists were selected in community groups to demonstrate the benefit of the service as an instant group communication tool. Two-thirds of the triallists said they were either satisfied or very satisfied with the service, with 58% declaring that they would change their handset in order to use the Talk Now service. Three-quarters of them said they would use the service for "fun," with 67% citing Talk Now as a "practical" tool.

Specific details about the Talk Now offer in France and other Orange markets will be available on launch in each country.

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