Cingular introduces a next generation Push to Talk (PTT) service. The service will operate across the largest Push to Talk coverage area in America, and brings a host of new, unmatched features including:
* Availability - unique icons allow Cingular PTT users to see if other PTT customers are available before making a PTT call.
* Quick Group Calling - allows users to select individuals from their contacts and instantly place a group call. In addition to this impromptu group calling, customers can also pre-establish groups in their contact list (up to 30 groups) and call up to 20 people.
* Convert to Cellular - enables a PTT call to be converted to a regular wireless voice call. Calls with up to 20 participants can be converted effectively creating a mobile conference call.
By integrating walkie-talkie and traditional cellular technology, Cingular provides a refined PTT service that can be used by families, executives or employees at job sites. With one click a PTT user can access their list of individuals and groups and see who is available and who is not. One more click and they are instantly speaking to the person or the whole group (up to 20 people). If a quick PTT call turns into a longer discussion, simply convert the call to cellular. In addition, the service offers:
* Call Waiting - gives customers the option to accept or decline a second incoming call whether currently on a PTT or regular cellular call.
* Contact Alerts - lets customers receive alerts when a contact becomes available.
* Voice Messaging - leave a voice message with one person or a group of people directly in their current cellular voicemail box.
* Call Me Alerts - allows a user to urgently let someone know they need to talk. A user receiving a "Call Me Alert" can instantly place a PTT call back by pressing the dedicated PTT key.
The service also uses a single phone number for both cellular and PTT service, eliminating the need to remember two numbers.
Cingular offers unlimited PTT service features to meet the needs of consumers and businesses. These features offer unlimited minutes, national coverage and no hidden charges for group or national calls. Consumers on a Cingular Nation Plan can add service for $9.99 a month per line. Those on Family Plans can select a $19.99 feature that gives up to five family members on the account unlimited access to the service. Businesses can add a PTT service option to each line of service for $9.99 per month.
Cingular will launch the service with two handsets -the Samsung d357 and the LG F7200. Cingular customers who sign up for the PTT service can opt for the LG F7200 "slider" phone currently being promoted at buy one for $69.99 get the second free or the Samsung d357 currently being promoted at buy one for $99.99 get the second free. In addition to PTT features, the phones offer IM, SMS, MMS, personal organizer, large color screen and access to a variety of wireless data services. Additional phones and devices will be available in the near future.
Cingular Push to Talk, which is powered by the Kodiak Real-Time Exchange(TM) (RTX) System, is currently available over the Cingular ALLOVER(SM) network, which covers more than 270 million people. In addition to providing the broadest coverage of any PTT service, Cingular said it would begin offering International PTT in 2006.