Sprint Nextel announced an agreement to use QUALCOMM's QChat solution to provide high performance push-to-talk services to its customers. Sprint, which currently offers the industry-leading Nextel Walkie-Talkie push-to-talk service to its customers on the Nextel National Network, expects to utilize QChat technology to extend high performance push-to-talk services to customers on the Nationwide Sprint PCS Network, as well as provide interoperable push-to-talk services between users on both networks.
Sprint also announced that it has selected Lucent Technologies to develop software and infrastructure necessary to enable the new services to work throughout Sprint's CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A network. In addition, Lucent Services, one of the largest network integrators, is providing program management, end-to-end multi-vendor network integration, testing, operational readiness and deployment services to implement QChat.
Developed by QUALCOMM, QChat is a next-generation push-to-talk solution designed to deliver advanced walkie-talkie services optimized for CDMA2000 1xEV-DO Revision A wireless networks, as well as interoperability with the Nextel National Network. Featuring a call set-up latency of less than one second between handsets, QChat is expected to offer exceptional call set-up performance and bandwidth savings in comparison to other walkie-talkie approaches.
"Sprint is committed to providing innovative tools that empower our customers to do what they want, when they want," said Iyad Tarazi, vice president of network development for Sprint. "The work we are doing with QUALCOMM and Lucent represents a milestone in our strategy of offering all our customers a high performance push-to-talk service that they can set-up and connect in under a second no matter which of our networks they are on."
Sprint expects to begin offering high performance push-to-talk services using QChat in early 2008. Sprint, Lucent and QUALCOMM recently completed successful trials using pre-production handsets, commercial-grade lab systems and EV-DO Revision A field sites.
"This announcement is a result of a series of development and related licensing agreements between QUALCOMM and Sprint and we are extremely pleased to provide their customers with the QChat solution, which offers rapid connectivity with low latency and delivers a highly efficient solution for operators," said Michael Wallace, vice president and general manager of QChat for QUALCOMM Internet Services. "Not only is QChat optimized for EV-DO Rev. A networks, but it also supports other quick connect mobile data applications."
Commercial availability of the high performance push-to-talk service will follow Sprint's upgrade of its Power Vision Network to the faster EV-DO Revision A technology being rolled out later this year. In addition to enabling high-performance push-to-talk services, the upgraded mobile broadband network will enable richer applications and services such as high-speed video telephony, music on demand, video messaging and large file uploads. The Power Vision NetworkSM is the nation's largest mobile broadband network and is expected to be completely upgraded by 3Q 2007.
"As the world's leading CDMA2000 network infrastructure supplier, we're excited to team up with Sprint and QUALCOMM to deliver push-to-talk services to Sprint customers nationwide," said Chuck Naylor, vice president of sales for Lucent. "Working together, we've been able to optimize our CDMA2000 network infrastructure to support QUALCOMM's QChat solution and further the development of Sprint's high-performance mobile broadband network."