Feeds

Orange punts mobile walkie talkie service

Talk Now

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The Power of One Infographic

Orange today became the first major European operator to launch a walkie talkie-style service on mobile phones.

The service, dubbed Talk Now, is similar to existing US Push-To-Talk services from the likes of Nextel but with refinements designed to make the service more attractive to European customers.

Talk Now will offer group instant voice and messaging communications for subscribers on Orange's GSM networks. Orange believes the speed and simplicity to set up connections between two or more mobiles will be a winner with customers.

US services have been criticised as intrusive but Talk Now offers the ability for users to specify they are not available or to put their handset into silent mode.

This gives members of a group the ability to see who is available in real time.

Talk Now, which will be available internationally across Orange's networks, will be launched in 10 countries this year, starting with the UK and France in Q2. The service is initially being targeted at the mid- to high-tier business market but will be extended to the consumer market over time.

The service will initially be available on the Orange Treo 600, with further handsets announced later in Q2, including a ruggedised device for blue collar workers due out in Q2. Orange is working on porting client software for the service onto Symbian and Microsoft-based smart phones.

Orange hopes to attract one million users to the service within its first year of operation. It says it has designed the service to be interoperable with services from rival operators by basing it on industry standards.

Beyond saying the service will be priced at a premium to regular GSM services, Orange is remaining coy about pricing, which it intends to announce when the service becomes available next quarter. Orange execs say it is experimenting with pricing packages and refining the service with trial customers like IBM and the RAC.

We can report that the service worked as advertised on a set of Orange Treo 600 we played with at the launch with the service working like a form of wireless instant messaging. After setting up a buddy list, users can establish a 'squawk to talk' conversation by pressing and holding down a call button. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network
'Prevent people that are passing by to hook up to your network', pleads plod
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
Apple orders huge MOUNTAIN of 80 MILLION 'Air' iPhone 6s
Bigger, harder trouser bulges foretold for fanbois
Google Nest, ARM, Samsung pull out Thread to strangle ZigBee
But there's a flaw in Google's IP-based IoT system
US freemium mobile network eyes up Europe
FreedomPop touts 'free' calls, texts and data
'Two-speed internet' storm turns FCC.gov into zero-speed website
Deadline for comments on net neutrality shake-up extended to Friday
Oh girl, you jus' didn't: Level 3 slaps Verizon in Netflix throttle blowup
Just hook us up to more 10Gbps ports, backbone biz yells in tit-for-tat spat
Want to beat Verizon's slow Netflix? Get a VPN
Exec finds stream speed climbs when smuggled out
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.