Feeds

Orange punts mobile walkie talkie service

Talk Now

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH
Congratulations, world media, for rediscovering submarine cable armour
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
BYOD's dark side: Data protection
An endpoint data protection solution that adds value to the user and the organization so it can protect itself from data loss as well as leverage corporate data.
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.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?