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Moto aims Push To Talk at Symbian handsets

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It's two years since the mobile industry's giants agreed to agree on a common Push To Talk specification through the OMA. Now Motorola, which popularized the walkie talkie features on its iDEN network, wants to jump-start the process.

Motorola is offering its carriers push to talk client software for Symbian smartphones for no fee. The software can be customized and delivered over the air. It's also a stealth release for Motorola's Push To View (PTV) spec. This allows users to share a photo or video clip with a contact in the address book.

PTT services are now beginning to trickle out in the smaller GSM markets, which suggests that the carriers are still experimenting with tariffs. It's so much quicker and easier to press a button and say "I'm on my way" than it is to type it out on a phone keypad, and carriers who today earn significant revenues from SMS traffic are anxious about seeing this disappear.

Australia is the most-watched of these markets. Telstra is offering 1:1 PTT for a cent a second, or 1 to Many (up to six) for 2 cents a second, with a flat rate option at $50 AUS a month. Optus offers the service for 95 cents a day.

So cheap, it ain't. ®

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