Sprint takes LTE to the next level; to launch PTT network on October 2

Sprint Nextel is all set to launch its upgraded CDMA
push-to-talk (PTT) service, Direct Connect, on October 2, as part of its
Network Vision network modernization plan.

The new Direct Connect service will offer improved
in-building coverage and is expected to triple the square-mile reach of its
current iDEN-based PTT service. Sprint has chosen Qualcomm to deploy the new
solution, which will be an upgrade over the existing QChat technology that
Sprint deployed a few years ago on its CDMA network.

Eventually, Sprint
intends to wean its customer base off the iDEN network onto its CDMA network,
by shutting down the PTT service, and re-farming the remaining 800 MHz spectrum
for LTE.

However, the new PTT offering will cover 2.7 million square
miles and a population of 309 million (with the addition of 1XRTT and roaming
coverage), up from the iDEN network’s 908,370 square miles, which covered a
population 278 million. The new service will be made available on Sprint’s 1900
MHz spectrum, which is a far cry from Sprint’s iDEN network which runs on 800
MHz spectrum.

Sprint was most recently in the news was aiding Google to
roll out the Google wallet
service. Sprint was also set to roll out the largest 4G network in the US,
although AT&T may beat Sprint to it, as it plans to go ahead with its plans
of acquiring T-Mobile to do so.

In 2012, Sprint plans to expand the Direct Connect PTT coverage
area, according to its CDMA voice coverage area. Additionally, international
PTT calling to select countries will also be made available next year.

According to Sprint, the first phone that will be available
with the new PTT
service is the Kyocera DuraMax, which will sell for $69.99 with a two-year
contract. Sprint also plans to launch two more Direct Connect PTT phones in Q4,
which will include another Kyocera phone as well as an Android Motorola
Mobility PTT phone.

By Telecomlead.com Team
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