Today, European service provider Orange and Kodiak Networks announced the long awaited availability of its new GSM Push-To-Talk (PTT) technology, Talk Now/a>, for the Treo 600. We first heard about Orange's efforts to create PTT on TreoCentral this January, and it has been later mentioned in PalmOne's quarterly conference calls.
Commercial availability of the Talk Now service in the UK follows a six-month trial with key Pan European enterprise and business customers including NHS Lothian in the UK. Today, Talk Now handsets become available to Orange business customers in the UK through the Orange Business Solutions channel. The service will be available in Orange retail stores later in the year. Talk Now uses a suite of Kodiak Advanced Voice Services that enable faster voice calls to individuals and groups, instant conference calling and availability updates of coworkers, customers, suppliers, friends and family in seconds.
The Orange Talk Now service is powered by Kodiak's Real-Time Exchange (RTX) System, which enables an entirely new category of Advanced Voice Services, including PTT, with offerings that include:
- Instant Availability - Ability to see who's available to receive a call
- Instant Calling - Real-time "Push to Talk" calling
- Instant Conferencing - Real-time conferencing with up to 10 members of a group
- Instant Contact Management - Create contact and group distribution lists directly on the handset, and than contact them all at once
TreoCentral's Andrew Carton, a Treo Orange UK customer, was able to find out
some more information about the new service from a customer service rep. The service works through the Orange GSM voice network, via an application installed into the Treo's RAM at Orange stores across the UK. We are currently researching more about how this technology enables PTT. However, Andrew was warned that if the Treo's battery was fully drained the installed PTT application would be lost. This suggests that the Orange PTT application is not in firmware, but is in the Treo's normal RAM, which could lead to trouble if you had to Hard Reset your Treo. All new Orange Treo's should come with the application preinstalled, but it is unknown if it will be in the firmware or simply in the RAM. Like most PTT networks, Orange customers will only be able to PTT with other Orange customers. Unlike most PTT networks, Orange will be charging a very high per minute fee, billed to the second, for use. One-to-one calls will cost 15 pence a minute, where one-to-many calls will cost 30 pence a minute. In contrast, Nextel, the world's largest PTT carrier offers unlimited PTT minutes with almost all of their plans. We are still looking for screenshots and first hand experience with the new PTT software. If you have tried this solution out, or can provide us any more information, please contact Michael Ducker at [email protected]
At this time, the Orange Talk Now service is available exclusively on the Treo 600 in the UK. However, they have announced plans to expand it to France later this year, then followed by Orange's operations in Switzerland, the Caribbean, Jordan (Mobilecom), the Netherlands, Romania, Slovakia, Belgium (Mobistar) and the Dominican Republic. Eventually Orange will also add other handsets from Alcatel, LG, Nokia, PalmOne and Sagem.
More information about Orange Talk Now can be found by visiting their website, or dialing 345 on an Orange phone.
The technology for Orange Talk now is provided by Kodiak Networks. Press Blurb: Kodiak Networks (www.kodiaknetworks.com) is the leading advanced wireless voice systems innovator with more than a dozen commercial systems installed around the world. The Kodiak Real-Time Exchange(TM) (RTX) System is a breakthrough in instant voice calling, conferencing and messaging with instant availability. The Kodiak RTX System can be added into any existing cellular core network, enabling wireless carriers to increase profit and customer retention and to attract new customers without costly retrofits of network infrastructure.
Kodiak Networks uniquely offers GSM, GPRS, EDGE, UMTS and CDMA advanced voice systems that can be integrated through the all-IP Kodiak RTX and easily scaled from independent operators to multi-national carriers. The company also provides handset software and clients capable of operating on major handset manufacturers' products, including Nokia, PalmOne, Kyocera, LG and Sagem. Kodiak has numerous patents pending in the areas of high-speed packet-switching, signaling and call control and handset software technology. Headquartered in San Ramon, California, USA, the company is privately held and has additional operations in Plano, Texas; Bangalore, India and Swindon, United Kingdom.