AT&T Mobility is hoping to pick up some new customers next month after Sprint Nextel turns off its iDEN network at midnight on June 30. Diehard iDEN customers who have ignored their carrier’s efforts to get them to switch over to Sprint Nextel’s CDMA/LTE network will find themselves carrying dead devices on the morning of July 1. Those who use their devices on the job as walkie-talkies as well as phones will miss iDEN’s push-to-talk feature, and AT&T Mobility is hoping to attract them to its network by adding push-to-talk to the iPhone.
Push-to-talk will be available for the iPhone 4S and the iPhone 5. It will allow AT&T’s corporate customers to talk to up to 250 people at once by pushing a button on the phone. No word yet on which button this will be, or on whether users will have to open an app to make the designated button feature as a ‘PTT’ button. AT&T did say that it will be necessary to download an app to use PTT on an iPhone. The carrier also said the feature will be available only for its business customers.
AT&T is calling its iPhone PTT service ‘enhanced push-to-talk‘ and says that the service will work on its Wi-Fi as well as cellular networks. The carrier says it now operates the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network, and that 32,000 of the hotspots on that network are owned by the carrier itself.
The carrier says the industries it wants to target with its PTT service include manufacturing, engineering, hospitality, construction and government. The service will include a feature for supervisors that allows them to override other messages and communicate with an entire team at once.
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