Cingular Wireless, the largest mobile operator in the U.S., said Monday that it will finally offer push-to-talk (PTT) service, claiming its service has several advantages over its competitors.
In a statement, Cingular claimed its PTT network is unique because of how it combines PTT with standard cellular phone calls. The operator also claimed it has the largest PTT footprint in the U.S. and unique features such converting PTT sessions into standard cell phone calls, the ability to see who is available for PTT conversations and the ability to quickly create group PTT calls with as many as 20 participants.
Cingular is the last of the three largest U.S. cellular operators to offer PTT service. It claimed that its customers will find the wait worthwhile.
"We've gone the extra mile to offer our customers an innovative service that truly combines the best features of wireless and PTT, and in doing so, set a new benchmark for the industry," David Christopher, Cingular's vice president of consumer product development, said in a statement. He called Cingular's PTT feature set "unmatched by any other national PTT service."
Other PTT features offered by Cingular include call waiting during PTT conversations, alerts delivered when a contact becomes available, voice messaging and urgent "call me" alerts, the company said.
The company said that subscribers to their national calling plan can add PTT service for $9.99 a month and the service is available to family plan subscribers for $19.99 per month. The company is launching the service with two handsets, one from Samsung and the other from LG, that support PTT.