Sprint today announced a Sunday, Oct. 2, launch date for Sprint Direct Connect, ushering in the company's next generation of push-to-talk service based on 3G CDMA from previous iDen Push-to-Talk services. Sprint Direct Connect will come packed with broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, rugged and reliable handsets, and a broadening push-to-talk coverage map expected in early 2012. Here is more info:
Sprint?s 3G data network and our enhanced push-to-talk platform will deliver instant calls, increased push-to-talk reliability, and support for current data applications. Sprint?s broadband speeds will enable customers to experience the latest in technology applications, such as enterprise business productivity applications, social and multimedia support, and even advanced push-to-X capabilities in the future.
Among the initial Sprint Direct Connect services:
-Direct Connect ? Instant, one-to-one push-to-talk calling nationwide, with any other Direct Connect subscriber. Direct Connect is the core push-to-talk feature and is designed for interoperability across Sprint and Nextel network platforms.
-Guaranteed Talk Permit ? The assurance that when you hear the push-to-talk ?chirp? that your call was successfully transmitted.
-Call Alert with Text ? Send an audio alert with an optional text message to let another Direct Connect subscriber know you are trying to reach them and why.
-Group Connect ? Communicate with up to 20 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers all at once ? nationwide, at the push of one button.
-TeamDC ? Communicate with up to 200 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers at the same time nationwide1.
-NextMail ? Send a recorded message to any email worldwide or mobile handset via text message by using the Direct Connect button.
-Availability Notification ? Request the availability status of another push-to-talk member and, if they are busy, request a notification when they are free.
Sprint Direct Connect Coverage
Sprint Direct Connect service will continue to evolve. In early 2012, the Sprint Direct push-to-talk coverage area is expected to grow to match the Sprint CDMA voice coverage area ? expected to be almost three times the square miles covered by Nextel iDEN today. Additionally, in 2012, international push-to-talk calling to select countries will also begin rolling out to help support our current customers with international push-to-talk needs.
Sprint Direct Connect Devices
In the fourth quarter, Sprint will begin to offer three new Sprint Direct Connect devices. The first new handset, Kyocera DuraMax, will be available Oct. 2 for $69.99 with a new two-year service agreement or eligible upgrade and after a $50 mail-in rebate via a reward card2. It will be available in all Sprint retail channels, including Web sales (www.sprint.com) and Telesales (1-800-Sprint1).
Kyocera DuraMax is the workhorse of the new Sprint Direct Connect portfolio. It has a rugged exterior and non-slip Dura-Grip surface, a 2.0-inch QVGA TFT main display, 3.2 MP camera with flash and camcorder, and is designed to meet Military Standard 810G for dust, shock, vibration, extreme temperatures, blowing rain and water immersion (up to 30 minutes in one meter of water).
Kyocera DuraCore, a rugged phone built to meet Military Standard 810G specifications for dust, shock and vibration, to withstand tough environments is expected to launch by year-end and a Sprint Direct Connect Android device by Motorola is lined up and expected for fourth quarter.
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