Motorola pushes Push to Talk (again)

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Motorola is once again hoping to interest British mobile phone networks in Push to Talk (the system that enables mobiles to work like walkie talkies) by offering a pair of new POC (Push to Talk over cellular) endowed handsets. Ready for shipping now the duo includes the C698p, a chocolate bar style phone with a 65k colour screen and a VGA camera and the C381p, a low-end mobile that’s primed to take POC to the mass market.

Although Motorola insists that it is talking to UK networks about Push to Talk (and it has been for over a year now) it faces an uphill struggle to get UK networks to sign up. The system, which enables mobile phone to work like walkie talkies with users able to talk simultaneously to several people at the same time, has not really had much impact in the UK with only Orange offering a Talk Now service aimed at small business.

Push to Talk is however big news in the US where networks like Nextel and Sprint have successful services targeting both small business and consumers. Many phone analysts argue that in Europe text messaging operates in the same space which Push to Talk has filled in the US.

Motorola is however at the forefront of the push to talk market with 23 network operator contracts covering 27 countries around the world. The company hopes the two phones will attract even more subscribers — from mass market to high-end — and help pave the way for future “Push-to” services like video and data. Neither phone will apparently be launched in the UK unless a Push to Talk service is up and running.

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