Is Push To Talk What Your Business Needs? Instant Communications For Field Workers


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An article on field worker solutions for SMBs, completed for Sprint.

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Is Push To Talk What Your Business Needs? Instant Communications For Field Workers

  1. 1. November 2011 Is Push-to-Talk What Your Business Needs?“Instant Communications” For Field Workers “We Accelerate Growth”
  2. 2. Is Push-to-Talk What Your Business Needs? Market InsightFor small businesses, time is money. Even the smallest efficiencies can add up to big savings intime, dollars, and employee wear-and-tear. That is why push-to-talk devices can be a compellingalternative for certain types of operations.Cellular push-to-talk solutions are often described as “walkie-talkies on mobile phones.” Thisservice provides instant communications, taking only seconds to connect the caller with thetargeted recipient. For small businesses with employees working out at job sites in the field, thepush-to-talk capability can be ideal, saving precious minutes and keeping tight work scheduleson track.Push-to-talk has been available as a commercial service since 1993, when NextelCommunications first introduced the solution on its iDEN network.The service has been fairly utilitarian, although that is changing as CDMA versions becomemore prevalent. Traditionally, the solution enables instant, short, focused voice calls. With half-duplex communications, only one person at a time can transmit. Communications can be one-to-one or one-to-many—all with a single press of the button.A variety of mobile handset types can be used as push-to-talk devices, including ruggedizeddevices, flip phones, etc. Newer push-to-talk capabilities are now receiving increased attentionand can include: • Call alerts • Repeating alerts with text • Photo capture • Maps • GPS location of sender and/or recipients • Message history with playback and storagePush-to-talk devices are ideal for blue and gray collar industries, such as field services andconstruction, where quick, basic communications is regularly required.Sprint has been a key provider in the push-to-talk market since the mid-2000s. With one of thelargest communities of push-to-talk users in the U.S., this carrier offers an excellent exampleof how the push-to-talk industry is evolving to meet 21st century needs.When Sprint acquired Nextel in 2005, it continued to offer Nextel’s pioneer push-to-talkservice on the original iDEN network. However, the carrier decided that future advancementsin this area would require shifting the service to its faster 3G CDMA network. Just recently, thecarrier launched its newest generation of push-to-talk—its powerful CDMA-based Sprint ®Direct Connect ® solution.Small businesses that are evaluating the value-add of push-to-talk should consider these threesolution components:© 2011 Frost & Sullivan Page 2
  3. 3. Is Push-to-Talk What Your Business Needs? Market Insight • Platform—The push-to-talk platform dictates the capabilities of the service. Sprint partnered with Qualcomm to design an upgraded platform that delivers advanced communication experiences to customers. This will include support for cutting-edge mobile applications. Initial Sprint Direct Connect services include: – Instant Communications—1:1 push-to-talk interoperability across both Sprint and Nextel networks. – Guaranteed Talk Permit—A continuation of the push-to-talk “chirp” that signals a successfully transmitted call. – Call Alert with Text—An audio alert that can be sent with a SMS to notify another Sprint Direct Connect user that you are trying to reach him or her. – Group Connect—Ability to bring together up to 20 other Sprint Direct Connect users on a call, all at the same time, all with the click of a single button. – TeamDC—Ability to communicate with up to 200 other Sprint Direct Connect users at the same time. – NextMail—A recorded message that can be sent to any e-mail or mobile handset via text message, just by using the Direct Connect button. – Availability Notification—A request for the availability status of another push-to-talk user. If the user is busy, a request can be made to be notified when they are free. • Network Coverage—In the past, push-to-talk service was unavailable in many areas. The new Sprint push-to-talk coverage area is expected to increase during the first half of 2012 and will match the carrier’s traditional CDMA voice coverage area. This expansion is expected to amount to nearly triple the square miles covered by the original Nextel iDEN service. The transition from iDEN to 3G networks will also result in faster data speeds—an improvement that former iDEN push-to-talk users will experience when they check for e-mail, browse the Web, and use any of the new productivity applications that are available. • Mobile Devices—A selection of mobile push-to-talk handhelds that are easy to use and that provide up-to-date capabilities is critical to successful operation in the field. The new Sprint Direct Connect ® brand includes rugged devices from Motorola Mobility and Kyocera ®. The Kyocera DuraMax and DuraCore models are both military-spec flip cell phones that provide availability notification and also simultaneous data and push-to-talk. In addition, the DuraMax offers GPS, a camera, and Bluetooth connectivity. The Motorola ADMIRAL ™ also meets military Standard 810G for dust, shock, high and low temperatures and vibration. It has© 2011 Frost & Sullivan Page 3
  4. 4. Is Push-to-Talk What Your Business Needs? Market Insight a scratch-resistant touchscreen display, security features, camera, Wi-Fi connectivity, and a full suite of Google applications (including maps). Additional models will be vetted by the carrier and added throughout the coming months. Companies that regularly have workers out at job sites may find that a push-to-talk solution is exactly what they need to keep things moving and on schedule. The right combination of platform, network and devices can save both time and money—making small businesses even more competitive in today’s still-challenging economy. About Frost & Sullivan Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, enables clients to accelerate growth and achieve best-in-class positions in growth, innovation and leadership. The companys Growth Partnership Service provides the CEO and the CEOs Growth Team with disciplined research and best-practice models to drive the generation, evaluation, and implementation of powerful growth strategies. Frost & Sullivan leverages 50 years of experience in partnering with Global 1000 companies, emerging businesses and the investment community from over 40 offices on six continents. To join our Growth Partnership, please visit O N TA C T U S 877.GoFrost (877.463.7678) • •