MTN launches Push-to-Talk

MTN SA launched their new Push-to-Talk (PTT) product today, describing it as an instant group communication tool.

According to MTN this product will allow companies to “get instant, seamless, secure and quick communication with individuals or groups within their company”.

Buckley McGrath, MTN executive for their corporate business unit, said: “It [PTT] enables MTN cell phone users to communicate quickly and seamlessly with one or a group of subscribers at the same time, using a designated PTT button on their handsets, and is available wherever MTN has GPRS network coverage, which is almost 1 million square kilometers of SA’s physical land area.”

Cost of PTT

MTN added that this technology allows for this instant communication to occur at the push of a button and corporate clients using this service will be charged per push of the button and not per second as is customary on their network.

The prices will vary according to the needs of the company but the best bundled price available is 16c per push.

There are no initial costs to set up the system; the only requirement is that each user is an MTN subscriber with a PTT enabled handset. MTN stated that these handsets are readily available and added that Nokia is specifically quite advanced in developing their phones with PTT capabilities built-in.

Features of PTT

The maximum number in a user group is 20 and this service allows the caller to identify which members of the group are available before pressing the PTT button.

There is also an auto-answer service where the caller is immediately connected to the recipient as well as floor control which allows only one caller to speak at any given time. The selected speaker can talk for a maximum of 20 seconds at each push before releasing the button to wait for a response.

Push to X designed for consumers

PTT is only open to the business sector but MTN are currently investigating the next phase in this line of services called Push to X which is designed with the consumer in mind.

On Push to X individuals will be able to send music or video files for example to friends and family also on the MTN network using their Push to X service.

It appears from the moves being made by MTN that cheaper ways of communicating are becoming increasingly paramount in South Africa’s price sensitive market. Paramount not only to businesses and the economy as a whole, but also to telecoms providers wanting to up their revenue.


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MTN launches Push-to-Talk