At its annual customer Mobile Internet Conference in Nice, France, Nokia has launched two new products that enable GSM/GPRS operators to offer push-to-talk, the "walkie-talkie" type of new voice service popular with many user groups around the world. The Nokia push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) solution allows operators to use their existing GSM/GPRS networks to provide this attractive form of instant voice service over GSM, the world's most widely used cellular system.
The Nokia Push to Talk Call Processor handles PoC traffic, while the Nokia Push to Talk Register handles PoC subscriber data. The two PoC products can be connected to existing multi-vendor GPRS networks. Commercial deliveries will start in the first quarter 2004.
As part of Nokia's PoC solution, the Nokia Push to Talk Register and Nokia Push to Talk Call Processor will support user features such as one-to-one and group push-to-talk, the ability to listen to multiple groups at same time (scanning), dynamic group creation by users, and fleet management facilities for corporate users, among others.
The products have been undergoing operator trials since June 2003, and more than 20 trials are currently underway in GSM-networks in Europe, Asia, North America and Latin America. The Nokia PoC offering is access-independent, and deployments over other radio access technologies are to be expected. The products are fully scalable and capable of supporting tens of millions of users in a single network.
The Nokia PoC solution uses the Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) to establish the IP session used for PoC communication. SIP-enabled phones for push-to-talk will be available from Nokia during the first half of 2004. The Nokia Push to Talk Call Processor and Register are part of Nokia's IP Multimedia Core offering.
"We have recognized push-to-talk as a hugely important service in many markets, and we are working to give GPRS operators the means to break into this profitable business," says Petri Pöyhönen, Vice President & General Manager, Nokia Networks. "The Nokia PoC solution allows operators to make inroads into the push-to-talk market by cost-efficiently using their existing GSM/GPRS networks. Push-to-talk over cellular is a central lead service in Nokia's IP multimedia offering, giving our operator customers an immediate revenue opportunity on the road towards a complete IP multimedia service offering."