AT&T has confirmed that it is preparing to launch an updated version of its current Kodiak-based Push-to-Talk solution which will be compatible with more devices outside of its previous push to talk oriented lineup and is similar to Qualcomm’s recent decoupling of QChat from hardware to a complete software-based solution. The new Kodiak InstaPOC solution is now expected to launch in November with initial support for select AT&T smartphones as an Android app and on select BlackBerry models, with the Samsung Galaxy S III serving as the flagship model for the new offering.
While the new service is being specifically targeted to large enterprise and government customers, AT&T does intend to offer it to consumers at some point in the future, with the new service being made available to select enterprise/government customers in an early preview with additional discounts provided on select phones. AT&T is also offering extensive details on the service as well as offering pre-registration for business and enterprise customers.
While PTT has become an also-ran in the consumer end of mobile service, it still has its place for business and government employees in specific fields. While Nextel service previously held the advantage in terms of service availability and quality, the ongoing sunset of the service has opened up opportunities for carriers to deploy PTT service over cellular networks that can be as effective and utilitarian as the previous Nextel service with additional features.
For AT&T to continue with PTT service shows that the company still believes in the offering enough to upgrade the underlying technology as well as expanding the service outside of dedicated hardware as a way to attract former Sprint Nextel iDEN users. Whether its compelling enough to do so is currently an open question, as previous Push over Cellular attempts have done little to convince carriers that such a service is viable outside of specific niche markets.