This morning, Sprint released the first details on its second CDMA-based push-to-talk platform following the unsuccessful rollout of QChat. The new platform will be known as Sprint Direct Connect andÂ is set to launch by the end of the year.
The new service will carry over all features found on iDEN and will include new features such as group PTT with up to 200 participants, Land Mobile Radio support and interoperability between devices, along with presence notification. Sprint Direct Connect will launch first on phones from Motorola and Kyocera in the fourth quarter. In 2012, more features will be added to Sprint Direct Connect, such as international direct connect support.Â Sprint further states the phones will support “high-speed data, high-resolution cameras, and Bluetooth while the two handsets confirmed in the launch lineup will be an Android smartphone with a touch screen and QWERTY keyboard, as well as a rugged clamshell.
Sprint also confirmed that the new technology is being made possible by its Network Vision initiative, while stating that the footprint of this new PTT system will be three times bigger than the current iDEN network, covering 2.7 million square miles and 309 million POPs. Interoperability with its existing PTT device lineup has also been confirmed with Sprint also launching a transition program to the new CDMA-based Sprint Direct Connect network for those that still own iDEN phones later this year.
More information on Sprint Direct Connect will be revealed during CTIA 2011, being held next week in Orlando. Mobile developers have also been invited to learn more about the new platform, with Sprint offering a first look at the new network and platform during its Sprint Gets Rugged developer panel next week.