Sprint today confirmed to PhoneNews.com once again that Qualcomm’s QChat technology, used in Sprint’s new Direct Connect platform, is exclusively theirs. PhoneNews.com referred to Verizon’s new, upcoming PTT platform as QChat, because of the underlying technology being heavily based in QChat according to sources.
However, Sprint’s clarification does little to update the status of Verizon Wireless’, and other’s, new Push to Talk platform.
As has been reported previously, Verizon is preparing a new generation of push-to-talk technology, and multiple sources have reported that it will be deployed using QChat technology. Qualcomm appears to be updating their BREWChat platform, using technology from QChat.
Relations between Sprint and Qualcomm may explain the matter better than sources, however. With Sprint pushing WiMAX technology, relations between the two companies clearly have strained. Sprint is not adopting either of Qualcomm’s 4G wireless technologies; UMB and LTE. Sprint acquired an exclusive license to QChat technology as part of their merger with Nextel.
Now it appears Qualcomm may be splitting hairs with their agreement to Sprint; taking EV-DO Rev A push-to-talk elements from QChat and deploying them in BREWChat. If so, that would give QChat only a couple of advantages over BREWChat. Namely, those two would be interoperability with iDEN (Nextel) handsets, and Push-to-X technology for relaying multimedia over push-to-talk communications.
Sprint is the only CDMA network with an iDEN subscriber base, making the former advantage solely Sprint’s to take advantage of. This is potentially seriously damaging to Sprint’s competitive advantage over rivals, should BREWChat rise up to being a re-branded QChat in terms of code and technology.
Regardless, Qualcomm remains silent on the status of QChat and BREWChat, as does Verizon Wireless. However, with the Motorola V750 headed to Verizon being a dead ringer for the Motorola V950 on Sprint (QChat-enabled), the similarities between these two platforms are starting to become more than apparent.