Fastlink tests push-to-talk over GPRS

Fastlink, one of Jordan’s two mobile operators, is preparing a trial of push-to-talk (PTT) services over its existing infrastructure with US equipment vendor, Motorola.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  July 28, 2003

Fastlink, one of Jordan’s two mobile operators, is preparing a trial of push-to-talk (PTT) services over its existing infrastructure with US equipment vendor, Motorola.

The operator says it will run a pilot project of Motorola’s PTT solution for GPRS networks, after successfully completing point-to-point calls between individuals and groups at its facility in Amman.

“The ability to provide our customers with innovative new services like PTT is vital to ensure we retain our market-leading position in Jordan,” says Mohammed Saqer, CEO of Fastlink.

The move also reflects growing interest in PTT from operators in the region.

Earlier this year, Jordan’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) awarded a licence to a Saudi-Jordanian consortium, which will use a radio trunking system to allow users to communicate in ‘walkie-talkie’ mode.

The venture, expected to launch in April next year over Motorola’s iDEN technology, will also be allowed to interconnect with Jordan’s mobile and fixed networks after signing up a certain number of subscribers.

Motorola, which helped set up Fastlink in 1994 as a joint venture with local investors, also claims to have trials of GPRS-based PTT services scheduled with other operators in Europe, the Middle East and Africa throughout the remainder of this year.

The vendor’s PTT solution, which won’t be commercially available until sometime in 2004, enables mobile users to receive a voice connection with one or more subscribers by pushing a button on their handset. Half-duplex sessions manage the conversation so that only one party can talk at any one time.

The solution is based on a common platform for Motorola’s internet protocol (IP) Multi Media Sub-System. It supports the IP protocols adopted by the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) and works over GPRS and CDMA 2000 1X infrastructure.

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