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Mobilecom's push to talk service nears launch

Mobilecom says it has received the go-ahead to pilot push to talk over cellular (PoC) in Jordan, and has pencilled in a full launch of the service for March.

Mobilecom says it has received the go-ahead to pilot push to talk over cellular (PoC) in Jordan, and has pencilled in a full launch of the service for March.

The mobile operator claims to have satisfied the technical requirements set down by Jordan's Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) after implementing PoC technology from US-based vendor, Kodiak Networks.

It plans to start testing the service next month.

“The TRC has authorised us to have a commercial pilot test,” Mickael Ghossein, Mobilecom's chief executive officer, tells CommsMEA. “We will start that in mid- February and then we have to share the results with them. It could be launched in mid-March,” he adds.

The move comes out of a deal Kodiak secured to supply Orange — the mobile arm of France Telecom, a shareholder in Mobilecom's parent company, Jordan Telecom — with the 'Talk Now' PoC solution it launched in Europe last year.

Kodiak's technology uses mobile operators' existing voice channels to deliver messages, unlike the data network-based systems being standardised by several equipment makers such as Nokia, Siemens and Ericsson.

Ghossein suggests that Mobilecom's service will be primarily aimed at Jordan's sizeable youth market, rather than the enterprise space.

Jordan's mobile operators have long been expected to offer PoC to compete with Xpress, a dedicated push to talk service provider that launched in Jordan last summer, using Motorola's proprietary integrated digital enhanced network (iDEN) technology.

However, the TRC controversially set down requirements for them to prove the capabilities of their systems before launching them.

Fastlink, the market leader, said in December that it was awaiting approval from the TRC to go ahead with its own PoC service.

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