September 18, 2012 — VERLAND PARK, Kan. (BUSINESS WIRE), September 18, 2012 – Sprint (NYSE: S) today announced that its Sprint® Direct Connect® push-to-talk (PTT) service has surpassed the 1 million-customer milestone as customers continue to migrate to the service on Sprint’s CDMA network.
Less than a year ago, Sprint launched Sprint Direct Connect, ushering in the next generation of PTT service from the company that pioneered push-to-talk. The service debuted packed with broadband data capabilities, familiar push-to-talk features, rugged and reliable handsets, and a broadening push-to-talk coverage map.
Today, Sprint Direct Connect has matured into the industry’s push-to-talk gold standard with:
- Triple the square miles of coverage compared to the company’s legacy Nextel National Network
- Instant call set-up time on domestic PTT calls
- International coverage to Latin American countries that most frequently use PTT service; and,
- A range of rugged, military-spec handsets including the Motorola ADMIRAL™ smartphone
“One million customers in less than a year is an important achievement and reflects well on the permanence of push-to-talk as a communications solution,” said Paget Alves, Sprint’s chief sales officer. “Sprint Direct Connect has clearly met the increasing demand for faster data speeds and better and broader coverage on push-to-talk devices.”
Last quarter, 60 percent of total subscribers who left the postpaid Nextel platform were recaptured on the postpaid Sprint platform – up from 46 percent in the first quarter. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is one customer to recently migrate to Sprint Direct Connect from its legacy Nextel service. Sprint will provide FEMA with 2,000 Sprint Direct Connect handsets equipped with an Actsoft GPS tracking and navigation solution to support FEMA’s nationwide Mass Evacuation Program.
Sprint’s upgraded push-to-talk platform, created by Qualcomm, has played a significant role in drawing customers from iDEN to broadband CDMA. “The Qualcomm platform represents a carrier-grade, IP-based solution for Sprint that delivers the advanced push-to-talk experiences customers are demanding today and sets a solid foundation for Sprint Direct Connect to support even more advanced communications in the future,” said Michael Wallace, senior vice president and general manager of Qualcomm Internet Services.
Earlier this year, Sprint announced it will decommission its iDEN network as early as June 30, 2013 as part of Network Vision plans. Network Vision is expected to add net economic value for Sprint from reduced roaming costs, cell-site reduction, backhaul efficiencies, more efficient use of capital, and energy cost savings.
The company has already discontinued selling iDEN devices in most channels; Sprint will continue to support business customers with iDEN devices as needed during their transition to Sprint Direct Connect service.
About Sprint Direct Connect:
Sprint Direct Connect features a portfolio of push-to-talk services that allow individuals and groups to get more done – quickly and easily, with just the push of a button. Among the initial Sprint Direct Connect services:
- Direct Connect®– Instant, one-to-one push-to-talk calling nationwide on the Sprint network, with any other Direct Connect subscriber. Direct Connect is the core push-to-talk feature and is designed for interoperability across Sprint and Nextel network platforms.
- Guaranteed Talk Permit – The assurance that when you hear the push-to-talk “chirp,” your call was successfully transmitted.
- Call Alert with Text – Send an audio alert with an optional text message to let another Direct Connect subscriber know you are trying to reach them, and why.
- Group Connect® – Communicate with up to 20 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers all at once – nationwide, at the push of one button.
- TeamDCSM – Communicate with up to 200 other Sprint Direct Connect subscribers at the same time nationwide.
- NextMail® – Send a recorded message to any email worldwide or mobile handset via text message by using the Direct Connect button.
- Availability Notification – Request the availability status of another push-to-talk member and, if they are busy, request a notification when they are free.
- One-Touch Direct Connect – Allows quick access to multiple Direct Connect options.