Hutch ensues Tata Indicom offer

CIOL Bureau
New Update

NEW DELHI: In a knee jerk reaction of sorts, Hutchison Essar late evening yesterday announced the launch of its push-to-talk (PTT) services in India. According to sources, the company decided to prepone the launch after rivals Tata Indicom announced their PTT services in Bangalore.

Interestingly, while the Tata Indicom has launched its PTT as a free try-and-buy service for corporate in Bangalore, Hutch PTT will be available to all Hutch and Orange users nationally for a monthly fee of Rs. 99.

Also, while the Tata Indicom’s PTT service can be availed using the Brew-enabled handsets from Japanese Kyocera Wireless Corp, Hutch PTT is accessible across a broad base of users, since it works on all GPRS handsets powered by the Symbian operating system–Nokia 3650, 3600, 6600, 7650, Ngage and Sony Ericsson P800 and P900. While Tata Indiacom has not announced the tariff for its services, the handset from Kyocera is expected to be priced at Rs 6000.

Hutch’s PTT service combines a walkie-talkie experience with instant messaging, short messaging service (SMS), multi-media messaging service (MMS) and voice messaging. According to a company press release, its PTT services are the result of a partnership between Hutch and international technology partner Fastmobile.

Talking about PTT, Hutchison Essar Director Asim Ghosh said that the new service will further expands the utility of the mobile phone. "Push-to-talk benefits the value-conscious consumer as much as the enterprise user. It is unique since it uses existing infrastructure to deliver a unique, new user experience." Ghosh further said that over 150,000 Hutch and Orange users can immediately start using the service in India.

The PTT service was first introduced in the US last year, by Nextel Communications. Since then, mobile operators have been vying to launch PTT services in other international markets.

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