The Nextel Advantage

While other carriers in the US are all talking the talk about adding Push to Talk to their service, Nextel has gone ahead and expanded their regional coverage. The service will now allow traveling parties to Direct Connect each other while in new markets as well as use Direct Connect to speak with anyone else in the region. By Q3 of this year the feature will work Nationwide and will be light years ahead of what anyone else is will be remotely capable of offering.

The “call setup time” refers to how long it initially takes to connect to a network. Mullins says that the iDEN-based Nextel system has a call setup time of less than one second. By contrast, CDMA networks have a wake-up period of around four seconds: The handset has to request a session and be assigned a resource in the network before packet transmission can begin.

CDMA carriers working with Qualcomm’s BREW technology have a long way to go before the delay is remotely tolerable enough to make this service close to usable.

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