Push to Talk Over Cellular (PoC) has exciting implications for phone and network providers: the technology allows subscribers to send a voice message to someone in their address book. The message travels over the network’s data service, so doesn’t require real-time processing and is obviously not interactive – it’s a bit like a walkie-talkie.
Network providers are already enthusiastic about the new services they will be able to create around this service – and the new revenue streams it will bring them. However, there is already some disagreement over what standards will be adopted and how network providers will exchange PoC messages between networks.
Herman Weiffenbach, vice president of Motorola highlights the problem in CeBIT News: “We now have eight launches in prospect, with 18 active trials under way, 12 of which are in Europe. We also expect a further 16 in the first half of the year. It is all looking very promising, but without standardisation, it won’t fly.”
One of the things that will kill PoC for sure if it’s not sorted out quickly is the current lack of cross-network service. For the time being, you can only use PoC services with recipients on your own network. Nokia, Sony, Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens signed an agreement to enable cross-vendor operability, but this seems to be all they’ve done – there’s been no progress since.
One of the great things about standards is that there’s just so many to choose from: Nokia is not taking part in trials with Ericsson, Motorola and Siemens – because they believe their solution is already the best. The three other companies probably have “En usko” to say to that.