Global Appeal

Connecting the world with the push of a button
Magazine Contributor
1 min read

This story appears in the September 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery-and the clearest validation of a business idea. Nextel Communications' Direct Connect walkie-talkie service is doing so well that larger carriers want a piece of the premium-subscriber pie. Sprint PCS and Verizon Wireless are anxious to let everyone know they'll offer push-button phoning sometime this year, although they're hazy on the details. All carriers plan to have it by 2004.


Men use their cell phones
14%
more than women do.
SOURCE: Cingular Wireless

Meanwhile, Nextel's Direct Connect recently went nationwide, enabling a subscriber in Hawaii to push a button and hook up with a buddy in Maine. Originally limited to a caller's hometown, coverage has been gradually expanded with the strengthening of Motorola's iDEN network.

Sprint and Verizon say they'll have coast-to-coast walkie-talkie service at launch but can't point to field trials. AT&T Wireless, which plans a handset agnostic version of the service next year, starts testing in December. With established demand for it, you can expect some level of push-to-talk service from every provider next year. A voice version of instant messaging, it apparently speaks to our need for instant communication gratification. Long term, most providers envision walkie-talkie service going global.

More from Entrepreneur

Get heaping discounts to books you love delivered straight to your inbox. We’ll feature a different book each week and share exclusive deals you won’t find anywhere else.
Jumpstart Your Business. Entrepreneur Insider is your all-access pass to the skills, experts, and network you need to get your business off the ground—or take it to the next level.
Create your business plan in half the time with twice the impact using Entrepreneur's BIZ PLANNING PLUS powered by LivePlan. Try risk free for 60 days.

Latest on Entrepreneur

Entrepreneur Media, Inc. values your privacy. In order to understand how people use our site generally, and to create more valuable experiences for you, we may collect data about your use of this site (both directly and through our partners). By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to the use of that data. For more information on our data policies, please visit our Privacy Policy.