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Sprint to launch first new non-Nextel push-to-talk phone, ahead of Nextel network shutdown
NEW YORK (AP) ' Sprint Nextel will start shutting down the Nextel part of its network in little more than a year. So what are the folks who use Nextel's walkie-talkie-like push-to-talk function going to do?
Sprint says it has the solution in the shape of phones that replicate push-to-talk, but operate on the Sprint network. The first one goes on sale next week: the $70 Kyocera DuraMax, a shock- and water-resistant model designed for the construction workers and other outdoorsy types who use Nextel phones.
The push-to-talk feature is called Sprint Direct Connect. Sprint tried offering a feature called Nextel Direct Connect on some Sprint phones in 2008, but that faltered because the Sprint network wasn't quite capable of offering the split-second call connection speeds users had come to expect from Nextel.