Bell’s Push-to-talk network now live, launches Sonim BOLT along with PTT Android and BlackBerry apps

Ian Hardy

April 24, 2012 10:04 am


Bell’s has flipped the switch on their “Next generation” Push-to-talk (PTT) network. We first let you know about this a couple weeks back. People who work “in the field” or are lone workers will love this as the major difference over TELUS’ Mike Network – the other PTT network in Canada – is that Bell’s operates on their HSPA+ network so you’ll get faster download speeds (up to 21 Mbps) and calls to your PTT contacts under 1 second.

At launch there’s only one device available, the Sonim XP5520 BOLT, and it’s priced between $99.95 on a 3-year to $399.95 outright. Our hands-on of the BOLT will be coming up shortly. In addition, Bell has also created a BlackBerry and Android app, currently available for the Curve 9360 and the Samsung Galaxy S II and both apps give you the ability to use the device as a PTT device. To use the GS II you’ll have to touch the display, for the Curve there’s a dedicated button that acts as the PTT features. Images of the apps are below.

As for PTT monthly rate plans, there are 4 that range in price from $15/month to $60/month. The plans vary in offerings from an add-on with “Unlimited Canada-Wide PTT” to including airtime/long distance and 300 local sharable minutes.


Source: Bell
Download the apps here: Android and BlackBerry

  • Alex Perrier

    Pros: HSPA+ is faster than CDMA. More devices are supported.
    Cons: Vendor lock-in. This means that only Bell customers can access the app. Bills are expensive!

    Perhaps this will extend to Virgin, like their TV and radio. Remember when Solo went crazy for CDMA push-to-talk? That would possibly throw Koodo and Fido to the curb. Virgin push-to-talk would be a cool calling feature!

    As much as i’m not 100% a fan of this, at least it allows unlimited Bell-to-Bell long distance in Canada. Then again, regular calling and PTT calling are billed differently. On top of that, the plans aren’t a bargain. Hopefully it works for mainstream too, not just business.

    • Marcus

      Yeah, faster than CDMA but a whole heck of lot faster than iDEN! You always see iDEN users with two phones and that is because iDEN is worse than 1995 dial up.

  • merv

    No matter what they do, Rogers still takes the cake. They have unlimited and Bell doesnt. And its the matter of time when people realize that unlimited calling is the only way to go. Rest of the stuff is secondary. And now that unlocking is coming out for all the iphones. It will be interesting times.

    • Marcus

      Rogers doesn’t take the cake if you want PTT. This artical isn’t about regular voice calling, it is about PTT. Rogers doesn’t have PTT.

  • Eric V.

    The only thing unlimited from Rogers is heartache. Their unlimited plans only include local calling and cost twice as much new entrants plans that include province-wide or Canada-wide calling.

    Saying Rogers takes the cake for unlimited is like saying McDonalds takes the cake for fine food.

  • Determinator

    Been waiting for this release for months. PTT is the way to go for our dispatch system. We have 15 drivers on 10-4 and are about to hire more. This is a business product so i don’t expect much interest from the general consumer.

    • Brian

      I’m excited to start selling these, Determinator. We have many customers on 10-4 looking to upgrade!!

    • Marge

      Good news! if you have 15 lines total right now and you think to add more, start at 16 linges you can a Corporate service. Let me know if you want more info; i can contact you if you’re not already in contact with a Corporate Rep at the Head office of Bell Mobility.

      Thank you!

      Marjo

  • merv

    My above comment was comparing Rogers to Bell and Telus, where Rogers does take the cake. Most people dont care about Canada wide or province wide calling. And what the new entrants charge for the quality of service they provide is still too much. Im happy paying upto $50 for unlimited local with all basic features as long as I get the Rogers reception. But for the new entrant i wouldnt pay $20 per month until they fix their reception. Go Rogers Go Unlimited…

    • RIP ROGERS WIRELESS

      Dear Merv,

      You silly silly man why would you be happy paying $50 for unlimited local calling and unlimited everything when you can pay $50 = taxes to have unlimited wide canada calling no matter where you are in canada 24/7 with no Roaming from Virgin, Koodo, and Fido

      Oh well some peoples kids i guess i just don’t get you Merv

    • David

      Merv this discussion is regarding Bell’s PTT service…of which Rogers has nothing comparable.

      Let’s stick to comparing apples to apples

    • Marcus

      Rogers reception? That is an oxymoron. Being with Rogers for years, the coverage was always terrible. Maybe I lived and kept moving to all the coverage gaps but my experience has not been this.

  • Mo Habibi

    Downloadable PTT – very nice! I am looking forward to trying it out. Kodiak appears to be behind the technology and they have other launches in the US so it should be very high quality.

  • Bren

    This should be a significant upgrade for 10-4 users. We bought into that when it first came out and it was a disaster! Back to MiKE which still works.

    Carrying two phones is not such a liability. It means you can look up a calendar entry, email, web page while you are talking to your users in the field. And it means that they are not wasting your time surfing the net on the PTT phone. Also carrying two phones means that at least one of them works.

    • Determinator

      Also easier to find your lost phone… just a call away..

  • Ayr

    The only prolbem with bell ptt compared to mike in Eastern Ont is that the mike network pretty much is local calling from Hawksberryto Gananoque to Shawville Que, Bell is no where near that

    • Determinator

      are you referring to mike PPT coverage or the standard cellphone use coverage?

  • Steve

    Can regular customers buy this? I don’t have a business but would like this phone.