TELUS launches Link, the LTE-powered push-to-talk network

Daniel Bader

October 1, 2013 1:38pm

TELUS has launched a successor to its storied Mike push-to-talk network, dubbed TELUS Link. The new service is compatible with the company’s HSPA+ and LTE networks, and will work with select WiFi networks as well when it launches mid-month.

Unlike Bell’s HSPA-based PTT network, Link is ostensibly compatible with all operating systems, including iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 7 devices, with BB10 support coming soon —  though it is unclear how it will work with existing iPhones that don’t allow sustained connections in the background. (Update: Bell informed us their solution, which is powered by Kodiak, is compatible with iOS as well.)

The evolution of the IDEN-based Mike network will allow its small existing customer base to transition over to Link for $15/month for unlimited talk, and will provide better roaming support in the United States under new HSPA-based agreements. TELUS still plans to support Mike for at least two more years, but will likely shut it down once all of its legacy PTT customers have transitioned over to Link.


The provider is also launching Sonim’s XP5560, an ultra-rugged feature phone that launched on Bell earlier this year. Link will also be optimized for one of TELUS’ existing LTE-based devices, the Samsung Galaxy Rugby LTE. It’s unclear how many LTE-based devices will be compatible with Link at launch.

Jim Senko, vice-president of Small Business Solutions at TELUS said in a press release, “Link is the natural evolution of our industry-leading Mike service and is Canada’s only Push To Talk service available over Wi-Fi. With access to our blazing fast 4G LTE data speeds, TELUS Link customers will experience expanded services as well as a seamless transition to all major smartphone operating systems.”

Teams and small businesses can sign up to learn more about Link before it launches in mid-October, and the system promises that by using LTE, it will offer lower latencies than Bell’s HSPA-based solution. It is also the only PTT service in Canada capable of communicating over WiFi.

  • thisiscjay

    Interesting enough, I had a few colleagues recently who had speculated how increased interest in IM services such as BBM/WhatsApp would benefit from such a feature. I will follow this development closely..

  • iphoneee’s bro

    Lol. says the guy with the same name.

    • thomas nguyen

      This right here is Just-In-Credible!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Liberal Phone Person

      you’re all Justin Sane

  • Techie01

    its Nextel “chrip” that went out with Motorola Flip phones…Next, seems like a Waste of VoLTE bandwidth.

  • jones19876

    Push to talk, I’m having some serious Nextel déjà-vu from a decade ago.

  • Curtis8

    “Link is ostensibly compatible with all operating systems, including iOS, Android, and BlackBerry 7 devices, with BB10 support coming soon”

    “all operating systems”, ha! Where is Windows Phone?

  • gmd

    What will happen to the extensive MIKE network, with towers coast to coast? Will they flip over to HSPA? Will this affect the agreement with Bell?

    • 2dfx

      Bell never had anything to do with iDEN

    • marorun1982

      They will be switch to HSPA/LTE Tower.

  • jtl999

    Push to talk smartphones? I don’t understand the concept. Could someone explain it to me?

    • Plazmic Flame

      Me too, I would like to know. Seems like it is primarily for people working outdoors like construction, electrical or the guy climbing cell towers.

      “Hey Bob! Do I put blue to blue or blue to yellow?!”

    • jtl999

      I think I saw PTT phones or walkie talkies on a video of a guy climbing phone towers for Telus on Bowen Island.

    • marorun1982

      Well even in construction company they have boss and supervisor who need access to email and smartphone capacity just so you know.

  • Owen Finn

    You mean “grammatical errors”.

  • Matt Welke

    Can’t this be accomplished with an app?

    • marorun1982

      Yes but with various degree of success and stability.
      Provider solutions are usually more stable.

  • Bojan Rakita

    I don’t understand use of this , if you have LTE coverage, why not use apps like Skype, or any other VOIP-like app to talk with someone on-site. PTT is dead technology in my view, but I might be wrong.

    • Matt mitchell

      One to one communication could be done with a phone call. But one to many communications like a team working to position something on a job site benefit from the multiple contacts available with PTT. (“Sarah lower it some more… Joe, are we clear on the north side? Randi- What’s the clearance. Are we lined up yet?…)

    • Bojan Rakita

      Hmmm with IMS solution around corner and RCS VOLTE, I still can’t understand it…