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.