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Sprint Direct Connect...there's an app for that!

S4GRU

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Rickie Smith
Sprint 4G Rollout Updates
Tuesday, March 20, 2012 - 8:01 PM MDT

Have you wanted SDC (Sprint Direct Connect), but the phones that it is on doesn’t have the features you want? According to internal Sprint sources revealed to PhoneNews.com, it may be available as an app for select Android phones soon. This would allow you to talk in the walkie-talkie like fashion through your Android based phone to users of SDC or NDC (Nextel Direct Connect).

The app, called Sprint DirectConnect Now, will enable all of the current features found on SDC service without the need for dedicated hardware. Also it may feature the possibility to enable the long-promised Push-to-X features that never materialized on the previous generation of the platform.

Another key element to this version of DirectConnect is that the Android app can be ported easily to other Android devices in Sprint’s lineup. QChat itself is now platform agnostic, meaning that it can be deployed to other smartphone platforms such as BlackBerry, Windows Phone and even iOS, provided carriers that have rolled out QChat show enough interest in providing the service as an app in place of launching dedicated devices. Currently there are some apps out there that are walkie-talkie-like (TiKL, Voxer, etc.) but they are all internet-based. This will bridge it out to older Nextel phones and newer ones alike that aren’t Android based and without the dedicated software.

Qualcomm General Manager of QChat Visha Gupta said to PhoneNews.com last September, "the changes to QChat and the DirectConnect Now Android app is the direct result of the latest changes to the platform which frees it from the previous hardware requirements that were necessary with the version that was shelved in 2009 and turns QChat into a fully functioning push to talk service without the need to develop customized hardware around it, which was the biggest reason manufacturers were hesitant to include support into devices such as smartphones, due to the added expense and cost for integration with the previous version."

Another point of what has leaked is that International Direct Connect over CDMA and SDC will launch around the same time as this app. Could this be what Sprint was waiting for to start marketing SDC to business and pubic safety users as the replacement to the traditional Nextel Direct Connect? All their marketing now is geared around iPhone and unlimited data plans right now to gain shares in that area of the market. The app roll out could be a great way to integrate the rugged phone users to the business driven Android users together and boost Sprint’s subscriber numbers up and also help expedite the transfer of customers off the Nextel IDEN network. Could this come as part of the LTE phone roll out? Will keep an eye on it to see what will come.

More details are said to be released to the public in the coming weeks.

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Source: Phone News via SprintFeed

 



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This is a pretty sweet deal! Im wondering, how does/will the performance of this compare to apps like Voxer?

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I am not an expert, but since it is integrated to work directly with the network, but it should have a faster response time. Apps like Voxer record sound, then deliver the message to the other person via the internet, while the SDC will be more like the old Nextel walkie-talkie style communication with the voice being transmitted directly over the CDMA network. Other benefits of SDC over an internet based app is instant connection, and excellent reliability. This might not be necessary for the casual user, but it is what the business people have come to expect, and PTT has the chance to become popular (again).

The difference for sprint is that it will use significantly less data than a full internet connection (more like really short phone calls) which saves on network capacity issues, money, and hopefully again makes the end user happy that "it just works"

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This is another example of a sprint service that I don't use and actually despise to a certain degree. <chirp chirp> However, I do know that it is important to sprint's customer base that they get this right. Transportation companies, for one, rely on this service to facilitate communication between their units and headquarters. This should be what they need to not jump ship to another service - which can only be good for Sprint.

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Can't wait to see how this performs on their 2000ms ping network.

With the Network Vision / LTE rollout it shouldnt be an issue.

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