Cross Carrier Push to Talk Coming to BlackBerry for $10/mo.

By Kevin Michaluk on 6 Jan 2009 11:22 am EST

Dang. This is kinda cool. HipVoice is bringing their unlimited cross carrier Push to Talk service to BlackBerry smartphones in the near future for $10/month. HipVoice doesn't communicate with other carriers' Push to Talk systems, rather is a whole new client - so anybody you want to talk to will also have to use the HipVoice service (could be a great solution for companies where all employees could use it... maybe not so practical for consumers unless your peeps all sign up). The service will allow:

  • UNICAST: Push-To-Talk one to one
  • MULTICAST: Push-To-Talk one to many (Also to Walkie Talkies)
  • CHANNEL: Push-To-Talk to anyone subscribed to the channel
  • RICH MESSAGING: Text message users that are on or off-line

Be sure to watch the video above and visit for more information.

[ BerryReview via BBCool ]

Reader comments

Cross Carrier Push to Talk Coming to BlackBerry for $10/mo.


The gui looks a bit clunky from what I can tell, but I bet things will get improved on in the future. This looks like it has some real promise. I can't wait to look for more from this later on.

this looks like a great feature..but if it stores all the push to talk messages is it gonna impact the memory on the phone

i think this is an awesome idea. i just have to convince my cheap friends to pay 10 bucks a month too, lol

This is indeed great, but seems to target specific consumers. In my opinion, this feature would be better welcomed by the average consumer if they include a pay as you use option. An extra $10 on my bill for such a feature is a deal breaker for me.

yea . i cant see paying 10$ a month either to just talk to a couple people . say if 3 friends plus me wanted to talk thats $40 a month just for us 4 to talk.... thats crazy i dont believe the voice calls between us would be anywhere near that amount . besides it looks like it just using the data connection that we are alreay paying for .

NO deal !

Which carrier that has either no PTT or crappy PTT will buy this out first? Something tells me, it's not going to be Sprint. I wouldn't be surprised if Verizon, AT&T, or T-Mobile took a quick interest though. I wonder what the true data consumption of such a feature is over network, and whether it would actually be worth it, compared to just a mobile to mobile phone call.

This is cool and all, but isn't it really just "visual SMS"?? The message you send comes up in the screen so you can read it also. I thought this was being done already (can't remember by who)and is just an extension of voice notes / dailing. The thing about push to talk that I never understood is that you have to pay extra to make what is basicly a phone call. You push a button and say something, they push a button and say something back. That's a phone call. If you have BB messenger, you can send a voice note to someone with that already. Just not sure what the attraction to something like this would be, and at a $10 adder to an already sky high bill, don't see this catching on.

Ok so that is a pretty cool product. BUT.... Could they have found a bigger douche nozzle to do the video. Seriously that guy is Fucklng annoying!

I can see myself using this to contact people in Canada from the US, it'd be way cheaper than those long distance plans! And I'd assume you have to have a data plan huh?

Interesting concept, but $10 a month for single customers, I don't see a real stampede to buy it. However, they DO offer volume discounts, which would be great for a small business. Especially those with outside or contracted sales people that may be out of state who may not have iDEN coverage, for businesses that send out job crews outside of a specific coverage area or for employees that come in to work from an outside area. Along those same lines, it would be good to have it available on a desktop for office dispatch or contact for short voice messages.

Latency...well, anyone that's used a NEXThEL knows that there IS a slight bit of latency anyway. Nothing like this, but it does exist.

I must say though, if the quality is as good as "PBA Vinnie" advertises on the video, sounds exceptionally promising.

And do away with the message store, or at the very least make it configurable.

i think that is a cool idea and it shows a lot of promise if they come out with a family type plan for it.i have five lines and it would cost me to much to add it at ten dollars a pop but if they do it like a family text plan then i can see it taking off.

I think it's a very interesting replacement to any of the current Push-To-Talk (PTT) devices (or at least a close substitute) because PTT users currently pay around $15 per line for the feature and is only available within the same network, using the same technology. Such a cross-carrier and cross-technology software to enable this is a deal maker for me. $10 per user is great!

Imagine your company did construction and used PTT with 50 users! (50 users x $15/month) whereas paying $10/month/user including the fact that you can use it only a variety of devices ranging from phone to PDA. The savings would be incredible!

not worth my money or time when i pay for tons of minutes ill just call or shoot a text, plus calling will sound ten times better and i HATE hearing all those fools 2-waying loud as hell at a restuarant.

It is completely obvious what this app is. They have taken the already available VOICENOTE feature in the Blackberry and have written a program to record a voicenote than send as a text/mms within this program to automatically open and play.

We can all see that in the demo as they said you can go back and replay voicenotes.

So basically they just simplified me recording a voicenote attaching the sound file to a message and sending it to a friend.

In my opinion I would pay a flat fee for the program but not pay every month to use the program.

Gonna have to Pass on this one also.

So, this is really just voice IM.

With my line of work, my co-workers and I use radios to communicate with each other. We are usually within a mile of each other, so having radios and headsets, we communicate quickly and easily. We will then use our cell phones to communicate if we go out of radio range, but that is somewhat cumbersome.

I can see using an application like this instead, since it would mean distance would no longer be an issue (and we woulnd't need to carry the radios anymore). The lag is a little bothersome, though.

I think the voice history can be a good idea, if the storage is configurable. If messages can be saved to SD card instead of internal memory, then having message history could be viable.

I also agree that $10/month is a little steep. But if it saves burning through minutes, giving a quick way to communicate without having to open the message manually, and is reliable no matter the distance, then it could be worth it.

The biggest problem i see at first is the memory. you can instantly replay any message that has been sent? reminds me of the low memory issue most predominate on the Pearl. but as Xopher mentioned it would be a good idea, if the storage is configurable to memory card.

With a Motorola iDEN system, the voice is sent immediately and continues to send as the other person is recieving it. this seems to take a whole voicenote then send the file... its different and for some work applications it might be indesireable

this looks kind of cool. since i have a new bb8350i phone from nextel and as many of you know already we're having all kind of trouble with the sms and mms messaging feature on the phone this ptt just might be the death of nextel.