Verizon Officially Announces Push to Talk - Limited Free Trial Will Be Available

By Adam Zeis on 29 Mar 2010 09:30 am EDT

Verizon PTT

As we expected, Verizon announced today that Push to Talk features will be arriving for the Tour tomorrow. In a press release issued this morning, Verizon stated the service will be available on March 30th, and customers can add PTT to their account by calling customer service. Features of PTT include:

  • Communicate with one person or a team with the push of a button
  • Initiate and participate in group calls with up to 50 participants
  • Check colleagues' availability for a Push to Talk call with the Presence feature
  • A single device and phone number for both Push to Talk and voice calls
  • Online contact management tool for the entire organization

What is surprising however is that Verizon will be offering up a "limited free trial" for customers with qualifying BlackBerry data plans. What plans this is refering to we don't know, but good news for those Tour users looking to try out the services without coughing up the $5. Check the full release after the jump.

Push to Talk Transforms BlackBerry Tour From Verizon Wireless Into a Powerful Business Communications Tool for Field Workforces

Feature Will Be Available Starting March 30

BASKING RIDGE, N.J., March 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Verizon Wireless today announced that Push to Talk will be available for the BlackBerry® Tour(TM) 9630 smartphone on March 30. It will be available for both BlackBerry® Internet Service and BlackBerry® Enterprise Server customers using the BlackBerry Tour smartphone.

"Extending Push to Talk to the BlackBerry Tour from Verizon Wireless offers business customers a single device for instant communication plus the enterprise-grade security and robust business communications capabilities people have come to expect from a BlackBerry smartphone from Verizon Wireless," said Mark Bartolomeo, vice president -- global enterprise marketing for Verizon Wireless. "These features, coupled with the nation's most reliable wireless network, mean customers have the ultimate in productivity tools."

Customers can add Push to Talk to their service plans by calling 1-800-VZW-4BIZ or online via My Business Account at or Verizon Enterprise Center at BlackBerry Internet Service customers -- typically consumers -- may request the service by calling 1-800-2 JOIN IN or visiting the My Verizon site online at

Once Push to Talk is added to their service plans, customers can download the application from the Application Center or through VZStart on their handsets. The convenience key on the left side of the device will automatically become the Push to Talk button when the application is downloaded.

Verizon Wireless offers a number of Push to Talk phones, including the CASIO® G'zOne Rock(TM), CASIO® G'zOne Brigade(TM), Samsung Convoy(TM) and Motorola Barrage(TM). Push to Talk provides instant two-way communication for field workers in industries ranging from construction to public safety and offers the following benefits:

-- Communicate with one person or a team with the push of a button
-- Initiate and participate in group calls with up to 50 participants
-- Check colleagues' availability for a Push to Talk call with the
Presence feature
-- A single device and phone number for both Push to Talk and voice calls
-- Online contact management tool for the entire organization

For a limited time only, starting March 30, Verizon Wireless will offer free Push to Talk service when customers activate a qualifying voice plan and BlackBerry data plan.

For more information about Verizon Wireless products and services for business, visit or contact a Verizon Wireless Business Sales Representative at 1-800-VZW-4BIZ.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless operates the nation's most reliable and largest wireless voice and 3G data network, serving more than 91 million customers. Headquartered in Basking Ridge, N.J., with 83,000 employees nationwide, Verizon Wireless is a joint venture of Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ)(NASDAQ: VZ) and Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD). For more information, visit To preview and request broadcast-quality video footage and high-resolution stills of Verizon Wireless operations, log on to the Verizon Wireless Multimedia Library at

The BlackBerry and RIM families of related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and trademarks of Research In Motion Limited.

Adam Zeis Adam Zeis "Mobile Nations Content Strategist" 3740 (articles) 2892 (forum posts)

Reader comments

Verizon Officially Announces Push to Talk - Limited Free Trial Will Be Available


You know what is mind blowing, is Sprint/Nextel mainly nextel has push to talk and was a very popular feature. Now Verizon has the push to talk feature that I have been wait for Sprit to offer for years. Way to go Sprint

I used PTT on Nextel ,oh ot had to be back in 98 or 99 and I thioght it was pretty cool. I hope this takes for work anyway. don't think it will be very popular with in the personel arena seeing as you never know what your recipient is doing at the time.

Good Luck with that Verizon, no matter what they do it will never beat NEXTEL on the PTT, and it will never compare to NEXTEL PTT. I do not know one person with Verizon PTT

thats becuase Verizon doesnt have PTT until tomorrow, so obviously thats why you dont know anyone with PTT on Verizon yet becuase its not out yet idoit. Yes, Verizon is a huge company compared to nextel, so yes Verizon will be a lot better at PTT then Nextel when it comes out tomorrow

"becuase its not out yet idoit"

*slow clap* bravo. good show, chap. jolly good show!

VZW has had PTT on some of their devices for a number of years now. It is available right now on devices like the Motorola Barrage and the Samsung Convoy and has been available for years on phones similar to these two.

Please think, and at the very least, research before you spout off on somebody else's intelligence.

Verizon has had PTT for a few years now. But from what I hear it never really worked out that well. Nextel has an awesome PTT service, but data downloads are too slow on IDEN network. I just hope Sprint comes out with PTT that can be used in connection with Nextel PTT.

... and it was slow, really, painfully slow. It wasn't the phone, it was the technology. According to a VZW third-party salesman, the PTT traffic went across the data network, unlike Nextel's which went across the cell/IDEN network. VZW's setup had to "ping" the phone first to get status, then start communications. The salesman said that this is useful for general communications, but nothing time critical. An example was if I was communicating with a guy operating a crane: a Nextel phone would give you "live" feedback, and VZW would give you the equivalency of a news reporter talking to someone in Iraq via satellite.

Now, this was about 7 or 8 years ago, so lets hope VZW's data network has grown up some and runs faster than before. If it does, I'd love to see it available for all 5.0 OS phones.

Sure Nextel is the King of PTT but thats because it was designed exclusively for that. We all know that Nextel had very spotty service areas for both the PTT and cellular coverage. Thats why most older users of Nextel have since switched to other companies with better coverage and no PTT.
As far as Verizon PTT, yes it goes over the data network which will indeed make it a bit slower than Nextels Iden network. Thats the way the new Sprint and Hybrid Sprint PTTs work. Over a data connection.
I think Verizons PTT never took off because of the few lame phones they offered. With their coverage and if they are smart and offer across the board for all the Blackberry's, I think they might have a winner. So far it sounds like it is a software upgrade, so if they get working fast and hard with RIM and open this service up to other models, I think you will see it start to take off. I have a Storm2 and definitely would go for this.
Another plus with going over data, there is a strong possibility that at a future date, this service maybe able to go from carrier to carrier.

Is this only going to be for Tour owners? I don't know any other Tour owners besides myself. I think the Push to talk novelty has died. A few yrs ago it was the hottest thing to have that Nextel phone and make it "chirp". It seemed like every where you went, you heard that familiar chirp. Nowadays you never hear it anymore. Besides, with the popularity of bluetooth headsets, people tend to keep their conversations personal. I don't know what Verizon is doing, but I don't think this is going to catch on at all. Unless they've added a groundbreaking new feature to the PTT experience, this is destined to fail IMO.

Didn't verizon try this PTT thing a few years ago?

Yeah they have had PTT for a few years and it isn't hugely popular, at least around here from people I know that have VZW.

I do believe that you can use PTT with a bluetooth headset. I think you hear the other person through the headset and then you can talk back using the phone, or maybe you could use the headset?

I'm not completely sure but for some reason I seem to remember using Bluetooth with PTT, but maybe not. I'm not sure.

This feature has been around for over 5 years. Its always been sold to business. And is still being marketed to business.

I looked in my Application Center this morning and the PTT Download was there. I called Verizon to sign up as instructed, I was asked to do a battery pull on my phone. When my phone rebooted the PTT was gone and they told me it wasn't suppose to be release yet and blamed it on Blackberry. They told me that it will be available at a later date............wth?

I noticed that PTT download in my App Center last week. I've done several battery pulls between now and then. After reading this post I went and checked and I still have it. Don't think I will be using it though. Never did care for the Nextels. And found it kind of annoying when standing in line at a register and the person behind me is having a conversation the entire store can hear.

I work in the construction wholesale industry and I'd be very interested in trying this if some of my customers out in the field or company decided to give it a try. I had Nextel a few years ago and the PTT worked great but the service just sucked.

ok. a few dumb questions I have...

can I use PTT with non-Tour users
can I use PTT with non-PTT users (i.e. if a friend has VZW LG flip phone)

I wonder what the battery drain (or less-drain?) this feature will have on the Tour.

I would say yes
I would say no
I would say yes some if it's always running,,,and I hope you can remove or disable it because I won't use that function of this phone :p

Who gives a sh*t about PTT, WHERE'S 5.0?? And SOOOOO lame no gmail two-way sync for BIS 3.0, bunch of slow fools.

they're just trying to make Tour users feel important. "Sorry we made you wait forever for 5.0, here's some dumb feature no one wanted that you're going to have to pay more for, which sadly isnt included in the $30 plan you pay for already."

stoked for the 5.0, dont really give a crap about PTT.

Nextel has had the market cornered on PTT for some time. However, their biggest drawback is coverage and data speed. It's like they built the network but never upgraded their data or expanded it. I had a Curve 8350i for a while. Loved the phone, hated the data. Plus, I live 15 miles from work, all interstate and I could never talk on my phone all the way to work without my call getting dropped 4 times. Verizon could make it work but they are going to have to market the hell out of it. Their network is better and they have 3G everywhere. PTT works with Bluetooth and has for several years. The evolution and integration of PTT and BlackBerry is perfect in Big Red's case. The only thing I can say is: HEY VERIZON, HOOK THE REST OF US BERRY OWNERS UP!

Just curious where that was (see subject line), and maybe when it was noticed... I know some people over at Sprint that still work on the iDEN network stuff that would want to know about that so they can try to fix it.