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Telstra's Talk Now: more than push-to-talk

Telstra launch Talk Now and hope a business focus will garner a greater user base than previous releases of push-to-talk technology.

Telstra 159: currently the only Talk Now compatible handset.

Telstra have today announced the launch of its new Talk Now service, which combines push-to-talk functionality with complimentary services such as conference calling, group text and voicemail, and the ability to see which members of a Talk Now user group are currently logged into the service.

Telstra Business Group Managing Director Deena Shiff says the service may benefit businesses "with staff geographically dispersed or in multiple locations."

"At the push of a button, a transport company dispatcher can communicate immediately with one driver or up to 30 across the country simultaneously".

Thirty is the maximum number of users per group, and therefore is the maximum number of users that can participate in a Talk Now conference call, or be sent a single text or voice message over the service.

Push-to-talk is a mobile network feature which allows mobile phone users to communicate with other pre-selected users across the same mobile network without dialling a number, essentially turning mobile phone handsets into "walkie-talkies".

This feature has been available on a range of mobile devices for several years, but struggled in the past to find a dedicated user base.

Pricing for the Talk Now service is AU$10 per month and the service is currently limited to the Telstra 159 handset.