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Nextel pushes into Mexico

Carrier's "push to talk" service now reaches Canada and four Latin American countries.

Wireless carrier Nextel Communications on Wednesday made its flagship "push to talk" feature available in Mexico.

In doing so, the company was following up on a pledge to go global that it began articulating as early as May 2003. With push-to-talk service, sometimes described as walkie-talkie service, there's no time spent dialing or making a connection to the network, so the calls are shorter and cost less.

The service has been available to customers of Nextel and its partners in Canada, Argentina, Brazil and Peru, since May.

As part of a promotion related to the expansion of the service into other countries, the company said it is making the service available for free until July 1 for existing customers. Afterward, it will be priced starting at 10 cents per minute, with a $5 monthly fee. Other pricing options will include a pay-as-you-go rate of 20 cents per minute and a $20-per-month plan with unlimited minutes.

Push-to-talk customers will be able to use data services such as e-mail, BlackBerry mail, two-way messaging and Web browsing. Subscribers will also be able to access Nextel's NextMail service, which enables customers to send a voice message as an e-mail.