Verizon Wireless Offers Low-Cost Push-to-Talk Phone

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Verizon Wireless announced the availability Monday of a new push-to-talk, clamshell-design mobile phone developed by Personal Communications Devices LLC.

The wireless phone, the CDM8975, sells for US$100 after a $50 rebate and requires a new two-year wireless service agreement from Verizon, the company said. It is available now through business sales channels and will be in Verizon stores beginning March 9. Customers with Verizon's nationwide voice service plan can add unlimited push-to-talk capabilities for $5 per month, per user.

Verizon sells other push-to-talk devices, which offer a walkie-talkie instant connection to other users, such as workers on a team who need to coordinate. The CDM8975 represents a low-cost alternative to some other devices in the category. The carrier has made a strong marketing push with push-to-talk in the past year, attempting to cut into a similar offering from Sprint Nextel Corp. , analysts said.

The new device runs on Verizon's EV-DO Rev. A network and supports Verizon's navigation software, VZ Navigator, which provides users with access to audible directions and maps to find business locations. It is Web-enabled, supports Bluetooth, has a 1.3 megapixel camera with the ability to record video and supports voice commands, including voice-activated dialing.

Other features include an internal antenna, V Cast Music and Video, text messaging, expandable memory of up to 8GB with a microSD card, and a bilingual (Spanish and English) interface.

The CDM8975 is 3.7 x 1.9 x .8 inches in size when closed and weighs 3.2 ounces.

This story, "Verizon Wireless Offers Low-Cost Push-to-Talk Phone" was originally published by Computerworld.

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