Sprint-Nextel merger: IP push-to-talk?

We have the overview for you on the technology integration challenges the Sprint-Nextel merger, formally announced today, will face.But since this space is dedicated to IP Telephony, we should concentrate on what this combination brings.

We have the overview for you on the technology integration challenges the Sprint-Nextel merger, formally announced today, will face.

But since this space is dedicated to IP Telephony, we should concentrate on what this combination brings.

We'll go over what the companies are saying. Then, I will make a prediction.

The participants say that Sprint Nextel will "havenational wireless and global IP networks,"and be able to "provide robust integrated wireless and IP-based wireline solutions to business."

Sprint, of course, has that already. Sprint Managed IP Telephony service offers transport,equipment, network design, installation and management support for IP-based PBX. And Sprint Voice over IP Services is positioned as a cost-saver for the enterprise.

Now here's what I think. Nextel is not a presence in the IP Telephony space, but it does have some interesting technology. I envision Nextel's well-marketed push-to-talk cell phone functionality as being expanded into the IP Telephony space. Don't be surprised to see some sort of Sprint Nextel-branded IP device similar to Voiceglo's GloPhone.

IP push-to-talk would be a great opportunity, and not a huge leap,forvendors such as Motorola and Blackberry-maker Research In Motion, both of which are major phone suppliers to Nextel.

Then, you have Nextel's existing 15.3 million subscriber base. A substantial majority will be brought into this marriage with Sprint without any prior relationship with the carrier. Look for major IP Telephony evangelistic efforts to this customer base. In other words, if you are an existing Nextel subscriber,you'll be getting the word about VoIP.

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