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Mobile Tornado Whips Up A Storm In Push-To-Talk Communications

The Ireland-based startup launched a service at this week's CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas that it claims offers more communications options to mobile users than Sprint Nextel's push-to-talk service.

Mobile Tornado has its eye on Sprint Nextel customers. The Ireland-based startup launched a service at this week's CTIA Wireless show in Las Vegas that it claims offers more communications options to mobile users than Sprint Nextel's push-to-talk service.

Push-to-talk services offer mobile device users a walkie-talkie type setup, letting someone contact another person on a cell phone with the click of a button.

Mobile Tornado's Push To Xperience platform, intended for carriers, mobile virtual network operators, and businesses, offers three communication services: push-to-talk, push-to-video, and push-to-E-mail. The services work with any wireless data network and many different mobile devices, according to Mobile Tornado. Sprint Nextel's push-to-talk service only works on the Sprint Nextel network.

Mobile Tornado's platform can do more than just transmit voice. Mobile users can also transmit text and video clips with one click using a "push-to" button on their device. For example, they can send streaming video to a contact or a group and conduct videoconferencing sessions. In November, Sprint Nextel launched a service that lets people send pictures via its push-to-talk service.

The platform also has presence awareness capabilities, so users can see which contacts are online. The concept is similar to buddy lists in desktop instant messaging applications. When contacts are offline, users can record a voice E-mail message and send it to an individual's or a group's E-mail inbox.

It's still unclear whether U.S. carriers will embrace Mobile Tornado's Push To Xperience, or whether companies will find business value in this technology. But it can open up new avenues for faster, less-expensive data and voice communications across different networks and mobile devices.

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