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Verizon Wireless Vs. Nextel

Boot Camp feature for Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Verizon Wireless Vs. Nextel. Bloomberg Boot Camp, a report on today's technology. The push to talk or walkie talkie feature is what has set Nextel apart from its competition in the cell phone service business. Nextel has won about 12 million mostly business subscribers... .and the company's stock has jumped about 200 percent over the last year. Now Verizon Wireless, the nation's biggest cell phone service with more than 34 million subscribers... is adding walkie talkie type services on some phones trying to win some of those lucrative business customers away. Verizon's David Samberg... says the sales pitch is simple...

"This new feature, this push to talk feature... now you get this on the nation's best wireless network. So you have the advantage of our excellent Verizon Wireless network and you have the added feature of this push to talk."

One of the unique features Verizon Wireless is adding... .are on screen icons to tell users which of their push to talk contacts are available ... similar to what you would see with instant messaging services on a PC... .

"What's unique about this is not only can you do personal calling, one on one, you can also call groups. You speak to these groups at the same time and you build these groups by simply going to a Web site. You don't have to call customer service, you can control all of this yourself from a Web site."

Service plans that included unlimited Push to Talk start at about 60 dollars a month. Verizon and Nextel have been battling in court over Verizon's use of the phrase Push to Talk... in selling the new service. Bloomberg Boot Camp, I'm Fred Fishkin.