by Christopher Freeburn | June 10, 2013 4:37 pm
As Sprint (S) shutters its Nextel network, rival AT&T (T) is bringing Nextel’s primary feature to Apple‘s (AAPL) iPhone.
On Monday, the nation’s second largest wireless network announced that it has developed an app that allows iPhone users to use their smartphones like walkie-talkies. The app marks the first time iPhones will get the feature in the U.S., the Associated Press notes.
By tapping a button in the app, users can transmit voice communication to groups of up to 250 users. So called push-to-talk systems are routinely used at construction, logistics and industrial worksites.
AT&T’s new app will only work for corporate customers who sign up for the service and will require additional support to implement.
A number of other phones feature push-to-talk service on networks operated by Sprint, Verizon (VZ) and AT&T.
Last year, Sprint announced that it would cease operation of its Nextel network — acquired during its disastrous 2005 merger with Nextel — by the end of June.
Shares of AT&T climbed more than 1% in Monday morning trading.
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