Missing the old PTT services from Nextel now that Sprint has shut down the IDEN network? Prip might fill the gap. The Android app will be on iPhone soon and turns your handset into a two-way walkie talkie.

Sprint direct connect PTT phones

Messages and phone calls are great but sometimes you want or need simple instant voice communication. That’s where push-to-talk or PTT services come into play and thanks to Prip software, you can add PTT to your Android device. The application, freely available in the Google Play store, works on devices running Android 2.3 or later and comes with a free one-month trial. After that, you’ll need to pony up $7.99 a month to continue the walkie-talkie fun.

Prip on AndroidI’ve seen a number of similar services in the past but they never seemed to attract a market due to hardware constraints or other challenges. Prip, a product of NII Holdings just might buck the trend because it works on a vast number of Android smartphones and tablets. The service works over your standard data connection; either cellular or Wi-Fi. Best of all is that Prip was developed by Motorola, which has a history with the technology, most recently including it in the Atrix HD smartphone.

Now that Prip is available for most Android devices, it could find a following; particularly because last month Sprint shut down its IDEN network used for Nextel PTT devices. More than likely it won’t be consumers that jump on the Prip bandwagon, however. At $8 a month, Prip is geared more towards government or construction employees that need this type of communications.

After installing Prip, you’ll be able to talk to NII Holding’s 11 million subscribers in Mexico, Brazil and in Latin America as well as with other U.S.-based Prip subscribers. Don’t fret, iPhone owners: Prip is expected for iOS in the coming weeks.

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  1. There’s actually a better and possibly cheaper solution that was covered by another @gigaom columnist a month ago @kfitchard:

    1. I’d think this one is better, no? ATT’s is locked to people only on their network. Prip seems like a multi-carrier, multi-platform solution.

  2. I think Wechat alright can do this. And it is free too.

  3. Zello is a mich better app, its already multi platform and best of all its absolutely free. No trials or hidden costs. It lets users sign up with phone numbers or with an email address.

    1. I think this works better than Zello and I can talk to any Nextel phone – not just smartphones

  4. We Chat Good alternative and its free..

  5. 7.99 a month for something I can do for free already.

  6. If it works like the Nextel service did, then great, just what we need, more people on speakerphone in public. I imagine it will also have that obnoxious chirping sound. If the new design doesn’t have the chirp and use the speakerphone – fine.

  7. Brad Ganley Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    Sprint still has push-to-talk on all of it’s rugged phones (like all of the ones that had it before). They shut down iDen, not that oh-so-easy-to-replicate function.

    1. but with sprint it is a minimum of $45 a month and a 2 year contract

  8. jencanfield7 Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    Voxer works great too. Plus Voxer is free, and like Prip, runs through wifi.

    You can also have group chats in Voxer which is really fun with friends.

  9. jencanfield7 Tuesday, July 9, 2013

    Sounds a lot like Voxer to me. And I think Voxer is better. Not only is Voxer free, but you can also send text and pictures. And Voxer allows you to have group chats.

    1. Voxer isn’t real time like this is. I’ve been using this side-by-side with Voxer. Voxer is a Nextel wanna-be. This is the closest I’ve seen to Nextel that you can use on any smartphone.

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