From Nextel’s press release:
Nextel Communications, Inc. today announced NextMail, a unique application that allows users to send a streaming mp3 voice message from their phone to any e-mail recipient quickly and easily by simply pressing the Direct Connect button on the side of every Nextel phone. This distinct convergence of instant walkie-talkie voice communication and e-mail offers an effective productivity tool that transcends geographic borders and time zones. NextMail is powered by Pacific DataVision (PDV).
The NextMail service is ideal for Nextel’s business customers who may not always have time to write an e-mail or have access to a computer. Because its messages are sent with a time and date stamp, NextMail provides a quick and easy means of communicating the status of current jobs or projects. It is ideal for the construction, real estate, insurance, property management and manufacturing industries as well as the accounting and legal professions.
NextMail can facilitate group e-mails – up to 50 addresses at once – and the recipient of a NextMail message can easily respond to the originator in text (SMS) form. Customers can also deliver NextMail messages to their own e-mail inboxes as verbal reminders or to record meeting notes. Additionally, NextMail messages can be stored electronically in order to provide detailed documentation of important projects.
“NextMail service is another industry first and demonstrates the true power of Nextel’s Push To Talk beyond traditional walkie-talkie conversations. We’re once again proving the vast applicability of our Push To Talk technology to help people get things done,” said Greg Santoro, vice president of products and services, Nextel. “Nextel was the first cellular service provider to offer walkie-talkie service more than a decade ago, and more recently we were the first to provide walkie-talkie service nationwide and across international borders. Now, in partnership with PDV, we are redefining and expanding Push To Talk benefits for our customers.”
Nextel customers can send NextMail messages from anywhere in Nextel’s all-digital U.S. network, or while traveling in Canada, Brazil, Argentina and Peru. Later this summer, Nextel will enable International Direct Connect and NextMail services to and from Mexico. Recipients of NextMail messages can be located anywhere in the world, wherever e-mail is accessible, and they do not need to be Nextel customers.
“No matter where they are, now our employees don’t have to drop everything to send an e-mail,” said Lian Schmitt, customer service coordinator for Western Pacific Housing, which participated in a trial of NextMail service and is a division of D.R. Horton, which builds and sells homes in 51 U.S. markets. “Previously, our field managers used their cell phones to call in work orders, completion notices and miscellaneous requests to a busy administrative team, who lost productivity due to the constant interruptions. NextMail service eliminates these disturbances and adds significant value to our company.”
To use NextMail service, someone simply selects a recipient from a Nextel phone’s contact list, presses the Push To Talk button and begins to speak. After finishing talking and then releasing the button, an e-mail message is automatically sent and it includes an mp3 voice file link.
NextMail service is easy to set up and requires no software downloads. It is available on any Nextel handset for $7.50 per month. Existing Nextel customers can subscribe to the service by calling 800-639-6111 or at www.nextel.com. New Nextel customers can request NextMail service when purchasing a phone at www.nextel.com, at a local Nextel retail store or by calling 800-NEXTEL9. To learn more about the NextMail service or for system requirements, visit www.nextel.com/nextmail.