Wiretaps may mute Nextel rivals
Meanwhile, Nextel is sitting on the sidelines, watching its competitors sweat it out. The company, along with Motorola, introduced push-to-talk technology in the early 1990s and has been able to capture the conversations for at least two years.
With competitors’ development efforts now possibly sidelined, the Reston, Va.-based carrier can continue perfecting its first consumer-oriented phones after a decade of selling them predominantly to mobile business professionals.
Nextel’s engineers, which worked alongside Motorola’s for two years on its tapping solution, uses an older generation of push-to-talk technology, in which everything, from the silences to the giggles, passes through the same bit of bandwidth.
“I can’t stress this enough: It took a lot of work for us to tap these phone calls,” Nextel spokeswoman Audrey Schaeffer said. “We had to invent an entirely new technology. It wasn’t easy, and we worked long and hard at it.”
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