News Factor: Cell Phones Go Walkie-Talkie

Just as federal regulators prepare to let consumers keep their phone numbers when they change wireless carriers, marketers are ramping up walkie-talkie features that can operate with a code rather than actual telephone numbers.
The number portability rule goes into effect Nov. 24. As it does, wireless carriers are trying to mimic Nextel’s (Nasdaq: NXTL) walkie-talkie technology.
The service makes an immediate connection to others on the network by eliminating wait time for dial tones, voice mail navigation and travel through a local network. (full story)