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walkie talkie

A handheld device that provides communications between two or more people using dedicated frequencies over short distances, typically less than a mile. There is no dial-up procedure; it is always on and is activated instantly by pressing a button and talking.

This always-on instant communications is also provided by specialized mobile radio (SMR) services for police, taxis and other vehicles. Having acquired numerous SMR operators throughout the U.S., Nextel is noted for combining long distance walkie talkie capability with its cellphone service (see Nextel).


(Nextel Communications, Inc., Reston, VA, A wireless communications carrier founded in New Jersey in 1987 as Fleet Call, a two-way radio service. Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the company acquired a large number of SMR (Specialized Mobile Radio) operators and turned them into a nationwide system. In 1996, it introduced Motorola's iDEN technology, which incorporated dispatch radio, cellphone, data and text messaging into one phone. Branded as Nextel's Direct Connect, the iDEN two-way radio service provided an always-on connection between mobile workers similar to a walkie talkie. Nextel was one of the first cellular carriers to institute a no-roaming-charge service nationwide. In 2004, Nextel merged with Sprint, which became Sprint Nextel. However, in 2013, the Nextel IDEN network was terminated.

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