Introducing the First LTE-Capable Feature Phone in North America: The Kyocera DuraXE

DuraXE_VoLTE

While at CES, Kyocera and AT&T introduced the DuraXE, a flip-style rugged feature phone with Push-To-Talk (PTT) capabilities to enable communication in tough, harsh work environments. What many people do not realize, however, is that the Kyocera DuraXE is the first LTE-capable feature phone available in North America.

So, what does that actually mean for consumers and enterprise workers? A few crucial things, actually:

VoLTE: With support for Voice-Over-LTE (VoLTE), the Kyocera DuraXE enables HD voice, which means sharper, crisper audio, a capability that is especially important for workers at noisy construction sites or loud factories. According to Sascha Segan at PC Magazine, “VoLTE, which can include ‘high-definition’ voice and rich calling services such as IM and voice calling, will eventually replace standard voice calling on all four major networks.”

Smartphone-like functionality: Running on an open-source operating system and featuring a Qualcomm® Snapdragon processor with 1.1 GHz quad-core CPUs, the DuraXE offers functionality typically reserved for smartphones, including creation of Wi-Fi hot spots and support for Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) software from industry leaders like SOTI. SOTI and its flagship product, MobiControl, provide needed tools to more than 15,000 enterprise customers and millions of devices managed worldwide, allowing enterprises to optimize and secure their mobile workforces across all platforms to support both corporate-liable and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies. DuraXE is the first ruggedized feature phone to run MobiControl.

Enhanced PTT: For the enterprise PTT user on AT&T’s Enhanced Push-to-Talk (EPTT) network, life just got a little better with enhanced performance over LTE, including higher capacity and faster response time. Kyocera already builds its rugged devices with out-of-the-box support for a range of PTT services and platforms, and includes enhanced sound quality for speaker and microphone, dedicated walkie-talkie-style side-buttons and superior battery life, while partnering with a wide range of optimized accessories for rugged environments and applications. Now instant one-to-one and one-to-many communications are even easier and more reliable with the backing of an LTE network.

Better service: Running on AT&T’s LTE network, DuraXE offers superior connectivity to rival 3G feature phones. That means better signal wherever you are and the ability to (almost) always be connected, as well as fewer dropped calls. Plus, DuraXE can function as a mobile hotspot.

At Kyocera, we see LTE becoming pervasive in feature phones, and we’re thrilled to lead the charge and be the first to deliver an LTE-capable feature phone with VoLTE capabilities. For only $13.50/month for 20 months, $49.99 with a two-year service agreement and purchase of Enhanced Push-to-Talk service (CRU only), or $270 without contract, the rugged, waterproof DuraXE is leading the way for feature phones, be it HD Voice, Enhanced PTT or simply LTE connectivity that you need.

For more information on the Kyocera DuraXE, visit AT&T or at Kyocera Mobile.

John is director of corporate communications at Kyocera. He has worked on the Kyocera team shaping its communications strategy over the past 15 years – 13 of those years in-house and two with a Kyocera agency partner. John has always had a passion for writing and began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Whittier Daily News, part of a multi-paper syndicate in Los Angeles.  When not working, he and his wife can usually be found coaching, shuttling, refereeing or cheering for his three sons and their numerous plays, concerts and sports teams. 

Blueforce Development Corporation Endorses Kyocera’s Devices For Workers in Hazardous Locations and Jobs

Blueforce

At Kyocera, we believe that not all rugged devices are created equal. Our DNA is rooted in creating mobile devices that offer a unique blend of toughness, performance and affordability, and we feel we have a leg up when it comes to providing field workers the best durable mobile solutions. A big part of our success in rugged is in part because we have a great ecosystem of developer partners creating apps that tailor our devices to particular markets, like Blueforce Development Corporation.

Blueforce develops software products that “facilitate the formation of arbitrary and spontaneous confederations of people, sensors, and systems using mobile devices.” Their sweet spot is delivering network-centric computing for those requiring the highest degree of security, mobility, and interoperability, making them a perfect match for Kyocera.

One way Kyocera differentiates our devices for potentially dangerous jobs is by certifying them to certain OSHA “HAZLOC” (or “Hazardous Location”) standards. Earlier this week Blueforce posted a blog entitled, “A Primer on the HAZLOC Certification: Not All Mobile Scenarios Require Intrinsically Safe Devices,” where they outlined the benefits and tradeoffs of different levels of HAZLOC certifications.

As Blueforce pointed out in this blog post, it is imperative to carry a properly certified phone if you work around hazardous materials. That’s where Kyocera excels. Blueforce endorsed our rugged devices, particularly our Brigadier, DuraForce and DuraForce XD for providing workers in high-risk settings “peace of mind that their smartphones are certified for protection in hazardous locations where concentrations of flammable gases, vapors or mists are not normally present in an explosive concentration (but may accidentally exist).” They also go on to endorse our Class I, Division 2-certified devices as offering, “the necessary and robust level of protection, full ruggedization and the affordability and convenience of an off-the-shelf solution from the nation’s leading wireless service providers.”

“Customers with highly mobile workforces require solutions that match the environments in which they work. Whether it is oil and gas, or visiting nurses and social workers, a common requirement emerges: all require a device that is safe, a device that is resilient, and a device is easy to use. Kyocera delivers all of this and more,” said Michael Helfrich, CEO of Blueforce Development Corporation.

Partners like Blueforce are important to Kyocera’s success in our mission to be the worldwide leader in creating rugged mobile solutions. For more information on HAZLOC certifications or Blueforce, check out their blog or call them at 866-960-0204.

John is director of corporate communications at Kyocera. He has worked on the Kyocera team shaping its communications strategy over the past 15 years – 13 of those years in-house and two with a Kyocera agency partner. John has always had a passion for writing and began his career as a newspaper reporter at the Whittier Daily News, part of a multi-paper syndicate in Los Angeles.  When not working, he and his wife can usually be found coaching, shuttling, refereeing or cheering for his three sons and their numerous plays, concerts and sports teams.