A smartphone walkie-talkie app

SK Telecom, the South Korea’s largest mobile carrier, has released a new smartphone walkie-talkie application named “Oki Talkie.”

The company said the app, which is downloadable for free, supports basic walkie-talkie functions and is not affected by problems such as channel confusion and distance limitations because it operates based on the long-term evolution (LTE) network.

“We have launched the app for those who need a radio transceiver for leisure activities or other events,” said Cho Eung-tae, senior vice president of SK Telecom’s platform business and product planning office, in a statement.

SK Telecom said the app supports about 100,000 communications channels, compared to only 40 channels available with ordinary walkie-talkies. A closed channel is also available to block others from listening in on communications.

The Oki Talkie app is operable regardless of distance if a smartphone is connected to the LTE network or Wi-Fi. Ordinary walkie-talkies have an average of 1-3 kilometers of communication range.

The app uses the latest audio codec to minimize data consumption. The company said four minutes of communication consumes only 1 megabyte of data. Users can also invite others to communication channels through existing social networking services such as KakaoTalk, Facebook, Twitter and Band.

SK Telecom said it expects the app will be useful in leisure activities such as hiking or at workplaces such as construction sites and concert halls.

The app is available at the Google Play Store and T Store. The company said it plans to upgrade the app for iPhones in February, as a version for Apple’s iOS is currently under the inspection process.

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