Nextel has announced the launch of the first phase of its national Direct Connect service.

The service – which allows users to take advantage of the company’s digital walkie-talkie service while travelling – is available in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Southern California, Southern Nevada, Maryland, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Florida, Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, Delaware and Pennsylvania.

Phase two of the roll-out is planned for sometime in the third quarter – and would complete the national launch of the Direct Connect service.