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A guide to why push-to-talk over cellular (PTToC) is changing the critical communications landscape

critical communications landscape

Push-to-talk over cellular (PTToC also known as PTT and PoC) is transforming the critical communications landscape by offering cost-effective, scalable, and feature-rich solutions that leverage the global reach and infrastructure of cellular networks.

The growth in cellular networks

Unlike traditional radio systems, PTToC works by establishing a connection between users over a cellular network. Ongoing investment in this infrastructure is revolutionising critical communication and accelerating the transition from legacy two-way radios to PTToC. Global 4G coverage doubled to 88 per cent between 2015 and 2022and industry experts predict that 5G networks are likely to cover a third of the world’s population by 2025. Private networks are growing quickly too.

PTToC cellular networks offer extensive coverage across broad geographical regions, including remote and hard-to-reach areas, enabling critical communication in areas where traditional radio systems might face limitations.

As push-to-talk over cellular (PTT) leverages existing cellular networks, there is no need for specialised infrastructure and the associated cost. On the other hand, traditional legacy radio systems often require dedicated infrastructure, which can be expensive to deploy and maintain. Thanks to the expansion of mobile networks, users no longer need to pay for the expensive base stations, private servers and devices associated with legacy radios to manage their workforce.

Compared to building new dedicated networks, leveraging existing cellular infrastructure also allows for faster deployment of PTT over cellular systems. This is crucial in emergency situations where rapid communication is essential.

The benefits of PTToC technology

It is not just availability that’s driving the switch from analogue to digital PTT technologies. PTToC also provides a number of other significant advantages over traditional two-way radio systems. These include more features, superior user experience and lower cost of ownership. Users are finding that PTT technology increases safety, boosts productivity and improves efficiencies in their organisations.
The additional features provided by PTToC include multimedia sharing, real-time location tracking, live video communication, SOS emergency alerts to help keep remote workers safe and workforce management. All fully integrated and all available on one device.

PTToC: a flexible solution
As well as providing access to cutting-edge technology, the flexibility, scalability, quick set-up and versatility of PTToC make it an ideal solution for businesses with fluctuating communication needs. Cellular networks can easily adapt to changes in the volume of communication traffic meaning that significant infrastructure adjustments are not required.

Device agnostic

Most users are familiar with cellular devices and how they work. PTToC is able to leverage this familiarity, reducing the learning curve for users and enhancing the overall usability of PTT critical communication systems. As well as smartphones, Mobile Tornado’s PTToC solution can run on a range of other devices, including rugged, screenless, field and vehicle mounted devices, and tablets.
Users can access all PTT features on one device meaning they don’t need to juggle multiple devices for different functions.

Unparalleled security

Cybersecurity is an ongoing challenge for any connected solution. Threats to PTToC solutions include service disruption, private information theft, eavesdropping in real-time and listening to voice recordings kept offline.
PTToC solutions can use advanced end-to-end data encryption software and security protocols to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of critical communications.
Mobile Tornado follows best practice methodologies and security guidelines to ensure a safe code, platform and network whilst complying with GDPR requirements.

Cloud-based solution

Push-to-talk over cellular can leverage cloud-based solutions, allowing for centralised management, updates, and maintenance. This makes it easier for organisations to keep their PTT communication systems up to date and ensures that users have access to the latest features and security measures.

Integrating land mobile radio systems with PTToC
For legacy radio users wishing to either trial PTToC technology or extend their radio footprint without additional investment, there is a requirement for interoperability with push-to-talk over cellular technology. This is crucial in emergency situations where various agencies or organisations need to collaborate, regardless of the specific communication systems they use.

A standalone Radio over IP (RoIP) Gateway is a cost effective and easy-to-install way to integrate land mobile radio systems with PTToC radios and smartphones. It enables teams to continue using the same radios and provides a way for users to migrate from radio technology to PTToC technology over a time. The RoIP Gateway provides users with a fast, reliable and stable connection for instant communication between any device, anytime and everywhere in the world.

In summary, PTToC (PTT) is revolutionising the critical communications landscape by offering cost-effective, scalable, and feature-rich solutions that leverage the global reach and infrastructure of cellular networks.