In an effort to increase efficiency and reduce costs, once you’ve decided to replace traditional two-way radio systems with Push-To-Talk (PTT) over Long Term Evolution (LTE) solutions, the next step is to familiarize yourself with the necessary solution requirements. PTT over LTE solutions require four functional components: a mobile device, reliable data network, PTT applications and in most cases, an accessory to replace a two-way radio system.
PTT over LTE technology is compatible with any smart phone, flip phone or tablet. For those working in harsher environmental conditions, a ruggedized device is often prefered which usually has an integrated PTT button. Regardless of the device, it’s important to ensure that the PTT application and necessary audio accessories are compatible with the device and operate with it seamlessly.
For optimal communication speed and reliability, LTE networks are recommended. That said, most PTT applications function even with 3G networks with minimal compromise to communication quality. Even in highly communicative environments, data consumption has shown to be relatively low, rarely surpassing 1GB per month. For locally defined areas, such as airports, WiFi networks might be a more reliable option than an LTE provided network which would likely be more crowded.
When selecting PTT apps out of the many options available there are some key factors to consider. For a convenient one-stop shop, most mobile carriers work with application vendors to offer their solutions to their enterprise customer base along with the mobile device, data plan and accesories. The downside to purchasing apps offered directly by your carrier is that they will be restricted to a specific network. Organizations with global communication needs would want to specifically look for apps that are carrier agnostic. Smaller business with limited budgets should look out for PTT applications that are offered free of charge for up to a designated number of users.
Since mobile devices and tablets are multi-functional, they have not specifically been designed for PTT over LTE communication. Through the use of PTT accessories, users can keep their mobile devices safe in their pockets, protected from moisture and dust while still using them to communicate through the accessories’ simple PTT buttons, including an emergency button to notify dispatch. This not only makes communication easier but much safer, especially in crisis situations. Additionally, using a PTT accessory while driving does not constitute talking on a mobile device and therefore is in compliance with the hands-free policies of the Department of Transportation (DOT). This enables users the convenience of communicating on the road between locations easily and safely. PTT accessories can also elevate the volume output on mobile devices significantly. In noisy situations, these accessories can increase the volume output of a mobile device from 60 dB to 100 dB.
Once you’re up to speed on PTT over LTE solution requirements, it’s important to evaluate the security and reliability of solutions for considerations.
To learn how to avoid the pitfalls when implementing a PTT over LTE solution, download the complete Whitepaper for free!