What is Push-To-Talk?
Push-to-talk (PTT) is a system of communication where many people can talk and listen in a group, but only one person can talk at any one time to others. PTT has its origins in two-way land mobile radios which typically featured a ‘push-to-talk’ button. Modern PTT solutions can be used to carry voice communications across various different types of networks and devices. Devices that are most commonly used to support PTT conversations are two-way radios, walkie talkies, and cell phones. Various networks from land mobile radio, to broadband, and beyond are also used to support push-to-talk technology.
PTT technology supports the lifeline of many first responders through instantaneous communication. All public safety personnel from police officers, firefighters, paramedics, command staff, dispatchers, and more rely on push-to-talk technology1. PTT also supports the operation of many businesses, from manufacturing, retail, hospitality, transportation, healthcare, and many more. Benefits of PTT include:
Instant communication. PTT solutions enable teams to communicate instantly, across devices, no matter their location, improving both productivity and safety.
Group communication. PTT enables individual calls but also groups of up to 750 people. PTT solutions enable users to see the presence of other users, meaning it’s easy to know when others are available.
Ease of use. PTT is easy to use, no matter the device of choice. A simple PTT switch or button is used to switch users from voice mode to transmit mode. The PTT interface is simple and does not require much training.
Rapid deployment. Some PTT solutions can be set up quickly with little to no set-up time or configurations.
Cost control. PTT can be used on virtually any device, including enterprise mobile phones that an organization already uses.
Worldwide coverage. PTT connects users wherever they are in the world, even in remote locations where mobile phone signal is limited.
Safety and security. Some PTT solutions offer encryption, logging, and personal security functions such as emergency buttons and a ‘man-down’ feature that will send a high priority alert if a lone worker stop moving. SOS alerts enhance the safety of lone and field workers as help can be delivered instantaneously. Hands free functionality allows employees to communicate while doing work with their hands, such as when operating heavy machinery.
Sound quality. PTT has excellent sound quality regardless of the conditions and background noise.
1 Motorola Solutions, 2023, “What is Push-to-talk?”