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What Are PoC / Push-to-Talk Over Cellular Radios?

date Released On 13th Dec 2023

What Are PoC / Push-to-Talk Over Cellular Radios?

What are PoC radios?

A PoC radio or PoC smartphone combines all the features of a digital mode two-way radio, with the communication technology of a mobile phone, in one useful device. 

This gives users benefits such as:

  • Instant communication at the touch of a button (no dialling and waiting for the caller to pick-up)
  • One-to-one or group calls between difference PoC-enabled devices
  • Interaction with colleagues locally, regionally or worldwide
  • GPS location tracking, Lone Worker and Man Down safety features, etc.
  • Reliable, wide-area cover (potentially global), with no need for repeaters or base stations to communicate over long distances
  • No OfCom licence required, as radio frequencies are not used
  • A secure, encrypted network, that safeguards your conversations

What’s in a name?

Push-to-talk over cellular radios are often referred to simply as PoC radios, but they are sometimes known by other names, too. “PTT radio”, “push-to-talk radio”, “4G two-way radio”, “LTE PoC radio” or “Nationwide PTT'' all basically refer to the same thing. As a relatively new technology, the terminology hasn’t quite settled into rigid use yet!

How do they work?

Unlike traditional two-way radios, which rely on radio frequencies, PoC radios and smartphone devices communicate via a SIM card, using existing 3G / 4G / 5G LTE networks, or by using a site’s Wi-Fi network.

Since the commercial 4G LTE rollout, fast data speeds and low latency means push-to-talk-over-cellular combines potentially global network coverage with very reliable signal and performance. Understandably, the market for PoC communication is expanding rapidly.

Connect Plus Push To Talk Over Cellular

Push-to-talk devices and solutions

There are a wide range of PoC devices available; some look like traditional two-way radios, but the PTT technology is built into some smartphone devices, too. You can also download an app to an existing smartphone to benefit from PoC functionality. 

As well as push-to-talk devices and apps, ongoing investment in the UK’s mobile infrastructure has inspired subscription-based PoC management solutions. Our own Connect Plus POC solution is for organisations that need an advanced communications network platform for their team.

What can you expect from a push-to-talk over cellular platform?

Business users are increasingly recognising the benefits of POC radio platforms, which are ideal for both small and large organisations, including sectors such as public safety, transportation, security, local authority groups and emergency services.

For a start, it offers users instant private group / team communication over multiple channels with a potentially unlimited range. There are further features that our LTE platform offers, which include individual private calls, live user-location mapping, tracking history, video calling, dedicated emergency button and emergency mapping, to name just a few.

What is involved in the installation of a system?

Getting up and running with a PoC system is simple and straightforward, no repeaters, no infrastructure, no radio programming, no licensing costs. The platform can be hosted on devices and sim cards, or you can host it on your own mobile phone as an app.

Inconsistent 4G coverage - can you still use a POC platform?

The SIM cards used in our PoC solutions are not locked to one network supplier, it is a multi-roaming SIM. A roaming SIM will pick up the strongest network, whether that is a 4G signal or a 3G signal. It can also work over the Wi-Fi network, which is a great solution if you are in and out of buildings or have stubborn areas of coverage within a building.

Why Use PoC Instead Of A Mobile Phone?

PoC is designed to be used in commercial environments where you need to talk to one or more users instantly, with no connection delays. There’s no need to dial numbers, you simply push the button to speak to the desired user or group. 

Mobile phones are obviously limited to one-to-one calls, while phone platforms such as WhatsApp aren’t designed for business use.  A PoC system allows you to have access to live user locations, instant group communication, push devices to video and enable a device’s microphone in an emergency situation, reducing response times.

For more information about POC radios and solutions for your business, please get in touch. 

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