PTT over IP Communications – Part 5

What is Radio over IP (RoIP) and why is it needed?

In today’s radio communications landscape, users are often looking for capable and cost efficient methods to solve complex communication problems. Some of the problems that often need solving are … how to extend radio range, quickly scale up radio networks, achieve higher level of integration of conventional radios with other modern communication technologies? How to accomplish it all for less cost and while making the communication system more reliable?

Image result for RoiP UAE

In many cases RoIP – Radio over IP,  is an answer. RoIP is a “sub-category” of VoIP (Voice over IP). RoIP systems provide clear, private and if required – secure radio communication by using some of the VoIP protocols. Radio over IP gateways transmit radio communications over private or public IP networks (internet) to extend the range and interoperability of conventional radio systems. PTT over IP technology can be used for bridging radios with IP networks and devices.

In it’s simplest form, Radio over IP converts RF signal to data packets suitable for transport over an IP network. An IP radio network consists of any number of radios, which may include a combination of handheld, mobile and fixed two-way radios, along with RoIP gateways that provide interfaces to the IP networks.

What can talKKonnect based RoIP solution do?

  1. Extend the radio communications beyond line-of-sight through IP means. Users in IP radio networks can communicate with endpoints that are far outside the range or line-of-sight of localized radio networks.
  2. Access other devices. Create interoperability of radios with other IP based communications devices (smartphones, tablets, PC’s, third party applications)
  3. Achieve interoperability between diverse radio networks. Enable radio communications between different, otherwise incompatible radio standards (Analog, Digital, VHF, UHF). By providing a common interface between different radio networks, two RoIP gateway devices can communicate with each other directly using the Internet Protocol, regardless of the analog or digital local radio networks the gateways are associated with.
  4. Lower the overall radio networks infrastructure costs. Higher cost radios can be replaced with lower cost smart devices. Number of radios in a communication network can be minimized.
  5. Speed up radio network expansion by easily creating a “hybrid” communication network where radios, applications and smart devices can seamlessly talk to each other. Adding a relatively large numbers of smart “bring your own devices” (BYOD) to the communication network is easier done from procuring and installing large quantities of radios.

Radio over IP solutions offer numerous benefits to both existing radio networks, as well as the new communications systems under development.

Radio over IP (RoIP) helps bridge the gap between disparate radio types, building a single unified radio system with push-to-talk connectivity, no matter the radio brand, frequency or standard. It is suitable for use in a wide range of markets including emergency response, energy sector, security and defense. RoIP connects conventional push-to-talk radio devices to IP and cellular networks. Radio devices from different manufacturers can be made part of a single localized radio system, or transmit across the globe to remote sites, providing a unified radio network regardless of the radio brand, frequency or technology, locally or across the regions and globe.

Communication via IP can enable the interconnection between many different kinds of devices such as smartphones, 2-way radios, PSTN, VoIP phones, third party applications, etc. Important functionalities in radio communication devices or radio-phone “hybrid” communication systems are IO (Input/Output) controls over COS (Carrier Operated Signal/Switch) /COR (Carrier Operated Relay), GPIO (General Purpose Input Output) or VOX (Voice Operated eXchange) mechanisms for accurately enabling/disabling and relaying the voice transmissions.

talKKonnect concept is highly scalable and configurable set of “LEGO bricks for PTT communication” for small and medium size projects. Based on a field-proven Mumble VoIP engine and protocol, talKKonnect based RoIP solution provides a completely new communication dimension. It’s not just another VoIP product – it’s a complete control mechanism for voice and data services that are integrated with radios, phones, Input / Output signals, GPS and other modules.

Radios are far less used in the modern world due to a rapid expansion of cellular networks. But radios remain an important tool for mission-critical communications. In use cases where a communication device needs to remain rugged and highly reliable, for application in the “mission-critical” systems, radio still remains a preferred device in most businesses. Where the radio can be substituted by a smart, lower cost, “bring your own” device, in less critical communications scenarios, this is a viable option today. Specialized classes of rugged smart devices “Android radios” or “Walkie-talkie smartphones” are also gaining popularity. They are mass produced, but lacking the I/O functions that talKKonnect possesses, important for radio control.

The type of a radio – analog, digital, their frequency ranges, shape or form, power level, in the world of higher integration with other unified communications technologies is becoming much less important today. There is far less need to build wide area radio networks aiming for greater signal footprints on the ground; while the same or greater range can be achieved with IP based solutions with added redundancy, costing many times less.

This is why physical radio networks can be kept more localized, without the need to invest in expensive radio hardware for extending the range directly. Range can be extended more efficiently through lower cost IP based solutions (PTT over IP products and radio gateways).

“Radio over IP” commercial solution prices can vary wildly. Commercial solution prices can range from hundreds of dollars to tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands. However, this should not prevent innovative organizations from stepping into this technology to reap all the benefits of Radio over IP technology today.

A good rule of thumb in the communications world is to “start small” and “keep-it-simple” with anything new. One step at a time. As with the tin cans and a string. Just start talking between “A” and “B” and expand your “proof-of-concept” system, gradually, as you are gaining confidence and realize the true potential of RoIP products and technologies.

Once the benefits of PTT over IP and RoIP become apparent on a smaller scale, more building blocks can be added, piece by piece and the systems can grow into more comprehensive communication platform, that punches through the needless barriers and allow people to easily choose a medium for communication that suits their business needs the best, at any given time.

The described RoIP implementation approach is easy on the budget, too. Clients can be provided with small, low costing building blocks of technology to allow them to instantly start communicating and then proceed at their own speed towards building of a more unified hybrid IP communications system which can include both the legacy radios of any standard and the new “smart” technologies. talKKonnect based RoIP design is multipurpose, transformable to different functions. Highly adaptable, talKKonnect can be used as a standalone communication device or a RoIP gateway, allowing you to always find a good use case for the devices and never keep them on the shelf for too long.

PTT over IP Communications – Part 4

Do you have a communications plan? Do you need one?

Does your business model require multiple layers of backup connectivity? Do you need to exchange mission-critical information in your business quickly and efficiently? Carefully planned communications can ensure that mission critical messages can be delivered at all times over multiple redundant methods of communication. Do you ever need to provide a common operating picture and ensure coordination and de-conflicting actions within your team?

For reliable communications, each project, organization or business should come up with a communications plan. Do not allow for single points of failure to be created in your business by keeping all your eggs in one single communication product “basket”.

How many communication methods do you need to ensure communications do not fail and what these methods should be? There is no simple answer. But it is something where a careful “PACE planning” can give an answer to.

PACE Planning

An acronym and rule to remember when planning any mission critical communications is “PACE”. PACE methodology is often used for making resilient communication plans. A good communication plan needs to specify at least 4 different methods or distinct technologies for communication. They can be called – Primary, Alternate, Emergency, Contingency. The methods should be independent of each other and if one fails, other should work. In any case, if most methods fail, there should be one “last resort” method of communication that just won’t break down. What these methods are and what their order of execution should be in the communications plan, can vary from case to case.

PACE acronym means “Primary, Alternate, Contingency and Emergency” way of communication. The plan guarantees that business information relevant for the team activities is always delivered, no matter what, even if some communication systems in the plan fail.

PACE planning ensures that, regardless of the reason for connection degradation (congestion, service outage, hardware failure, etc.) there are always plentiful backup communication means available in the system that can be used to restore the connectivity and pass business critical information within the organization.

The planning usually starts from a person responsible for organizing communications or from a business operations leader. Do you know any such person in your organization?

The planner needs to determine who are the different parties that need to communicate in the business process and decide what are the best 4 forms of communication between each of those parties, for different events or scenarios.

PACE plan should also specify an order in which the communication parties will gradually move through available communications means, until a successful contact can be established.

Each method of communication preferably needs to be physically separate and independent of the other 3 methods of communication.

A PACE based Communication Plan can be created for specific mission or task. An organization can have plans for different situations, activities, projects or partners.

A PACE Communication plan determines an exact order in which a party in the communication loop will move through available communications means, until a successful contact can be established with the desired other side.

Example of a PACE plan with PTT over IP devices


Primary means of communication. The best intended method of communication between the parties who need to talk. Usually the most reliable, most convenient or the lowest cost mean.

PTT over IP Communicator. Dedicated hardware device or software app. The fastest and lowest cost mean of communication. 100 % secure.


Alternate means of communication. Another common, but less-optimal method for accomplishing the task. Often monitored concurrently with primary means of communication.

This can be a smart phone working over the GSM network. Or SMS messages. It takes longer to establish calls. Higher cost. Less secure.


Contingency communication means. A method usually not as fast, easy, convenient and inexpensive as the first two methods, but capable of accomplishing the task.

This can be a conventional analog or digital mobile radio, VHF or UHF. Usually, not all of the team members are equipped with radios. Radio network often does not cover as many areas as 2G/3G/4G networks used in PTT over IP. Creating a radio network with extensive coverage can be expensive. Usually, not secure.


An Emergency means of communication. This is the method of “last resort” and typically has significant delays, costs or impacts. Often only monitored when the others 3 means of communication fail.

This can be a satellite phone. High cost. Use only as the “last resort”. Not secure. Not completely reliable. High cost.

Other means of communication: VoIP phone, Skype, Telegram, Facebook, Viber, Whatsapp, Yahoo, or other messenger apps. They are not truly independent from primary and alternate means in the plan, because they all depend on the internet connectivity. All of them can be easily blocked by third parties or made unavailable when needed the most. PTT over IP can work over satellite modems, if public Internet fails.

Another “last resort” for communication can be a “runner” – person on foot, motorbike, car delivering a hand written note or word of a mouth. But this may not be possible across large geographical areas.

Hybrid Communications

PTT over IP – A “Hybrid” Communications Technology

PTT over IP technology allows for an easy building of “hybrid” Land Mobile Radio (LMR) and cellular/IP networks, where the radios and phones can be interconnected and talk to each other. Such “hybrid” networks help lower the overall costs, increase reliability and scalability of communications. Advancements in PTT over IP services have evolved to a point where they may represent an alternative to legacy private Land Mobile Radio (LMR) networks, together with the continued development of “Android” radios.

Radios are often used in security, transport, logistics, construction, hospitality business, industrial facilities. Radios are more robust from consumer electronics smart devices and usually have more battery autonomy. In businesses where radio networks have already been built, upgrading them with PTT over IP technology can offer numerous advantages.

PTT over IP enables people who carried two devices – one cell phone and one handheld radio – to now carry only a smartphone and still be able to use PTT with anyone on their existing LMR network. This cuts down on the cost per person for communications and makes people more efficient at work. While LMR networks are limited to a specific geographical area, perhaps one city or region wide, PTT over IP can be made available truly global. PTT over IP communication can be made highly secure for much less cost than going into securing the radio traffic.

Cloud based infrastructure and highly efficient audio codecs are used for facilitating communication between diverse range of otherwise incompatible devices.

PTT over IP technology allows optimal utilization of any existing IT infrastructure for communication, providing agility and flexibility to organizations. A combination of devices can be used for communicating to carry out daily tasks (smartphones, tablets, laptops, PC’s, handheld radios, third party applications). PTT over IP technology scales up easily to meet the changing requirements of any small. medium or large enterprise and project. It comprises of advanced communication technology to ensure cost saving, investment optimization, equipment utilization and increased staff productivity by making the communication workflows and collaboration more efficient.

What do you get with PTT over IP logic?

  • Better control over communications costs for running business operations.
  • Team phone calls and charges through VoIP or GSM can be greatly reduced. No phone-like charges.
  • Communication is virtually free
  • Communication can be 100 % secure
  • PTT over IP systems scale up easily and with cost efficiency
  • Employees can use BYOD (Bring Your Own Devices) – their smartphones
  • Organizational efficiency can be increased with another effective communication method
  • Workforce collaboration can be improved
  • Staff responsiveness can be made almost instant
  • Business operation can be streamlined faster, in real time
  • Real-time communication for business continuity can be ensured
  • Employee effectiveness and efficiency can be increased
  • Availability to customers can also be increased with this method
  • PTT over IP devices are easy to administer and manage centrally
  • Users can stay connected over any IP connectivity method. Mobile staff can roam and communicate seamlessly.
  • Team communication is made much more convenient for everybody
  • Communication can be group or private
  • Additional communication services come as a bonus: user presence, short text messaging, emergency alerting, GPS tracking, audio streaming, voice conferencing

PTT over IP Communications – Part 5

PTT over IP Communications – Part 3

How much exactly would the calls over PTT over IP technology actually cost?

It depends. You are the only person who can give yourself an exact answer. Where do the team members get their internet connectivity from? If they are inside the premises where they can use company internet, then their calling cost can be virtually nothing. If they are on the road they will usually use 3G/4G data connectivity from their phone service provider data plan with a limit. Where do they get their data plan for, for how much, how many Megabytes? Let’s go back to the phone users example from the previous article.


Team mem-bers

Calls /  day

Cost per/  minute (USD)

Talking time/  person/  day      (min)

Call cost/  person/  day (USD)

Call cost/ group/  day (USD)

Call cost/ group/ month (USD)

Call cost/  group/ year (USD)

Phone calls









PTT over IP


Unlimit-ed. As needed

Only the band-width

Unlimit-ed. As needed

Cost vary on case to case basis, but generally can be from 100-1000 less from mobile phone calling.

Table 3. Phone calls cost comparison to PTT over IP

Exact cost would depend on a case to case basis, but as a rule of thumb, we can say that PTT over IP service cost can be as little as 100 to 1000 times less from mobile phone calls cost. So, try it out and do the math for what it can do for you?

How much data from a phone service provider does the PTT over IP service require?

PTT over IP technology uses small data packets to send and receive calls. PTT over IP technology is using most advanced OPUS codec, with high compression algorithms minimizing the network bandwidth usage in the 3G/4G data plan. The amount of data needed is very small per call, which should not significantly affect anyone’s data usage pattern per month. An estimated talk time of 1.5 hour over PTT over IP per working day can translate to up about 250 MB of data usage per month.

Potential users are encouraged to do their own math based on the best data plan in their own environment, to get a better answer what kind of saving the PTT over IP technology can introduce in their business model. Users should optimize their PTT over IP designs and try for themselves. Savings for even a small group, can be very substantial.

What Internet connectivity speed is needed for PTT over IP technology to work?

Almost any modern connectivity method 2G, 2.5G, 3G, 4G and LTE networks, Wi-Fi, home and business broadband internet are more than sufficient to provide data and speed required to connect to PTT over IP services and use them, with an excellent voice quality. Just like with other VoIP technologies, when it comes to quality, there are other factors much more important from “speed”, such as jitter and packet loss.

What other benefits the PTT over IP technology brings?

PTT over IP technology is nearly 100 % secure, unlike the traditional phone calls which are inherently insecure. How secure are you going to be, depends primarily on your design. A variety of methods exist today allowing anyone friendly or unfriendly to you to listen to your phone calls over public networks. GSM encryption is notorious for its flaws, and no one with a right mind is seriously expecting GSM phone calls to be secure any more. PTT over IP communication,  on the other hand is protected, with secure Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) which still represents a powerful method for protecting communications. With talKKonnect PTT design, a company can own the entire communication loop for PTT over IP communication, making the communication as secure as needed and virtually impenetrable. If the company’s own supporting IT infrastructure is made secure and impenetrable to attacks, particularly if “man-in-the-middle” scenarios can be ruled out, then the PTT over IP communication can be considered highly secure, between the parties communicating.

Can PTT over IP technology be blocked? How secure is it? Is my communication private?

In many parts of the world, Internet Service Providers and governments are making restrictive actions to block phone communication protocols like SIP or restrict public access to communication services like Skype, Whatsapp, Viber, Telegram, Zello, Facebook, Signal, Discord, Google Voice. They do so, to protect national communication monopolies and prevent anyone from using the communication services based on standards which can not be easily monitored at will. If you are basing your communication model on any such public communication services and expect them to work everywhere in the world, you may be unpleasantly surprised when they fail in some countries where you may operate, due to the service providers or government’s deliberately restricting them.

Blocking by third parties of any communication protocol, including Mumble is certainly possible. It can happen, but without a “man-in-the-middle” or physical access to the Mumble server, a decryption of Mumble communication is not possible. If the end user operates and controls Mumble servers, then communication can be considered secure and private.

Do we need a dedicated talKKonnect device? Can BYOD smartphones be used?

Dedicated talKKonnect device or other PTT over IP (PTT over Cellular) devices (Inrico, Anysecu, Hytera)  are recommended for main offices, operations centers, desk settings. Android PTT applications like Plumble or Mumla can be used with smartphones. Mumble for Windows or Linux can be used on PC’s and laptops. Dedicated PTT over IP communication devices are more robust from consumer electronics smart devices and will offer much higher battery autonomy with better energy saving from most smartphones.


Cellular Phone Calls PTT over IP Calls
-> Easy -> Even more easy
-> For individual 1:1 calls mostly. Group calls, conferences require paying higher fees to GSM providers. Communication functions are basic. -> Individual calls or group calls (one-to-many voice, group to group calls) between the users can be easily facilitated. Useful for running operations or dispatch centers. Ability to create groups, add users to groups and delete groups on the fly. Emergency PTT broadcasts over the system can easily reach thousands of users with the press of a single button. Enhanced communications functions for group communication.
-> Time for establishing a call from 10-30 seconds (time to unlock the phone, type number or quick dial, pick number from phonebook, time for call to ring, waiting for recipient to answer). -> Almost instant call setup within 1-2 seconds. Unlock phone, select user, group or channel, press PTT button and talk. No need to wait for recipient to answer call first.
-> Is the recipient phone off or on? Do you know before you call? Would you like to know? -> Technology is showing the presence and status of all other users in the group.
-> Where is everybody? -> Help build a common operational picture through a single communication platform.
-> Basic phone quality codec. GSM. -> Much better voice quality with high quality media codecs. CELT and OPUS.
-> Only GSM base encryption. Considered unsecure. Easy eavesdropping. -> Technology can provide the highest standards of encryption. Offers secure communication from end to end. AES-256 or FIPS140-2 Level 1 high security standards.
-> Calls charged per minute. Roaming charges apply for international calls. Telecom companies’ clever strategies for maximizing profit often result with cost creep for the users. Not enough transparency with costing. -> Calls are practically “free”. Wireless bandwidth or data plans are cheaper from any mobile phone rates per minute. Global communication system is bypassing the limitations of national phone monopolies.
-> Difficult. No integration most of the time. Interfacing with radio or other communications systems not easy or expensive. Other limitations. -> Easy manageability, scalability and extensibility.

-> Corporate PTT over IP systems allow for downsizing of traditional radio inventories and building of far lower cost hybrid IP radio networks.

-> Quickly add the capacity to any radio network without investing in radio infrastructure.

-> Quick extending of the coverage of radio networks across the globe.

-> Unifying PTT communication across different systems.

-> Adding ability to carry a single device for non-mission-critical communication.

-> Lowering of cost in communication, while adding redundancy and higher efficiency.

-> An increasing number of public safety and emergency response organizations are using PTT over IP applications for coordination, connectivity between radio networks or opening of emergency channels with the population, with other organizations and for running their day-to-day operations.

PTT over IP is a promising new communication technology. It may become an important standard once it can be formulated and standardized. However, the big communication monopolies and interest groups, in most countries, do not seem to favor the PTT concept. They are not too keen, to allow an average consumer of their often overpriced and quality inferior services to enjoy more freedom in communicating for a tiny fraction of a cost of what they squeeze out from customers every month through their standard packages. There are many challenges in having the big “global” players in communication business and technologies, sit down together to agree on a common PTT standard in their products and services.  Such efforts had been largely unsuccessful. PTT in public communication networks may be adopted at one point as “Mission Critical PTT” (MCPTT). However, the progress in bringing PTT technology to an average consumer and making it affordable, has been painstakingly slow. Do not expect it to happen any time soon. Still, this should not discourage anyone from trying out some of the PTT solutions, either OpenSource or paid and designing private PTT communications network. Most commercial PTT solutions are available as SaaS (Software as a Service) or PaaS (Platform as a Service).

It is estimated that over 300 million people are using PTT over IP technologies today, subscribed to some form of commercial or free PTT service for smart devices, for instance Zello being one of the most successful PTT services. The number of users of PTT services is on the constant rise, year after year as more and more people are discovering how the PTT logic is helping them communicate more efficiently, privately or for work within their business teams. 

However, if you are not totally satisfied with what the existing commercial PTT products, applications or SaaS / PaaS PTT & RoIP solutions are offering, take some time to familiarize yourself with open source talKKonnect project as a powerful framework for designing and building PTT systems, which can be customized to follow your own communications plan and logic and give you an unprecedented freedom in communicating.

PTT over IP Communications – Part 4

PTT over IP Communications – Part 2

PTT Logic – Why it beats the phone calls?

PTT over IP guarantees an increased focus in communications. Some recent studies about how the cellular phones were used for work, were showing that an average employee could spend as much as 56 minutes per day, in using a cell phone at work, for non-work related activity. Employees aged 18 to 34, were usually spending an average of 70 minutes on the phone, mostly for personal email and social media access.

Smartphones can no doubt, make everybody’s life and work easier, but they can also create unwanted distractions, from the primary focus to work.

Communication professionals know, that Push-to-Talk (PTT) devices are almost ideal primary communication means, especially for “hands-on” industries, such as construction, transport and security. When communicating for safety and security, there are simply no other viable alternatives, to a proven PTT logic. Devices with PTT logic enable users to establish communication instantly and talk directly without – dialing, routing calls, ringing and without having to wait for calls to be answered – the steps required in a traditional phone call.

When PTT technology is used in the IP networks, it’s logic greatly improves the communication efficiency within the teams. A single PTT button helps establish instant communication with other team members. Team members can stay connected anywhere over most diverse connectivity means and communicate with clear audio or sometimes text and other signaling methods. Teams can also benefit from GPS location tracking, where the GPS functionality is integrated with a PTT platform.

PTT technology guarantees an improved focus to communication, without distracting touch screens or unrelated functions, that can get in a way of efficient communication. With well-designed PTT devices, there are no Facebook, Twitter, Google or annoying social media, when the efficient work-related communication is a high priority.

PTT is a great productivity tool. PTT over IP communication system for teams can be set-up and launched much faster from any other method. Teams can communicate locally, within a region, in a country or globally. PTT networks and groups can be created and reorganized as needed, within minutes. PTT over IP devices can be interfaced with almost any two-way radios.

If the radios are already used for communication within the project or organization, PTT over IP devices and applications can help extend the existing radio networks for a much smaller cost, compared to investing in new radio equipment. With PTT technology, there is usually no need to keep building and maintaining costly radio infrastructure to increase communication capacity and range.

Number of required radios in the networks can be greatly decreased. An easy linking of two-way radio systems and smartphones is a great benefit, the  PTT technology brings to the communications world.

With PTT over IP technology, there are no costly or time-consuming frequency licensing procedures, no radio programming skills required and no radio interference coming from other users of the radio spectrum.

PTT over IP technology can improve network coverage inside the buildings and other urban environments where the conventional radios or cellular coverage can be limited. PTT solutions can work over the building LAN or WiFi for sending and receiving PTT calls.

PTT over IP technology is extremely cost efficient. PTT solutions can be quickly scaled up or scaled down and customized to closely match almost any project need. Large or small.

PTT Logic for Safety

Not only does the PTT logic saves time, money and lead to increased productivity, but it also enhances safety of the team members. This is important in projects where the team members need to quickly build a common situational awareness.

GPS tracking helps manage the workforce movements for an increased safety. Project and team member’s status can be checked easily. Optimal routes can be identified for mobile teams, tasks can be modified to adapt to the situation and the position of the team members can be quickly adjusted to where they are needed the most, every time.

talKKonnect devices have a “panic button” functionality and security audio “eavesdropping”. At the press of a button from a team member, the main office can be immediately notified of a security incident in progress. Main office can be provided with  GPS coordinates of the incident and then start receiving a live ambient audio stream from the incident area, to help assess the situation and coordinate a response action. An “incident” can be a robbery, hijacking, carjacking, car accident, physical assault or any kind of an event where a team member is in danger and requires an immediate assistance.

Balance between group and private communications

When planning the communications, we assumed the information workflow between the main office and team members or between the members of the team can be freely shared between all of them equally, without a limitation, throughout most of the communication effort.

But what if individual calls need to be made with PTT over IP logic and some information needs to be kept private between the selected team members?

Mumble protocol that talKKonnect is using can do that also. Calls can be made from “one-to-many” team members by using a “shout” option or they can be private calls from “one-to-another” member by using a “whisper” option. Or the users can revert to phone calls or other more or less secure means of communication, where they require “one-to-one” line privacy. If you can call phone calls in GSM networks private nowadays anywhere?

Dedicated talk groups in PTT over IP system, can be restricted with passwords or “tokens”, with only the specific members granted access. Access rights are highly configurable. Talk groups can be linked, un-linked or kept completely isolated from each other, as needed.

In other words, it’s all about planning your PTT over IP system, for an effective balance between all of the group communication advantages and “one-to-one” privacy.

What about the phone calls cost compared to PTT over IP?

In many cases,  phone users can benefit from discounts from GSM phone providers, for calls within the same phone users group or a service contract. But at the end of the day, phone calls will always cost somebody money. Even if no calls are made, the postpaid service subscription fees will be charged monthly. If prepaid SIM’s are used, the providers will often force their expiry,  annul the user credits and force the users to keep buying more credits to keep the service active. There are often “hidden” costs and “fine prints”, the users are unaware of and phone companies are often not straightforward about their policies and prices. Bottom line, if the phone contract is too good to be true, it probably isn’t!

Let’s assume the team members generate the same volume of phone calls, from the previous phone users example – 30 calls a day by each member of the team. Let’s also assume that each call is lasting 3 minutes, at a cost of $ 0.05 / minute. This means that each team member talks for 90 minutes a day, costing the company $4.5 / day. This is not much. It translates to $ 67.5 /day of phone costs for the whole team, or $ 1485 of monthly phone bills for the team. That is a team phone billing of $ 17,820 a year.  Now, this is not so little any more? For simplicity we are not counting any other costs, like service management costs or time and effort to process the phone billing, etc.

Perhaps, members of your team talk much less, or your phone service providers discounts are truly amazing and your phone bills are ten times smaller? Still, you just won’t be nowhere near the cost efficiency of any PTT over IP solution.

There is money to be saved with PTT over IP technology, while giving the team members much more efficient communication technology, allowing them to be more productive in day-to-day work. Why not use the savings on phone calls to improve the well-being of the team members and motivate them to perform even better? By saving the phone cost from previous example, team members can be given a bonus in the amount of $1188 each at the end of the year? Or the savings can be used for training of the team members, improving their working conditions? You name it, be creative.

PTT over IP technology gives you so much more freedom to communicate than any other method of communication and it brings you the money savings too. Not bad?

PTT over IP Communications – Part 3

PTT over IP Communications – Part 1

What is PTT over IP?

Push-to-talk (PTT) logic has been around ever-since the emergence of early radios and phone “intercoms”, over a century ago. But PTT over IP solutions are still in their “infancy” today. Many organizations and projects that could greatly benefit from applying a PTT logic in their communications do not even know the solutions exist or they do not fully understand how they work or that PTT technology can easily be integrated with legacy radio and VoIP technologies to create highly scalable, affordable and efficient PTT communications system.

There is no universally accepted terminology for describing systems and products that deliver PTT experience in the IP networks. Product flavors, designs and purposes will greatly vary. You will come across terms such as PTT over Cellular (PoC), Radio over IP (RoIP), PTT over IP or wireless, IP intercoms, etc. We shall try to stay with “PTT over IP” throughout the text.

Modern PTT communication technologies, coming from a variety of sources, can deliver innovative IP based VoIP communication solutions with PTT logic to the end users. 

Such products are built around PTT (Push-to-Talk) logic, micro-computers and micro-controllers, highly efficient audio codecs (Opus) and modern VoIP communication protocols. They are applicable in projects and organizations of any size.

Using PTT communication devices brings numerous advantages, starting with lowering costs and making communication more efficient. At the same time, conventional legacy communication devices, like land mobile radios and modern “smart” communication devices can seamlessly inter-operate in the same communication network with other IP devices, thus creating a “hybrid” communication system. 

PTT over IP technology can help organizations lower their overall communication costs significantly and improve communication freedom by facilitating easy interconnection methods between diverse, otherwise incompatible communication means (radio networks, phones or third party applications), making the communication more universal. Such system can be made truly “global”, overcoming the range limitations of radios.

There aren’t many companies that can deliver a “hybrid” communications solution with PTT, to the end users at an affordable price, without creating a price shock or “breaking the bank”.

Let’s take a look at what PTT over IP communication system is all about and why your organization or project may be able to benefit from such a system?

In this document, we shall try to explore the key benefits of PTT over IP technology for small and medium size projects and give you an overview of unique possibilities of this communication concept.

What is Group Communication and why use it?

Three icons representing the various modes of communication that take place in a business environment. The first mode shows one individual at the top of a chain, which feeds down into two individuals, and from each of those two individuals comes three individuals. The second mode is one central person flowing to four individual in a circle around the center. The third mode of communication shows a group of people with lines between each and every one.

Group communication matrix

Group communication

Simply, this is a mode of interpersonal communications, where more than 2 people are involved in the exchange of information.


A group can be defined, as a number of people with some common goal, who interact with each other to accomplish their objectives. Group members recognize each other’s roles and see themselves as a part of functional team. They are assigned functions. A group needs to have a minimum of three members, otherwise the two persons, just working together would simply be referred to as a “pair” or “dyad”. In a project or organization, there could be many different groups, created many different reasons and they can change all the time.

“Group communication” method is often a primary mode of communication in most modern organizations, between employers and employees and among the employees within their functional teams.

Small groups can have 3 to 20 or more members. And larger group can consist of 100 , 200… or even more members.

A group…

Group communication can only be effective, when there is a specific purpose for the communication, when proper means for timely communication are available and the content of communication is useful to all of the team members for accomplishing their goals.

One person or functional level within a group will usually have a role of a coordinator, manager, moderator… a dispatcher. This level drives and directs group communication effort and group activities from a central point, like the main office or “operations center” for the entire group. The choice of the means of communication can depend on factors like the target audience, the means and availability of the communication methods and the cost implications for making the communication effort.

Enough with theory?

PTT – Why is it an ideal logic for group communication?

Use PTT technology or make a phone call?

Communicating with PTT logic within a small or medium size group can be much more efficient from making phone calls all day long. Communication professionals and people using the radios fore work know this. They don’t need to be convinced. Combine the “radio-like” PTT logic with phone GSM/ 3G/ 4G/ LTE and soon the 5G networks increasing the connectivity everywhere globally and you can harvest all the benefits of both technologies while mitigating the weaknesses of each. It is a “winning strategy” for efficient group communication.

Let’s look at a following practical example…

Phone users example

A team of 15 members is making 30 mobile phone calls each, to the main office and each other, during a regular working day. Some team members talk more, some less, but we can assume they make 30 shorter or longer phone calls every day, in average, to coordinate every-day activities within their small team or with the main office.

The time to establish a call is estimated to take 20-30 seconds per call. This means unlocking a phone, finding a number in the phone-book, dialing the number, the ringing time, answering call by the other party, hanging up, redialing sometimes, etc.

How many team members? How many calls made / day? Call establishment time (seconds) Lost call establishment time on the phone per person / day (minutes) Lost call establishment time on the phone for the group / day (hours) Lost call establishment time on the phone for the group / month (22 days) (hours)
15 30 20-30 10-15 2.5-3.75 55-82.5

Table 1. Group call establishment time loss when making phone calls

Estimate shows, that each member of the team can easily spend 10-15 minutes on the phone every day, just dialing and waiting for the calls to be answered.

The group of 15 members, basing their communications on mobile phone calls to coordinate their actions, is wasting anywhere between 2.5 – 3.75 hours every day, in unproductive communication due to the needed call establishment times. This amounts to 55 – 82.5 hours a month of inefficient communication. The bigger the team, the more time is wasted in call establishment times. Did you think about this? Do you have a choice?

Let’s compare mobile phone calls to more efficient PTT logic?

How many team members? How many calls / day? Call establishment time (seconds) Lost call establishment time on the device per person / day (minutes) Lost call establishment time on the device for the group / day (hours) Lost call establishment time on the device for the group / month (22 days) (hours)
15 30 instant 0 0 0

Table 2. PTT over IP technology. Practically no time is wasted for call establishment.

Why PTT over IP communication is more efficient from phone calls for small and medium size groups?

How else does the PTT over IP communication model compare to phone calls? We learned that establishing calls with PTT logic, at a press of a button is almost instantaneous. Practically, no time is wasted. Just press a button and talk to the group. All that time wasted in establishing traditional phone calls can now be used more productively by each of the team members. At the same time, important group relevant information, does not have to be relayed anymore by either of the team members making multiple phone calls to other team members, in order to share the information.

Sending emails and waiting for response from other team members to coordinate activities can be greatly reduced too. Group relevant information can be shared in real time, between all of the team members.

PTT over IP Communications – Part 2

PTT over IP Communications


While working on talKKonnect project, talKKonnect team members were sometimes asked by individuals trying to understand the benefits of PTT concept “What is so special about talKKonnect and using PTT, when I have my smart phone and I can always call anybody I want over Whatsapp,  ViberSignal or Telegram?”.

Giving advice to anybody on what is better or worse for them, is always ungrateful. It is useless giving advice to anyone acting “foolish”, while the clever people do not need your or anybody’s advice, what so ever. They already know.

But every now and then, talKKonnect team does get involved in having to present a PTT concept and its usefulness for communicating efficiently within a group or project. Therefore, we decided to touch upon the PTT concept theory and cover it’s history,  use cases and benefits, in a series of blog articles.

If you are satisfied with how you communicate in your project and if you can reach everybody you need on your phone or through other means and do not have any communication challenges, you do not need to be concerned with PTT technology and can freely skip the article series. Or If you already use some form of PTT technology and are happy with it, you can also skip the next articles.

But if you are new to PTT technology and trying to decide whether using the PTT technology in the IP networks is justified in your case or if you are looking for more efficient ways for communicating with your team, want to escape communication “dogmas” and “traps” and achieve more freedom in communicating, then you may appreciate the next series of articles … 

PTT over IP Communications – Part 1

PTT over IP Communications – Part 2

PTT over IP Communications – Part 3

PTT over IP Communications – Part 4

PTT over IP Communications – Part 5

PTT over IP Communications – Part 6

PTT over IP Communications – Part 7

Support for Inverting GPIO Output Logic

No more need to add additional hardware to get the output signals of talkkonnect just right for you next project. You can have exactly the signal you want with configuration of the XML file. Under the hardware tag, io and pins section you can set your desired behavior for any particular pin.

The normal case logic is that you want the “transmit” GPIO to go to a logic HIGH when talkkonnect is transmitting. However what if you want the logic the other way around?

For your use case if you want the “transmit” GPIO to always be high and switch to a logic LOW only when talkkonnect is transmitting. Talkkonnect now has a xml tag just to do this!

Example of an inverted “transmit” GPIO XML configuration tag below

<pin direction=”output” device=”led/relay” name=”transmit” pinno=”4″ type=”gpio” chipid=”0″ inverted=”true” enabled=”true”/>

If you ignore the inverted tag talkkonnect will be in default normal mode as before, you only need to include the inverted tag if you want the logic inverted otherwise you can safely ignore this tag in your configuration as the tag is “false” by default.

Happy Talkkonnecting!