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