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