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