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