What is Push-to-Talk over Cellular?

What is Push-to-Talk over LTE Cellular Radio Communications, and How Does It Work?

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What is Push to Talk over Cellular?

The concept of Push-to-Talk over Cellular (PoC) was introduced by Nextel in 1987 as an alternative to two-way radios. Nextel revolutionized business communication when it started to pass small voice packets from radios across their iDEN network. Nextel's iDEN network offered a then unique push-to-talk "walkie-talkie" feature in addition to direct-dialed voice calls. At its peak, in 2005 Nextel had over twenty million subscribers in the United States and served 198 of the top 200 markets. Nextel was acquired by Sprint, and in 2013 Sprint decommissioned the Nextel iDEN network so they could use those frequencies for LTE coverage.

Today, Push-to-Talk over Cellular uses the modern LTE cellular infrastructure of Mobile Network Operators to provide nationwide coverage with unlimited voice and video call groups.

PoC radios support the advanced features of Digital Mobile Radios (DMR), including messaging, instant group calling, GPS location tracking, and emergency notifications. Combining this functionality with LTE cellular networks provides the bandwidth required for modern data, photo, and video applications, along with nationwide LTE coverage.

How Push to Talk over Cellular Works

PoC devices connect to the cellular infrastructure of Mobile Network Operators like AT&T, T-Mobile, and Verizon, using a SIM card like those installed in cell phones. The result is a highly reliable network that requires no maintenance or operational expenses. An app on the PoC radio provides simple and convenient access to PoC services.



PoC network services are hosted in the cloud. The cloud services are located on privately hosted servers owned and operated by the PoC platform. Gateway routers provide connectivity between the LTE network and the PoC server. Dispatch Applications (used for group calling and GPS location tracking) and the Management Application (used to configure customer accounts) are connected to the PoC cloud server through the internet.

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PoC Group Calling

PoC provides the same group calling capabilities as traditional two-way radio systems to enable instant group calls to multiple users with the press of a PTT button on the radio or from a dispatching application.

How push to talk over cellular group calling works

Call groups are set up based on all call and emergency calls, types of employees (supervisors, administrators, etc.), remote employees and mobile service fleets, employee locations, type of projects, etc. Radio users can belong to multiple groups as shown in the overlapping areas

PoC devices

Hytera PoC devices are purpose-built for professional business communications. These compact, rugged, and easy-to-operate handheld devices enable instant group voice and video communications over Wi-Fi and nationwide LTE cellular networks and can automatically switch over to the LTE network when out of Wi-Fi range.

They are rugged with IP ratings (up to IP68) for water submersion and dust resistance and MIL-STD 810G compliant for shock and vibration and feature digital noise suppression and high-volume speakers for excellent voice quality in loud environments. They also feature powerful Lithium-Ion Polymer batteries for guaranteed operation over long shifts.

Hytera PoC radios, bodycams, and smartphones are feature-rich with high-resolution LCD displays, prominent PTT buttons, built-in GPS for dispatch applications, Bluetooth, and cameras for video conferencing and sending images.

The PNC370 PoC Radio is a compact, rugged, and easy-to-use handheld PoC device.
The PNC380S PoC Radio is AT&T Network Ready and features an optional car kit for safe use in vehicles.

The VM780 Body Worn Camera integrates a bodycam with PoC voice communications to capture, store, and share video, audio, and images in the field.

The PNC550 PoC Smartphone combines the advantages of a smartphone with the ruggedness, audio quality, and instant PTT group calling of a professional PoC device.


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3 December 2020