In many situations and sectors instant communication is critical.

Related content: What are critical communications?

Many companies, organisations and groups need to speak to others instantly without the need for dialling or waiting on a connection; there are many examples:

• Event planning
• Emergency services – critical communications
• Health and safety personnel
• Hospitality e.g. hotels, bars and restaurants
• Farming and Agriculture
• Councils and public bodies
• Festival organisers
• Races and galas
• Taxi companies
• Skip hire

Mobile phones offer worldwide coverage through a chosen provider but require dialling and connection before being able to speak – these actions are not always practical. 

As an example, where communication is needed between a driver and a dispatcher in a transportation setting, dialling is dangerous and illegal. Within a hospitality setting, a security guard on the door of a nightclub may need to speak to someone in house and can’t always afford the time to dial and wait for a connection or someone to pick up.

Traditionally, two-way radio has been used as an alternative to mobiles; all radios use PTT (push to talk). PTT works whereby you push a button, and you are instantly connected to one person or a group of people depending on how your radio’s have been programmed. Voice data is transferred from radio to radio by means of RF (radio frequency).

What is a radio frequency?

Two-way radios or walkie talkies work over RF (radio frequency) RF is split between VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra high frequency).

UHF – Ultra High Frequency – UHF can range from 300-470MHz – these frequencies are typically suited for wireless communications that need to penetrate buildings, walls, concrete or other barriers and can be used indoors.

VHF (Very High Frequency) – VHF range from 136-216MHz – Radios with lower frequencies (VHF) have longer wavelengths making them ideal for work across wide areas free from obstructions as well as outdoor use.

Two-way radios are available to buy or hire depending on your requirements.

However, radios do not suit every sector or company  – that’s where POC comes in….

What is POC?

POC stands for Push to talk over cellular and is different to two-way radios in that they offer the PTT (push to talk) facility but work over the cellular network, using all provider networks.

Push to talk over cellular devices use multi-SIMs giving the devices to provide broader coverage with no cellular limitations.

How does POC work?

POC uses cellular and Wi-Fi networks and does not need any additional infrastructure to cover large areas.  This means that it offers a cost-effective way of extending the reach of a radio system which can include non-radio users.

Using cellular and Wi-Fi networks enables users to replicate two-way radio features on their cellular phone with the use of a POC device or a POC app.

This technology works seamlessly across networks allowing the user to communicate across any platform including cellular networks (2G, 3G, 4G), Wi-Fi platforms, broadband and two-way radio networks, providing maximum possible coverage.

This allows the user to make one to one, one to a specified group or one to many calls, like a radio, at the push of a button.

Taking the example from before, in a transportation setting POC ensures that drivers and dispatchers can communicate over a wider geographical area, including urban and rural areas with reliable cellular network coverage, but are able to use the PTT facility to eliminate dialling.  PTT buttons can be installed on gearsticks’ to allow a call to be made safely.

One to one or multiple groups can accommodate up to 250 users and each can be configured with a unique profile, defining talk groups and private call capabilities.

Push to talk offers reliable, highly secure, business critical communications whether connecting via cellular, LTE networks or Wi-Fi. l Instant text imaging and messaging

The services provides GPS position for location tracking allowing you to track, locate and identify where your workforce are in the field for improved Health & Safety.

In an emergency POC has an emergency alert button on supported devices

Is POC cost efficient?

Implementing POC in eliminates the need for investing in and maintaining a separate radio infrastructure. This results in cost savings for any company or organisation, as the existing mobile networks is used communication.

I have POC radios already, can I add more?

POC solutions are scalable, allowing companies to add or remove users as their business grows or changes.

Can POC be integrated with other technologies?

POC systems can easily integrate with other technologies, such as GPS tracking, mapping, and fleet management systems. This integration streamlines operations and provides additional features, such as real-time location tracking of vehicles.

Do POC radios sound clearer than other two-way radios?

POC systems provide improved audio quality. This contributes to clearer and more reliable communication, even in noisy environments.

How secure are POC radios?

Some POC solutions come with additional security features such as encryption, which helps protect sensitive communications and ensure that information is transmitted securely.

Are POC radios easy to use?

POC devices have user-friendly interfaces, making them easy for drivers and dispatchers to use. The simplicity of operations leads to quicker adoption and more efficient communication.

Conclusion

Choosing between two-way radios and POC radios must be based on the individual circumstances and operational requirements. It is important to understand what communication requirements are needed in your company or organisation. 

There is not a ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to communications – you and your company are unique and both two-way radio and POC offer lots benefits in their own right and the correct setting.

Related content: Two-way radios – why they may not be the right fit for you

If you are not sure which technology would suit your company or organisation and have some questions, our engineers are always on hand to offer advice

Call us on 01383 736621 or fill out the form below and we will get right back to you

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