PoC Radios, Push-to-Talk Over Cellular

PoC Radios, also know as push-to-talk over cellular radios or PoC push to talk radios are specialist devices. They are usually a more rugged device, designed for the rigours of varying industries and will likely have an IP rating of IP67 and above. They provide instant wide area communication by accessing mobile network infrastructure. As with two way radios they provide instant communication and from a dispatch console in a command center you can track devices in real-time.

PoC and Mobile Networks

PoC utilises the 3G, 4G, LTE cellular infrastructure of mobile network operators. This creates a wide-area radio network for data and video. It is entirely possible to use this solution as a global PoC network.

PoC Background History

Push to talk over cellular radios use a system of communication that takes its UK history from the Dolphin network. The Dolphin network started in 1999 on a nationwide basis, combining cellular telephony, mobile radio, and interactive messaging in a single handset or in-vehicle terminal.

The Dolphin network was a great concept and introduced the push-to-talk over cellular solution at a time when two-way radio development had largely stood still for 20 years. The cost of the network and the lack of uptake from clients meant that Dolphin went into administration. It is now under new ownership and to this date still the only digital network in the world. That being said PoC push to talk has taken a slightly different route.

dolphin poc radio

Push To Talk Over Cellular in 2022

Push to talk over cellular has come a long way since its inception. The leading manufacturers such as Motorola Solutions and Hytera provide PoC solutions, allowing integration across multiple devices and different cellular networks.

The aim of PoC solutions is to provide seamless connectivity to all staff members regardless of their location, network, and device. Devices can include mobile phones and tablets once an appropriate app is installed (subscription required), web based dispatch consoles and existing two way radio communications.

PoC Radio Devices

Two way radios are traditionally very robust and are used in harsh environments where mobile phones would easily break. For this reason manufacturers have created their own handsets. An example would be Hytera PoC radios.

PoC Two Way Radios

Some devices such as the Motorola PoC radios are built in the traditional formats of handheld two way radios whereby you have a designated push-to-talk button. These handsets come with SIM cards or you can add your own, (subscriptions will still be required). 

Motorola TLK100

PoC Mobile Radios

PoC mobile radios such as the Hytera PoC radios can be specific to vehicles so you can keep in touch on the move. They look just like traditional mobile two way radios except they utilise a sim card, the same as PoC handsets.

hytera mnc360 poc radio

PoC Smartphones

Other PoC enabled devices include ruggedised smartphones with dedicated PTT buttons. These are built on the Android platform so users can retain their typical mobile phone functionality yet instantly connect to anyone on their PoC network at the push of a PTT button.

Each device can connect to mobile networks and have the facility to roam across networks to ensure the best signal coverage is used at all time. 

hytera pnc550 poc

PoC Mobile Phones Apps

poc radio app

There are numerous mobile phone networks within the UK, Europe, and the world. By installing the applicable application to your mobile phone you can turn it into a push to talk over a cellular device regardless of the network. 

Motorola Wave PTX App

Motorola Solutions has the Wave PTX app which simply needs to be downloaded and installed. Instant communication is now possible direct from your mobile phone. This allows you to connect directly to a two way radio user on-site or directly with the dispatch operator. Communication is possible in the form of images, video, text or files. This can be one-to-one or one-to-many. 

PoC Radio Dispatch System

A PoC dispatch system is a securely accessed web based interface that can be accessed anywhere there is a standard internet service. If sensitive information is accessible from the dispatch console you can simple restrict access to a command center.

From a PoC dispatch console you can monitor users locations in real-time, allocate jobs to specific users, make one-to-one calls or group calls. In an emergency you can broadcast to every user.

A PoC radio dispatch system also makes it possible to share text, photo, video, or file attachment. 

poc radio dispatch console

Our Thoughts

The information above provides a good overview of push-to-talk over cellular services and the history behind them. As our mobile networks become faster and able to transfer more and more data, then the use cases for PoC radios increases. There are still however many PoC radio faqs to cover so we created a seperate article for those.

PoC Coverage Caveat

There is always a caveat with any communication device, and PoC radios are no exception. Mobile networks do not cover every square inch of land, so therefore you will always find dead spots where you cannot communicate. This is why two way radios will always be a feature in the communications landscape.