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back to article AT&T relaunches walkie-talkie style service Push to Talk

Push To Talk was the talk of the telecoms town a decade ago. It never took off in Europe, but in America it soldiers on and could pick up with the launch of AT&T's next-generation service. Enhanced PTT, which runs on its AT&T's LTE network, will cost its subscribers an additional $5 a month, but the data used for the VoIP-based …

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Anonymous Coward

PTT

Was PTT even enabled in the UK? I would love to use it, it could replace the annoying txt conversions you get into sometimes, much more useful when out and about, on a bike as well.

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Silver badge

Re: PTT

I used a version of it on UK Vodalone company phones in 2005/6. The people who wanted PTT turned it on and nominated up to 3 numbers, then it worked like a normal walkie talkie. Advantage was that blokes pulling cables in on site A could do so without bothering about people working a crane on site B. My phone didn't have a PTT button, so it was voice-operated.

$MEGACORP now uses O2, and no such thing is possible.

PMR radios have rather poor range, and Icom F3000 are expensive. PTT mobiles are a clever idea.

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It was on a Palm Treo device that I got from Orange years back. Must have been a while ago though as it was one of the PalmOS versions.

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Big Brother

The idea is to let employers speak to their staff

Heh.

Back in the '90s I was building research ships. A standard fitment there was 'talkback' - a Public Address system covering all the working spaces, with microphones all over the place. Anyone could report a buoy launched, or warn of winch failure, and everyone would know.

Then the project got taken over by an Ex-RN commander. The ships he built had microphones only on the Bridge. When challenged about the impracticallity of it, he replied "People on the back deck have to do what they are told. They have nothing worthwhile to say about it".

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The only experience I've had....

With PTT was the infamous screen, "Use of PTT will incur additional costs. Cancel/Accept?" when accidentally hitting one of the unreassignable buttons on the phone. Somehow, I doubt that's going to change much, other than being an accidental app or swipe instead.

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Anonymous Coward

3G better than GSM for PTT

I heard that call setup times were too slow on GSM, and the PTT technique is far more suited to 3G/4G - hence why it never really caught on in Europe?

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Happy

heaper than applyiing for a two-way licence and buying radio's

The network 'chat' feature is really a neat solution to situations where, in the past, an application would have to be made for a licence, the radio equipment purchased and all the accessories sourced.

Then, with your system set up you would find yourself in the frustrating situation where the range was insufficient. Even worse, is where you an see the distant point visually and yet be out of working communications range - happened to me when I was working on a system in New Delhi. Luckily we had a solution, using IFR test sets with RF Amplifiers!

Using a cellco is so practical from so many points it makes sense.

The traffic police in VietNam use the government owned cellco VNPT for it's two-way communications with dial-out landline available to every traffic cop.

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Boffin

Two way radios had their limitations...

First you had to deal with range. Then you had to deal with the fact that the spectrum was shared. That anyone could easily hear your conversations.

PTT over VOIP, would mean that your signal would not be transmitted in the clear. (Analog vs Digital is the first barrier) Voice isn't txt and then there is encryption. Sure someone could eavesdrop but its would take a lot of work or kit.

At the same time, since you're using a cell network you have a much greater range.

Also you carry a phone that is also a camera, and now a radio, so you still carry one device not many.

The only downside is that if there is an emergency, like a storm that knocks out the cell towers... you're screwed...

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FAIL

PTT could have been a great idea...

... but it was a failure in Europe because of the greediness of the operators, I suppose.

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Bronze badge

PTT technology

PTT was never a success in Europe because it doesn't work on GSM.

But it's true about American Telephone manners. My dad was proud of the conciseness of his telephone conversations -- no introduction, no prologue, no conclusion no epilogue.

Not just the boss talking to his employees -- this was what he learned as the employee talking to his boss.

He moved to a foreign country where his friends tried to teach him proper telephone manners by being rude to him.

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