DMR and other digital radio systems allow for transfer of data over radio, including GPS information, indoor tracking, basic job tickets, short data messaging, and basic telemetry.
This can be very useful, however the main limitation is that the data uses the same resources as voice communications. Depending on how the network is engineered, voice could cause problems to the throughput of data, or vice versa.
An example may be a shopping centre with three repeater sites (for extended coverage), who uses the digital radio system for indoor tracking of staff.
For most of the year, the system might be capable of passing 90% or more of the indoor tracking data.
Come the Christmas period, there is a huge spike in voice communications, which basically means the data is blocked by voice, and 5% or less of the indoor tracking data gets through, as the system does not have the additional capacity required.
This means the data is not sent, and therefore the indoor tracking reports are empty for the most important time of year when they are most needed.
The solution is to build extra capacity, but this is not always possible, or commercially viable, as more repeaters mean more frequencies as well as reprogramming all user equipment which all means more upfront and ongoing costs as well as maintenance.
PTT systems using 4G enjoy massive bandwidth – more than enough to handle multiple applications at the same time as voice communications – even on the busiest days of the year in shopping centres and other locations (see our reference testing link below). We have customers who have improved their communications and tracking, and integrated other business functions at the same time, all on one device.
Using the example above of a retail environment, remote corridors can be electronically monitored, and when an intruder is detected, the system can automatically dispatch the nearest security guard via their PTT device (“radio”).
A customised PTT smart device can not only be your radio (with greater features, unmatched coverage, and better voice quality), but also your indoor tracker, man-down/duress and safety device, job dispatch, private enterprise messenger, electronic logbook (perhaps even with audio or video notes), body-worn camera, and the list goes on.
PTT solves problems, increases productivity, and reduces operational costs.
For more reading on network capacity at peak periods: