The new devices, the ICOM IP501H and IP501M, are described by the manufacturer as PTT-over-Cellular (PoC) solutions – push-to-talk wireless devices which operate over 4G LTE and 3G mobile networks, rather than using radio spectrum.
The main benefits of using cellular networks are operational range and mobility. Two way radio has always only been able to offer a limited network range because, due to their size, handsets are only able to generate a certain amount of output power.
By using external 3G and 4G LTE mobile infrastructure, PoC solutions remove these barriers and, like mobile phones, are able to offer nationwide coverage. In addition, the new ICOM devices can be used anywhere, without having to buy a special license or use the narrow, crowded public access radio bandwidths.
However, in all other respects, the new ICOM range maintains the form and function of traditional two way radio which has been trusted by business and industry for decades. Some of the key reasons industry has stuck with two way radio over mobile phones is it tends to offer tougher, simpler-to-use devices and better audio quality. On the latter point, ICOM has purposefully developed its PoC range to operate using mobile data so audio can be digitally enhanced, providing better quality than on a standard mobile call.
This provides further evidence that manufacturers are starting to recognise the benefits of converging mobile phone and two-way radio technology to offer businesses the best of both worlds.
Flexible talk options
The IP501H is a compact, robust handheld transceiver with a three-line display screen. As well as the familiar Push-to-Talk button, it offers an intuitive six-button front control panel. It is rated IP67 for water and dust resistance so is suitable for use in tough environments inside and out. It also comes with an emergency button, priority override, Lone Worker monitoring and Man Down alerts.
The IP501M is a mobile unit suitable for vehicle mounting. It offers all the core features of the IP501H and is fully compatible with it, making it suitable for use as a base station for a fleet of handsets. Both devices offer full duplex and multiplex functionality, with options for individual, group and all calling. Full duplex means that when you push the button to speak, you don ‘t cut off the audio coming through the speaker, making for a more natural conversation flow. Multiplex function means multiple users in the same call groups can start conversations at once, eliminating the issue of waiting for or finding an available channel.
To find out more about the practical advantages of the new breed of PoC communication solutions, why not contact our friendly team today on 01245 403520, who will be more than happy to talk you through the comparisons with two way radio.