Push to Talk on the Jobsite

June 27, 2012

In industries such as construction, technology that enables safe, efficient communication is at a premium. Armed with one-touch communication such as “push to talk,” workers in the field can more easily collaborate with other team members, enabling faster, more informed decisionmaking.

A number of wireless carriers in the United States have begun to offer PTT (push-to-talk) capabilities on their networks, some even marketing specifically to the construction industry. Sprint, www.sprint.com, Overland Park, Kan., for instance, is considered a trailblazer in this arena. Even with the recent announcement that it is planning to discontinue services on 2G iDEN Nextel National Network next year, Sprint has come to market with new services such as Direct Connect, a brand that provides broader coverage, features, and rugged devices designed for industries that rely on push to talk. 

In recent news, this week, AT&T, www.att.com, Dallas, Texas, released new details about its enhanced PTT offering. The announcement includes plans to expand customer trials of the solution, which has been offered in limited preview since February of this year. According to AT&T, it will double the number of business users who can participate in its free PTT program. 

The enhanced solution is expected to provide better performance, improved features, and more device choices. In fact, the company says it will offer up to five compatible smartphones when the enhanced service becomes available later this year.

As another example, last spring, Verizon Wireless, www.verizonwireless.com, Basking Ridge, N.J., also came out in support of new push-to-talk capabilities for the construction industry, announcing new pricing options and capabilities, including group calling, contact management, and two-way communication, among others. 

The goal of this and other push-to-talk solutions is to provide industries like construction with the type of service necessary for realtime communication among group members, integrating remote and on-the-job employees into the daily workflow of a company and supporting maximum productivity. Advanced network speeds also help. In the case of AT&T, the PTT solution is backed by its 4G wireless network. 

When looking for answers on the job, there’s no better time than right now to get answers. In many cases, push-to-talk solutions can make this happen. In an industry such as construction, which is built on quality, safety, and collaboration, any technology that encourages and enables right-now collaboration is worth a second look.