Posted by NorthernAxcess Satellite Communications on August 16, 2015
Iridium PTT is the worlds first global, satellite-based push-to-talk voice and data service, enabling instant communication between participants. Like 2-way radio communication, Nextel systems, or old MSAT Push to talk that allowed groups to communicate within their own groups, Iridium PTT or Push To Talk allows for countless groups to be set up in many different ways imaginable to communicate with each other, between each other, send out commands and data, or talk through a dispatch type systems anywhere on earth without limitations of range. Iridium PTT provides a fast, simple, and global service making the Iridium network available to tens, or tens of thousands of devices with the push of a button.
This service will allow for deployment of multi-user communication "nets" from Iridium mobile satphones and other custom devices from anywhere worldwide. It is designed for public and private sector first responders and ideal for crisis applications where rapid deployment, reliability and security are key. Users will require constant and global service from an extremely portable device.
Iridium PTT is comprised of three components that work seamlessly to provide a solution that works globally:
The group call push-to-talk communications service will allow one user to talk (or transmit data) to many users simultaneously. Dispatch centers will be able to set up multi-user communication nets on Iridium satellite channels. The service will be scalable to meet user requirements. It will enable over- the-air group management where dispatch centers can add users to groups as needed. In addition, users will be able to access voice and data communications at the same time when immediate access to critical systems and information from any location is required. That is because this service will work alongside existing Iridium services such as short-burst data (SBD) for real-time alerts for monitoring of important assets such as field equipment. It also will provide instantaneous alerts in times of crisis, feeding critical data to users.
Iridium PTT, like most commercial and private trunked radio services solutions, uses half-duplex communication, like a walkie-talkie, where one party talks to other participants in a group who serve as listeners, except in this case it will be completely global and groups can be in the multitudes. The coverage provided by the Iridium's global satellite network, as well as advanced security and features, elevates this service far above and beyond what is currently offered today.
“Iridium PTT allows users to quickly initiate talkgroup sessions, making it ideal for remote and fast-paced industries and deployments,” said Dan Tillet, director, product management, Iridium. “To provide one use case scenario, during summer months forest fires are prevalent in the U.S. in very remote locations. Typically, these areas do not have terrestrial wireless communications available. Iridium PTT is the ideal solution for supporting a fire team’s field communications needs with each other and other first responders.”
The new Iridium service will incorporate end-to-end encryption for secure communications. Built-in safeguards will ensure that only defined users can receive, participate in or terminate broadcasts or so called nets. It also will allow for integrating and relaying terrestrial radios and tying into terrestrial trunked radio systems. Multiple call types will be possible, including private mode, one-way broadcast mode and priority interrupt.
Iridium users desiring this service will be able to upgrade their Iridium satphones with new broadcast/group call software and a small push-to-talk support device, such as a docking station, and microphone similar to a radio mic. When not operating in a group call mode, the handsets will function normally in the traditional phone-to-phone, or satellite phone mode.
The Iridium PTT Command Center is the first ever cloud-based customer management system for satellite-based push-to-talk solutions. The Command Center gives organizations the ability to easily manage and define the geographic coverage for each needed talkgroup. The coverage areas are created using a graphical map interface fueled by Google Maps. Through the Command Center, administrators can quickly and easily define which devices/users are members of specific talkgroups and how many talkgroups are needed. As situations evolve, managers are able to make changes to groups dynamically, and these are carried out over-the-air to Iridium PTT devices within seconds.
“Iridium PTT products are currently shipping, and the demand and excitement we are seeing for the Iridium PTT solution is fantastic; it underscores the need for a truly global, secure, reliable communication solution for workgroups,” said Joel Thompson, vice president and general manager, terrestrial business unit, Iridium. “This is a stellar group of service providers that represent some of the very best across the industry; we’re pleased to be partnering with them to bring this solution to new customers globally.”
Iridium's new PTT system will be great for sectors such as, Homeland Security, public safety, border patrol, customs, forestry, oil and gas, fishing and mining applications. Iridium anticipates needs in the area of command and control, logistics, support, position reporting, observation and other critical information relay beyond line-of-sight.
Iridium PTT works with Iridium’s existing constellation and is compatible with Iridium NEXT, the company’s next-generation satellite constellation, which is scheduled to begin launching in late 2015 and to be completed in late 2017.
All prices are in USD.