Tait and Sonim to offer smartphones with PTT over cellular

Sonim’s Android ultra-rugged smartphones will run Tait’s UnifyVoice solution enabling cellular phone users to communicate with land mobile radio users via a push-to-talk button

Tait and Sonim to offer smartphones with PTT over cellular

Tait Communications and Sonim Technologies have teamed up to offer customers seamless mobile radio interoperability between land mobile radio (LMR) networks and cellular networks using a push-to-talk (PTT) solution on ruggedised mobile cellphones.

Sonim’s ultra-rugged Android smartphones provide a platform for UnifyVoice, the push-to-talk over cellular (PTToC) solution provided by mission critical LMR solutions provider Tait Communications.

Equipped with dedicated PTT and emergency buttons, Sonim’s XP6 and XP7 devices deliver a rugged mobile radio-centric user interface appropriate to the mission-critical sectors Tait serves.

Sonim’s ultra-rugged smartphone platform running Tait UnifyVoice software allows public safety agencies and industrial enterprises to cost-effectively extend their LMR networks to include non-radio users, freeing up critical radio capacity.

The Sonim smartphones provide users with a familiar, easy-to-use experience with their built-in dedicated push-to-talk button, emergency key, long battery life, extra-loud audio and overall ruggedness.

Bruce Mazza, Tait Communications’ VP of Solutions Marketing, said the Sonim line complements Tait’s reputation for tough mobile radio equipment. “The ability to withstand whatever conditions the job demands is a hallmark of Tait equipment and Sonim has a similarly high standard with its cellular handsets.

“Through UnifyVoice customers can supply some of their employees with an appropriate, work-fit cellular phone that interacts seamlessly with their radio network users – perhaps people who would not normally be frontline but who, especially in times of emergency, need to be in communication with those who mainly use the mobile radio network to do their jobs.

“This ultimately leads to more effective communications and a safer, more productive environment for users on the ground. Sonim’s approach to creating ultra-rugged hardware built around an open Android ecosystem is exactly what is required by many of the land mobile radio sectors Tait serves,” said Mazza.

Robert Escalle, VP of Public Safety and Defense for Sonim Technologies, welcomed the partnership as a means to demonstrate Sonim’s desire to deliver a best-in-class solution to the first responder community. “We’re excited to be able to work with Tait, the clear thought leader in the LMR industry. They have really committed to a truly open ecosystem approach to meet the evolving needs of mission critical communications.”

Tait UnifyVoice

Tait UnifyVoice was launched at the IWCE 2016 earlier this year where it demonstrated tight integration to its LMR systems leveraging ESChat software from SLA Corporation, along with P25 ISSI and DMR AIS gateways and unique seamless roaming capabilities.

The idea behind Tait UnifyVoice is to provide operational and administrative staff with enhanced access to instant communication and information. It provides, in its simplest form, PTT capability for anyone, at anytime, anywhere.

It does this by providing seamless instant communication or PTT capability over any available communications network, including LMR, cellular and Wi-Fi. It provides a choice of end-user devices that are familiar and are aligned to the user's job function. The benefits of Tait UnifyVoice include:

Increased coverage
The solution unifies the narrowband private radio with public or private broadband networks to increase coverage, improving the ability to communicate when beyond the edges of coverage or when in coverage black-spots, such as in-buildings, car-parks, or tunnels.

Typically, radio coverage exceeds 96% of a geographic region. While broadband might cover 96% of the population, it might only cover 60% of a geographic region, so unifying the networks improves coverage and capacity.

UnifyVoice includes the ability to add extra capacity to a customer’s communications system as its organisation grows, as work-groups are expanded, or as agencies communication systems are consolidated. It will automatically balance the load across network types.

Force multiplier
It gives administrative staff the ability to listen and talk straight into emergency communications without a radio. They can maintain incident awareness wherever they are located. It also enable covert/undercover users to stay discrete when talking to the critical communications network.

Easy to use
Front-line users have one single user-interface that they are already familiar with. Communication requires a single button push, and the system automatically determines which device and which network to communicate over. This ensures the message gets through.

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