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Push-to-talk (PTT), also known as press-to-transmit, is a method of having conversations or talking on half-duplex communication lines, including two-way radio, using a momentary button to switch from voice reception mode to transmit mode.

CB radio with push-to-talk microphone switch


History in two-way radioEdit

For example, an air traffic controller usually talks on one radio frequency to all aircraft under his/her supervision. Those under the same frequency can hear others' transmissions while using procedure words such as "break", "break break" to separate order during the conversation (ICAO doc 9432). In doing so, they are aware of each other's actions and intentions, and do not hear any background noise from the ones who are not speaking. Similar considerations apply to police radio, the use of business band radios on construction sites, and other scenarios requiring coordination of several parties. Citizens Band is another example of classic push-to-talk operation.

The PTT switch is most commonly located on the radio's handheld microphone, or for small hand-held radios, directly on the radio. For heavy radio users, a PTT foot switch may be used, and also can be combined with either a boom-mounted microphone or a headset with integrated microphone.

Less commonly, a separate hand-held PTT switch may be used. This type of switch was historic

ally called a pressel.[1][2]

In situations where a user may be too busy to handle a talk switch, voice operated switches are sometimes employed. Some systems use PTT ID to identify the speaker.

Manufactures now making units specifically designed for PTT over cellular (POC or PoC). The largest supplier in the UK is 'Push To Talk International' who have supplied both handsets and vehicle units worldwide.[citation needed] Motorola is a popular communications supplier in the United States who offers PPT and PoC two-way radios in their line of product offerings. [3]

Mobile phonesEdit

Push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) is a service option for a cellular phone network that enables subscribers to use their phones as walkie-talkies with unlimited range. A typical push-to-talk connection connects almost instantly. A significant advantage of PTT is the ability for a single person to reach an active talk group with a single button press; users need not make several telephone calls to coordinate with a group.

Push-to-talk cellular calls similarly provide half-duplex communications — while one person transmits, the other(s) receive. This combines the operational advantages of PTT with the interference resistance and other virtues of mobile phones.

Current use in mobile telephonyEdit

Mobile push-to-talk services, offered by some mobile carriers directly as well as by independent companies, adds PTT functionality to smartphones and specialized mobile handsets. In addition to mobile handsets, some services also work on a laptop, desktop, and tablet computers.

Key Technological and Market TrendsEdit

Fortune Business Insights[4] predicts the global Push-To-Talk (PTT) Market to exhibit a robust CAGR of 7.0% between 2018 and 2025. At this pace, it is estimated to reach a value of US$ 45.54 Bn by the end of 2025, as against US$ 26.8 Bn valued in 2017. Several companies are focusing on manufacturing and developing flexible and innovative PTT devices. For instance, AT&T has planned to manufacture new PTT devices, which will meet the functionality and performance standards of 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) for mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT).[5][6]

Smartphone/computer appsEdit

Recent development in PTT communications is the appearance of apps on smartphones, some of which can function on multiple platforms. Wireless carrier-grade PTT systems have adapted to and adopted the smartphone platform by providing downloadable apps that support their PTT systems across many mobile platforms. Over-the-top (OTT) applications are not dependent on a specific carrier and nearly as fast as carrier implementations. ESChat, Kodiak, Talk-IP, Twisted Pair (acquired by Motorola), Wave, Zello, Talko, Peak PTT, Orion Labs, Instacom and Voxer may offer similar services to carriers.[7][8][9] Overtime companies have often resorted to use of Rugged smartphones for the purposes on Installing Push-to-Talk apps.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "pressel". Wordnik.
  2. ^ "Definition of pressel".
  3. ^ "PPT and PoC two-way radios". Day Wireless.
  4. ^ "Global Market Research Report & Consulting | Fortune Business Insights". Retrieved 2019-06-15.
  5. ^ "Push-To-Talk (PTT) Market to Value US$ 45.54 Bn at CAGR of 7.0% by 2025 | Exclusive Report by Fortune Business Insights". Retrieved 2019-06-16.
  6. ^ "Mehr Nachrichten von PR Newswire". finanznachrichten.
  7. ^ "How Voxer is pushing push-to-talk apps into the future | FierceWireless". Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  8. ^ "AT&T expands trials of enhanced push-to-talk service | FierceWireless". Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  9. ^ "Orion - wearables - wireless startups - Fierce 15 2015 | FierceWireless". Retrieved 2016-09-16.