Note: This blog entry was last updated March 2022.
Push to talk over cellular (PoC) apps turn any cell phone into a two-way radio providing a new and enhanced way to communicate. These PTT apps give companies or individuals the opportunity to talk wherever you are in the country. These apps are available for anyone with a cell phone and can be downloaded in the app store and google play.
PoC apps have the ability to record conversations and can be played back at a later time if needed. The talk groups are a good option to have for your employees because it puts everyone in a single network so you can easily find whomever you need. PoC apps allow you to instantly connect with the team and get information in real-time.
We will review the different pricing and features of popular push to talk apps including,
- ES Chat
- Wave on Cloud
- AT&T Enhanced Push to Talk
Zello is a leader in voice messaging push to talk. Zello delivers communication at the push of a button to transportation, retail, manufacturing, hospitality, construction, and first responders.
- Unlimited uses
- Public channels including police scanner, open chat and more.
- ZelloWork gives fast reliable push-to-talk for teams (subscription needed)
- ZelloWork can be tailored to fit your business
- ZelloWork has advanced privacy meaning no one can listen in on conversations.
- Crystal clear voice in any environment
- Emergency button
Zello for personal use is free for Android and IOS users. Zello for Business starts at 8.00 USD per user per month. The company offers pricing for Enterprises (large organizations) but you need to contact their sales team for cost.
Aside from the monthly user fee, Zello offers additional premium features that can be added onto your subscription. These include
- Message Vault - 4.00 USD per user per month. This feature lets you save user communications across the cloud so you can quickly find previous messages or saved audio/video.
- Emergency Alerts - 2.00 USD per user per month. This sends an emergency message to everyone on your channel to help keep you and your team safe.
- Premium Maps - 3.00 USD per user per month. This features a map powered by Google Maps and allows admins to track locations of everyone on their workforce. It tells you the best routes, real time traffic updates, alerts for nearby hazards, and more.
Zello offers a 30 day free trial and 15% off if you pay for a yearly subscription.
Voxer is another push to talk app that lets you hear real time messages from people on your channel and allows you to send text, photos, videos, and share your location. This app works on any network and is available on iPhone, Android, or the web.
- For businesses or individuals
- Own private network for business accounts
- 500 individuals contracts or teams
- Flexible control
- End to end encryption
- Lock screen push to talk capability
- Free to download in App Store and Google Play for individuals.
- Business: $8.33 a user per month per subscription. Currently, they are offering a Covid-19 Reduced Pricing for just $6 per user per month (As of March, 2022).
ESChat is available for government and business enterprise customers. ESChat offers interoperability with Land Mobile Radios (LMR) and P25 networks.
- High definition voice encrypted
- Group messaging and PTT calls
- LMR (land mobile radio) integration
- GPS location tracking
- FirstNet certified
- Emergency calls
- Commercial Customers - 4.99 USD per user per month, 10% off discount if paid annually for 4.49 USD per user per month.
- Government Customers - 7.27 USD per user per month. Government customers on GSA receive discounted pricing of 4.57 USD per user per month.
Wave OnCloud is a subscription based push to talk over cellular solution from Motorola Solutions. Wave OnCloud is available on a mobile app or Motorola's Wave Two-Way Radio TLK 100. The subscription based service provides instant communication at a push of a button, nationwide connection, and allows you to communicate across devices you already have and connect with professional radios.
OnCloud allows you to connect your existing MOTOTRBO two-way radios with a cell phone for seamless communication across different devices.
- Group or private PTT
- Do not disturb option. When off the clock your app is too
- Eliminates background noise
- See the history of PTT conversations
- get alerts directly if a team member of your team is trying to reach you
- Text a message and send a photo or video
- View where members of your talk group are on a map
- Share your location
Wave Two-Way Radio TLK 100 available
- 4G LTE
- Long-lasting battery
- Location tracking
- Slim design
- The phone app is 8.00 USD per month per license
- TLK 100 is 35 USD per month per license
- Free 30-day trial
AT&T Enhanced Push to Talk
AT&T's Enhanced Push to Talk subscription based service is FirstNet Certified, a dedicated network for first responders and supporters. This service is available on smartphones, like Apple, Samsung, Sonim, Google, Kyocera, LG, Motorola, and more. This app, just like all the others, lets you talk in real time and send texts, images, videos, and much more.
- Emergency calling and alert
- User monitoring
- Administration can remotely manage contacts or talk groups
- User location tracking
- Group calls
- Send highly secure messages and files
- Option to connect with your existing land mobile radio system
Pricing starts at 5 USD a month or 10 USD a month with prioritized data on your standard smartphone or featured phone plan.
Advanced2 Smartphone plan starts at 20 USD with a voice plan. The Advanced2 plan gives you all standard features but includes situational awareness, emergency calling, prioritized data, and interoperability with two-way radios.
Two-Way Radio Accessories Compatible with Apps
Accessories that are common with two-way radios can also be made compatible with these PoC apps. Waveband Communications sells Bluetooth speaker microphones and behind-the-head headsets. These options are perfect for a more hands-free approach to communicating with a team. These accessories pair with the app via Bluetooth.
Wireless Bluetooth Speaker Microphone: WV-BTH-510-R5
Wireless Bluetooth Dual Muff Headset: WV-BTH-900