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FCW : October 30, 2013
application," Clark said. "We don t look at it as something that s tied only to a certain device, and we don t look at it as something that s tied only to a certain network." Enhanced PTT also provides improved security and privacy, which are para- mount to government communications, through built-in AES 256-bit encryption. "The intent there is to encrypt the voice end to end on the transaction, from the originator of the Push-to-Talk call all the way to the target," he said. "That offers additional security and protection." Management made easy Another major component of Enhanced PTT is the Corporate Administrator Tool. With a single sign-on, it lets administrators centrally manage con- tacts and groups and provides supervi- sory override capabilities. It supports large contact lists and talk groups and enables managers centralized man- agement of all contacts on all their devices. Because of that, they can build talk groups on the fly. "The process takes about 30 to 45 seconds once the talk group is built," and that takes two minutes to stand up, Clark said. "No. 1, we simplified Push-to-Talk by making your phone number your Push- to-Talk number," he said. "No. 2, we went out and we built this portal to help you manage your environment, and, No. 3, we built capabilities inside of this to be able to pre-build talk groups and con- tact lists and push them out seamlessly to all of your end users in the field." Another tool --- the Presence Manager --- provides immediate insight into who is available to communicate via Enhanced PTT by displaying on a device s screen a green (available), red (unavailable or do not disturb) or gray (off-line) button next to a user s name. If someone is unavailable, callers can still send an alert to let that person know he or she is trying to be reached. "It reduces the complexity that we ve seen in other push-to-talk solutions where individuals are not aware of someone s availability and so they try to make a push-to-talk call to that indi- vidual and they get the bonk tone, and now they have to go back and try to figure out who else is available," Clark said. "We really see this as a workplace enabler." Ease of use for two-way radio users Recognizing push-to-talk s prevalence among two-way radio users, AT&T made upgrades here, too. The com- pany partnered with Raytheon on the Raytheon ACU platform that many government agencies use to integrate with two-way radios. "We have a donor device that con- nects into the ACU platform and passes the PTT traffic from the AT&T net- work and bridges it into the two-way radio network," Clark said. Enhanced PTT can be linked to pri- vate radio systems through the use of the Raytheon ACU-2000 IP interoper- ability solution. It also can connect SIP voice-over-IP devices to radios and can connect radio systems at multiple sites across an IP network. The future of Enhanced PTT The evolution of Enhanced PTT isn t done. Coming this year is a dispatcher console to let a dispatcher or resource coordinator see which users are available and accomplishing certain tasks. "The dispatchers are able to make Push-to-Talk calls and manage this environment off of a PC, and they re able to make Push-to-Talk calls on a boom mike or any other mike appara- tus that they have by using their mouse or the spacebar to initiate a Push-to- Talk call," Clark said. Dispatchers will also be able to record conversations -- either among groups or between the dispatcher and an individu- al -- and scan talk groups for situational awareness. The console will include location awareness that can triangulate on individuals based on their address and show their position on a map. Enhanced PTT can help in a variety of government jobs, such as social services, public works, public safety, package delivery, campus security, and housing and events. Additionally, it can keep noncritical traffic off the two-way radio network, Clark said. "From the transportation and the hospitality sectors to state, local and federal government, we ve seen agen- cies take advantage of this solution because a lot of the features that we brought to market help enhance their communications by leveraging push-to- talk technology," he said. SPONSORED CONTENT SPONSORED BY: For consistent, effective and instant large scale mobile communications, visit att.com/gov/eptt "Push-to-Talk technology is a way to take a three-minute phone call and cut it down to 30 seconds." --- Doug Clark, national director for Enhanced Push-to-Talk at AT&T
September 30, 2013
November 15, 2013