Radio over Internet Protocol (RoIP) is similar to Voice over IP (VoIP), except that it applies to two-way radio communications rather than voice communications. In particular, RoIP adds Push to Talk (PTT) capability to VoIP, allowing radio communications to be implemented over any IP-enabled network. These technologies are advancing rapidly to make many devices accessible with IP. Some of the most significant developments in RoIP during 2020 will involve software, smartphones, talk group management, Wi-Fi connectivity, and land-based satellite communications (satcom) applications.
Let’s take a closer look at what to expect in the new year.
RoIP can serve large geographic areas more effectively than traditional radio networks, primarily due to the steadily increasing functionality and decreasing cost of RoIP software. The use of this technology to replace leased telephone lines and dedicated microwave equipment is likely to accelerate in 2020, as the Radio over IP interface for these systems can manage radio links over long distances more effectively. The adoption rate of RoIP will be particularly high for users such as Medivac helicopters, state police, and energy utilities.
Radio over IP software can turn smartphones into PTT devices, providing a highly scalable solution that can connect large groups and individuals over the internet. These applications will offer full multi-channel access and virtually unlimited point-to-point (PTP) communication between any two users. RoIP software will also allow smartphone users to configure buttons for PTT functions such as Talk, Listen, and Talk/Listen.
Talk Group Management
Interoperability will become an increasingly important requirement as the use of RoIP increases in 2020. The ability to link communication devices using different networks is particularly critical during a large-scale emergency when operators need to form multiple user talk groups quickly. Effective talk group management also allows operators to easily connect disparate radio systems through local, regional, and statewide networks.
PTT capability allows users to switch between receive and transmit modes by pressing a button. Many organizations are already using PTT devices for applications that require one-touch communications, but the widespread implementation of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policies will increase the importance of achieving PTT capability with mobile devices. PTT apps will also need to be network agnostic, meaning they can work over a variety of networks such as 4G, Long-Term Evolution (LTE), and Wi-Fi.
Land-Based Satcom Applications
Satcom applications can improve communications by automatically switching between terrestrial and satellite networks. Their primary advantage is to provide a network agnostic solution that increases redundancy without sacrificing audio quality or reliability. Satcom will become particularly beneficial for applications that require constant communication coverage from remote locations, especially emergency first responders.
The Bottom Line: Looking Ahead to 2020
RoIP will continue to replace more traditional forms of communication in 2020 as their cost efficiency and performance improve. The use of software to provide mobile devices with PTT capability will prove particularly valuable, as this approach eliminates the need for specialized equipment. Improved management and control of multiple networks will also be a strong trend for RoIP during the next year due to the increasing demand for interoperability across disparate networks.
For more information about RoIP and how it can enhance your communications in 2020 and beyond, contact SkyMira today!