Cellular-Only vs. RoIP 2.0
Recently there’s been an explosion of LTE-based push-to-talk solutions on the market. These cellular-based options offer better coverage than RF networks and allow you to integrate smartphones and tablets.
But cellular-only options are still fully dependent on terrestrial infrastructure – leaving them vulnerable to disasters and outages. They also require replacing your existing LMR equipment and still have network coverage gaps.
In contrast, Skymira has reinvented RoIP to offer solutions that provide all the benefits of a cellular-based option while adding disaster resilience and 100% coverage. Additionally, with RoIP solutions, you can keep your LMR radios and equipment for familiarity and reduced costs.
So, what really is the difference between cellular-only PTT solutions and Skymira’s RoIP 2.0 solutions?
First let’s look at the LTE-based solutions – what they offer to PTT users and what the limitations are.
Cellular-based options often provide better coverage and allow you to add modern devices such as smartphones and tablets into your PTT network. However, they still rely on terrestrial infrastructure which leaves them prone to gaps and vulnerable to disasters.
- Extended Coverage – Cellular networks have better coverage than RF (radio frequency) networks in many areas. This makes using LTE an attractive option in areas with RF network gaps.
- Modern Devices – Using a cellular-based system allows you to add smartphones and tablets to your PTT network. This updates your communications workflow and gives you more options when it comes to finding equipment that meets your needs.
- Vulnerabilities – Since LTE networks rely on cell towers, they have the same vulnerabilities as RF networks. Disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, wildland fires, terror attacks, and more regularly knock out cell towers leaving whole areas without coverage.
- Gaps – Cellular networks may have better coverage than RF networks, but they are still prone to gaps. Depending on the nature of your work and the areas you work in, this may or may not be a concern.
- Equipment Incompatibility – Switching to a LTE-based system requires you to change out your LMR radios and equipment. This is an expensive transition and fully commits you to LTE-only coverage.
RoIP 2.0 Solutions
Now let’s look at RoIP solutions – what they offer to PTT users and how they differ from cellular-only options.
As comparison charts so often say, with RoIP you get everything in the cellular-based plan plus more. Skymira’s RoIP systems give you the flexibility to use LTE, RF, or satellite networks to get network coverage anywhere, harden communications against disasters, and allow you to keep your LMR radios and equipment while integrating smartphones and other modern devices.
- 100% Coverage – RoIP gateways allow you to take advantage of RF, LTE, and/or satellite coverage. Because of the way Skymira’s RoIP solutions work, you can use different networks for various parts of your territory so you get the best coverage and cost everywhere. For mobile users, simultaneous cross-network redundancy and automatic failover result in seamless coverage.
- Modern Devices – Because of the way RoIP works, you can communicate with two-way radios and smartphones on the same network. LMR radios, smartphones, tablets, dispatch consoles, and other communications devices can all send and receive messages. This interoperability also enables seamless connections with external agencies and companies using other brands and bandwidths.
- Disaster Proofed – Unlike radio and cellular towers, satellites are not impacted by natural disasters. Secure satellite connections keep real-time communications online during and after hurricanes, wildland fires, tornadoes, ice storms, terror attacks, and other disasters that take down terrestrial communications infrastructure. A variety of solutions are available which can be integrated into communications networks to ensure critical communications stay online when they’re needed most.
- Keep LMR equipment – You don’t need to replace your LMR radios when you deploy RoIP. Keep your current radios and devices, add new ones that meet your needs, and have a unified system that’s always ready to accept new technology and expand to meet new challenges.
- Cost – While you can run a RoIP communications system using only LTE and RF networks, if you want 100% coverage you’ll need to add some satellite to the mix. Thankfully, Skymira’s fixed-rate, talk-all-day plans make this an affordable option for those who need it.
- Powerful – A RoIP solution is very powerful. It can expand to connect across the nation or around the world. While there’s no downside to integrating RoIP into smaller networks, the ability to connect disparate RF and/or cellular devices and provide coverage anywhere, anytime is more than some teams need.
How To Choose
So how can you choose? Briefly, if you’re happy with your cellular coverage and can afford to have your communications go down during occasional outages, then LTE-based PTT options may be sufficient for your application. But you should consider RoIP if you need:
- 100% coverage
- LMR equipment
- Unified RF networks (LMR/LTE/Satellite)
- Rock-solid critical comms
Skymira’s RoIP solutions keep everyone communicating in real-time even when you face workflow challenges such as:
- Remote areas – Do some of your teams work in areas with spotty or no coverage? Satellite RoIP has you covered. Team members will be able to communicate locally, with other teams (even if those other teams aren’t using satellite), and with dispatch as if they worked downtown.
- Disasters – Do you need to make sure communications stay online during and after disasters? RoIP solutions will ensure you can send and receive critical communications even when infrastructure is down.
- Long-distance teams – Do you send teams across the country to do recovery or other work? No problem. With integrated RoIP it won’t matter if they’re around the corner or around the globe.
To summarize, Skymira’s RoIP solutions give you all of the benefits of cellular networks while giving you 100% coverage, disaster proofing, and the ability to keep your LMR equipment.
If you’re looking for a solution that provides these capabilities, contact one of our RoIP experts today to learn more about how you could integrate RoIP solutions into your workflow.