At the UTC Region 7 conference today, February 26, Oncor’s Director of Telecom Strategy Kelly McNair shared his insight into cellular-based push-to-talk (PTT) offerings. HIs presentation was an information session to help answer the question, “Cellular push-to-talk: What role can it play in utility mobile voice communications?”
Kelly provided a demo and highlighted some of the key features and challenges utilities will encounter when using cellular-based PTT services. Some of the topics discussed were coverage area considerations, features compared traditional land mobile radio and use of cellular systems during power outages.
Overall, presentation and group discussions acknowledged some utility applications were a better fit than others, depending on the user’s “Use Case.” For example, enterprise operations would be a better fit than a black start operations, or the utility first responders transmission, distribution and control, including telecom.
The main reason for this is that carrier-based networks are designed to meet consumer requirements while utilities operate to meet regulatory reliability requirements that support operations during minor outages all the way to major disasters.