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Chicomm Blog

Making the Switch to Push to Talk Devices

Posted by Cathy Kulnig-Dastice on Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Making-the-Switch-to-Push-to-Talk-DevicesWhen a workforce is scattered throughout a wide area and many people are still working from home on different devices and networks, how do companies keep everyone connected?

Despite all the communications innovations we’re seeing, it still seems like a pretty big challenge.

Luckily, WAVE PTX is designed exactly for situations like that.

Push‑to‑Talk Basics

Push‑to‑talk (PTT) technology works just like it sounds: An operator presses a button to transmit or start communicating with another operator or group. 

This technology has been used for years in public safety, security, construction, transportation, and manufacturing. It allows for fast and efficient communication, and people can customize their channels to make sure they’re talking to the right folks when they need to.

But to use this extremely agile technology, a device needs to be PTT‑enabled and be on a digital network. Two‑way radios, cell phones, and computers are all capable of working with a PTT app so operators can access the network by simply pushing a button.

This technology is now available in an app that people can subscribe to.


Motorola’s WAVE PTX offers the next level of convenience for customers that are looking for ways to communicate. It’s a subscription‑based app that connects team members, no matter where they are or what device they are using — even if they are on a different network. 

Some of the benefits of WAVE PTX include the following: 

  • Instant. Users can quickly share texts, photos, videos, or file attachments.
  • Nationwide. A radio system can connect to WAVE and reach everyone over an area as wide as the country.
  • Scalable. When upgrading to WAVE PTX, people can use the devices they already have, enhancing interoperability. 

Let’s talk a little more about interoperability. What does it mean? And why is it important?

Understanding Interoperability

Interoperability is an important part of the communications landscape. It means that communications systems, and especially those involved in emergency communications, can all work together, even if they are using different networks, devices, applications, or platforms. 

Interoperability is the future of communications. It’s also a necessity for public safety communications. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security created a benchmark — called the SAFECOM Interoperability Continuum, to help establish the rules for interoperability

The idea is to guide vendors and users from siloed, separate systems into adopting technology that keeps everyone connected.

How does this work in the real world?

Connecting a Huge Healthcare System

This case study shows how Sinai Chicago, one of the largest private safety‑net healthcare systems in Illinois, implemented the MOTOTRBO digital radio platform and WAVE PTX broadband push‑to‑talk (PTT) to seamlessly connect 7 different entities — while navigating the challenges of the global pandemic.

Before they made the switch, Sinai Chicago had different equipment and systems dating back to 2012. The systems were incompatible, and the North Campus and South Campus could not talk to each other. 

The rapidly evolving pandemic meant that Sinai Chicago had to adapt, sometimes by the hour, to changing information, threats, and dangers. 

By implementing WAVE PTX, Sinai Chicago was able to achieve some of the following goals.

  • Provide reliable, instant communication across campuses
  • Achieve a secure, encrypted communication system for sharing sensitive information
  • Create a system for text messaging between individuals and groups

The result is better communication, increased safety, and better experiences for patients. 

“We’re seeing tremendous improvements in our ability to get patients to where they need to be more quickly — whether it’s setting them up in a room or getting them discharged. All of this improves the overall patient experience,” says Doug Buchan, Sinai’s Emergency Management Director.

Beyond Radios to All Devices

Sinai Chicago is just one example of a mission critical organization that adopted a more efficient and secure communications system and ended up doing a better job fulfilling their core mission: keeping people safe and healthy.

WAVE PTX is only one part of the puzzle, but it’s an important one.

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