June 2, 2021

Improve frontline communications with PTT on rugged mobile devices

Liz Alton

Globally, more than 2 billion people are frontline workers. They work across industries as diverse as manufacturing, transportation, utilities, public safety and retail, but all share one common challenge: ineffective communications. Whether you speak to a retail associate in a big box store or a utility worker manning a bucket truck, the lack of access to smart, modern communications platforms is a constant frustration that holds them back from efficiently accomplishing their daily tasks.

Many of these workers rely on legacy systems, such as two-way radio technology. But voice-centric land mobile radio (LMR) communications are limiting, especially in noisy environments, leading to lost communications and unnecessary delays.

Now, companies are turning to rugged mobile devices with push-to-talk (PTT) capabilities to offer frontline teams always-on voice chat, integrated multimedia sharing apps and critical communications that tie right into their existing workflows.


How mobile PTT solves frontline communication challenges

As frontline workers spend their days on the go, the very nature of their jobs demands ongoing communication with each other, their supervisors, customers or subject matter experts. Often, frontline workers have to carry multiple devices to achieve those tasks and stay connected. In a recent survey conducted by Samsung of 450 professionals working in field services, 41 percent of respondents said they have to use multiple devices on the job because they don’t have a single device that incorporates all the features they need.

To address this issue, many businesses are moving toward integrated rugged mobile devices that are durable enough to withstand intense work conditions and improve frontline communications.

PTT capabilities on smartphones are an effective alternative to traditional walkie-talkies or radios. In the same Samsung survey, 44 percent of frontline workers said they use PTT on their smartphones. PTT can also be supplemented with other forms of communications, such as chat groups or video calls, used by 50 percent of survey respondents.


Putting durability to work

Over-the-top PTT apps can be used on most smartphones and tablets, but choosing the right device is essential to providing the best experience to frontline workers. Rugged smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro are designed with PTT in mind, featuring a large physical button on the left side to instantly initiate PTT communications. With glove mode on the XCover Pro, you don’t have to remove your gloves to send a message or jump between chat groups. It offers a seamless transition to using a smartphone for all voice-based communications — and lightening workers’ loads by consolidating all their digital tools onto a single device.

Organizations that make the switch to rugged smartphones also need to invest in training to help your team make the most of PTT. As one survey respondent noted, “In our organization, the main barrier is lack of fast communications. If all the workers here are trained properly to use push-to-talk services, I think it will be a great way to solve a lot of issues.”


Taking frontline communications beyond voice

Voice communications will always be essential to on-the-go workers, but integrated smartphone-based PTT platforms offer more methods of communication. The Galaxy XCover Pro features PTT integrations with platforms like Microsoft Teams Walkie Talkie, Verizon Push-to-Talk and ESChat. You have significant flexibility to customize a PTT solution according to your business needs — and you can set up your devices for deeper integration using Samsung’s Knox Suite of device management and security services.

With the XCover Pro’s high-definition camera, frontline workers can shoot video, take high-resolution photos and capture data that they can share with colleagues via their integrated PTT application. With more means of communication, workers can choose the best method for their current workflow and relay their status to colleagues at any time.

Establishing a chat group, for example, makes it simple for teams to stay connected from afar. A manager can create a chat group with all their direct reports, so they can relay teamwide updates in real time. Strategic device use — and planning — helps your frontline workers stay productive outside the office and in tougher environments, relying on one device for seamless transitions and collaboration from anywhere, without sacrifice.


Built for the job

Today’s frontline workers need phones that are tough enough to withstand intense, unpredictable environments or sustain a fall — and keep operating without interruption. The Galaxy XCover Pro is just one option in Samsung’s portfolio of field-ready rugged mobile devices.

A full-featured Android Smartphone, the XCover Pro is IP68 rated to resist dirt, dust and water, and it’s engineered to the Defense Department’s MIL-STD-810G standards — having passed 21 rigorous tests. Whether you’re looking for a solution that’s rugged enough to withstand inclement weather or sturdy enough for an overnight warehouse shift, Samsung’s rugged portfolio has you covered.

Explore Samsung’s portfolio of rugged devices and learn more about how they can support your frontline workers. And consider securing and managing your devices in field with Knox mobile solutions.