Push to talk

looking for suggestions for a push to talk solution for the hospitality industry which integrates with asterisk? has anyone had any experience with the vocera system?

Are you looking for something like a Vocera system or something to integrate with one?

Vocera is a LOT of solution for a hospitality system.

If you’re looking for something more like PTT phones connected to FreePBX, that’s easy to do. There are lots of PTT instruments that work the Asterisk, as well as many solutions that offer “pickup/dial” and “emergency phone” solutions.

What are you trying to do?

i have an asterisk system in and they just got a new IT director who came from a hotel that had a vocera system and is enamored with it. i have not used or worked on a vocera system and was looking to a) understand if it can integrate into an asterisk system or b) if it is a competitor and c) what other alternatives are out there. they probably do have a need for some sort of ptt system as they have a number of mobile workers that are customer facing and they would prefer not to use a standard cell phone if they can avoid it. the old Motorola ptt is conceptually what they want.

If your solution right now is Asterisk, all you need to do is look at the Vocera’s price tag. From what I’ve seen, it’s designed and built for “safety and loss of life prevention” industries.

I’m still not clear on what the need is.

Hospitality industry is a pretty broad solution space. There are least four need-spaces that I know about:

  1. Housekeeping - they folks can get by nicely on IP based cordless phones. You can set these up in a couple of ways:

1a) When the phone goes off-hook it connects to a specific number.
1b) The phone can dial local numbers (extensions) only.

  1. Security - the need here is broadcast information between all members of the team. These folks are usually well served by LMR systems.

  2. Limo service - the need here is a point-to-point phone that connects to a dispatcher. Cell based systems are usually well served here.

  3. Front Desk - the need here is usually for a system that can interface with housekeeping, security, limo, or any combination of the three.

Each of these has requirements for range, repeatability, mobility, and common channel use. There’s no really good “one-size” solution that meets these needs in a single space.

Motorola makes a system that can be interfaced to Asterisk through the SIP interface, but it’s not cheap either. I’m not convinced that Vocera is the right solution for this entire space.

Some of your solution spaces (like Limo Drivers) are going to defy a local solution (so you are going to end up with a Cell based system). Please note that using ‘consumer band’ radios in your hotel is a $10,000 violation of unlicensed band for commercial use, so if you are going to use radios, they need to be commercial radios of some kind.