Pryme unveils accessory line that works with both LMR and cellular PTT
Pryme this week will showcase its new PrymeMAX portfolio of industrial-grade accessories that are versatile enough to work with both land-mobile-radio (LMR) handsets and LTE devices that enable push-to-talk-over-cellular (PoC) services and will be offered at a lower price than comparable LMR accessories offered by the company.
Pryme has long delivered Bluetooth-compatible speaker microphones, lapel microphones and headsets capable for both LMR and LTE devices, but the accessories historically have been designed to work specifically with a given device. Pryme President and Chief Technologist Dave George said the PrymeMAX products feature better chipsets that can support multiple LMR and PoC protocols on a variety of devices.
“If you wanted a Bluetooth-compatible speaker microphone from us, we had to ask, ‘Is it for an Icom [radio]? Is it for a Kenwood? Is it for an iPhone?’” George said during an interview with IWCE’s Urgent Communications. “We don’t have to ask you that anymore, because it’s going to work on all of those devices. Obviously, there are a few outliers, but 90% of them [LMR and LTE push-to-talk devices] are going to work with one product line.”
This versatility of the PrymeMAX portfolio is just another example of push-to-talk ecosystems for two-way-radio converging with PoC offerings, according to George.
“The radio guys are all starting to make devices that are sort of like phones that look like radios, and we’re making accessories that look like radio accessories but work on cell phones,” he said. “We’re all sort of moving toward the same ultimate goal here, which is the blurring of lines between a phone app and a traditional two-way radio. The accessories will help with that quite a bit, I think.”
This type of flexibility should benefit end users, who simply can buy PrymeMAX accessories instead of having to different types of accessories for different devices, George said.
“For the end user, it’s quite convenient now,” George said. “You can buy a PrymeMAX microphone, and you can use it with ESChat on a new EF Johnson Viking radio, but you can also use it to talk on an iPhone.
“So, maybe the boss has a fancy new iPhone, but the worker bees have a two-way radio. They can all use the same speaker microphone, lapel kit or motorcycle kit that we make that are compatible.”
Such accessories are ideal for users wanting to leverage both LMR and PoC push-to-talk communications in hybrid systems or in coverage-extension solutions, George said.
“You can’t merge the two calls [from LMR and LTE with only a PrymeMAX accessory], but you can use the same headset to talk via ESChat on your phone and use that same microphone to talk on your two-way radio system,” George said. “You just can’t conference the two of them together, unless you use a gateway.”
PrymeMAX accessories work with most LMR and PoC push-to-talk technologies, but they currently do not work with carrier-integrated PoC solutions that leverage the Kodiak platform owned by Motorola Solutions, George said. In addition, Pryme has not tested the new accessory portfolio with 3GPP-standard mission-critical push-to-talk (MCPTT) technology, he said.
Driving the versatility of the PrymeMAX portfolio are new chipsets that are powerful enough to support multiple push-to-talk protocols for both applications and devices, allowing the accessories to determine and activate in milliseconds the correct combination that the user needs, George said.
Despite the increased capabilities of the PrymeMAX products, they actually will cost less than the company’s existing Bluetooth-compatible accessories, because the new accessory line will not include the same kind of markup for LMR dealers that has existed traditionally, according to George.
“This is the same product, whether we’re selling it to the Zello end user or the two-way radio dealer,” he said. “The net result for everybody—dealers and end users alike—is going to be lower list prices, but it’s basically going to be less margin for the dealers.
“So, instead of selling a $20 earphone and making 50% profit on it, they’re going to sell a $150 microphone and make 25% profit on it—it’s actually more dollars. But we’re going to have to make them [the prices] all the same. We won’t be able to explain, ‘Oh, you want to buy this for a radio? Then it will cost $200,’ and then say, ‘Oh, you want to buy this for a cell phone? Then it’s $125.”
Pryme is introducing the PrymeMAX line of accessories at the IWCE 2021 show this week in Las Vegas. To get more information about the PrymeMAX portfolio, visit Booth 159 in the IWCE exhibit hall.