A Brief History Of 2-Way Radio Communications & Push To Talk

2-Way Radio Communications Throughout the Decades

Defining transceivers

A typical broadcast receiver can only receive a signal, but cannot transmit it. Two-way radio, on the other hand, can do both, thus being classified as a transceiver.

A brief history of Land Mobile Radios & 2-Way communications

2-Way communications were first introduced in the previous century, allowing for exchanging messages without needing a wire to transmit them through, thus qualifying as wireless.


2-way telegraphy traffic across the Atlantic Ocean becomes available.


By this point, commercial and military ships were equipped with transmitters and receivers, allowing for real-time communication.


First real two-way radio gets developed in Australia, which came to be as a result of Senior Constable Frederick William Downie of the Victorian Police and his hard work. Wireless communication becomes integrated in police cars.


The year marks the first usage case of a two-way system being operated between a central fixed station and transceivers integrated in police cars. Over time, the transceivers evolved in “full duplex” mode, allowing for simultaneous transmission and reception. In comparison, the older “simplex” models only allowed for one-way transmission due to using only one radio frequency at the same time.

1987 – 1993

Morgan O’Brien, Chris Rogers, Peter Reinheimer, and Brian McAuley establish Fleet Call, the company that would later change its name to Nextel Communications in 1993.

Nextel marketed wireless communications services and relied on the Iden Network provided by Motorola. If you still remember the time when walkie-talkies hit the market, Nextel is to thank.


Sprint Corporation merges with Nextel Communications, adopting the name of Sprint Nextel. By that time, the company managed to grow quite a significant number of subscribers, reaching the milestone of 20 million in the United States alone.

 2010 – 2013

As the year of 2010 was nearing an end, Sprint Nextel announced it would decommission the Nextel Iden network in 2013.  The Nextel network was officially shut down on the 30th of June 2013, 12:01 AM.

2018 and beyond

As of today, companies like Peak PTT are providing Push To Talk Services over the Internet Protocol (IP).  These modern day PTT systems, allow for Push To Talk ecosystems that include smartphones, mobile apps, and computer software.  These systems are capable of PTT via a variety of internet connectivity options, WiFi, Cellular Data, and Broadband.

Interesting fact: push-to-talk (PTT) is also known as press-to-transmit

Professions that rely on 2-way radio communications technology

First Responders: The radio network has a wide coverage, so first responders can use it to communicate their intentions with one another and coordinate their actions.

Private Sector Field Service Companies:  Construction, Security, Field Services, Transportation, and Towing Companies all benefit from PTT type services, via instant workforce communication, and improved communications.

Modern hand-held PTT radios

Modern hand-held PTT radio devices such as the Peak PTT K2 device and Peak PTT 584G devices are designed specifically for modern communications. Due to better hardware and software specifications made specifically for Push To Talk use.

Long battery life

The battery life depends on the usage, but generally speaking, it should last for days, making them suitable for heavy-duty work where reliability is of the essence.

Private or group communications

Unlike the older 2-way radio communications devices, these are much more flexible when it comes to choosing who you’d like to transmit the message to, and give you the option of choosing between group or individual communications.

SOS button

If you find yourself in an emergency, the SOS button will let your location be known instantly and communicate that there’s an emergency. The coverage is nation-wide.







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