This article was written by the US tester.
A review of the new Retevis RT51– an inexpensive Poc Alternative
The RT51 PoC Handheld radio is a Push-to-Talk (PTT) communications tool, uses existing AT&T and T-Mobile cellular for voice signal propagation. Retevis presents it as an inexpensive communications device and platform that allows for group and one-on-one PTT communications over great distances. The radio is listed for sale on the website for only $129.00 which is very inexpensive compared to existing similar radios on the market. You can see the listing and purchase here: https://www.retevis.com/rt51-poc-handset-radio
Requirements to put the radio to work are:
1. a SIM card for at least 500MB data for each radio;
2. The software to program your radio and programming cable.
3. the admin account to manage groups and users;
4. the dispatch platform for managing all your business communications.
PoC stands for PTT over Cellular. There are a plethora of these devices and platforms showing up in the marketplace these days. They all require access to the internet, a data plan with a cell phone company and a communications server to connect to that provides the connectivity for the subscribed to services.
This is the first downside of the RT51 PoC Handset radio. It has no wifi capability. You are totally reliant on access to your provider’s network. But, my testing of this radio proved that the external cell antenna on the radio does increase the range to access data connectivity. In places where I could not connect with my smartphone, I did connect with this radio. That did impress me.
The RT51 radio itself is a nice radio with a quality feel and function.
As a small group of testers here in the US, we were able to figure out how to program our radios and get them connected to our various cell networks with some frustrations. Once we got it figured out, we were able to talk back and forth over great distances easily with decent audio quality.
By the way, the RT51 has built-in GPS that accesses satellites from an internal antenna. One of the menu functions show you your coordinates and how many satellites you have accessed.
What is attractive about the RT51 and associated platform is the price. The radio is very inexpensive. You can get a data plan with T-Mobile for $10-$15 a month and the network fee is a mere $10 annually. I’d say that is pretty tough to beat when looking at other pricing structures for this kind of communications tool.
Would I buy this radio for my business? Yes.
I am a fan of both of these very cool communications platforms and use them daily. However, if you are a communication tech, or want a radio to play with and see what you can do with it, have at it! It could be a lot of fun. I was given one as a tester. I will hold on to it for awhile and see what others can do with it in the ham community. The radio runs on Linux so if someone can gain access to it, who knows what could be done with it. I can’t wait to see what the techs in the ham community will do with it.
If any question about this Poc Radio RT51, please leave message here or contact us on facebook: www.facebook.com/retevis