Bell adding encryption to push-to-talk service

Bell is set to issue an software upgrade for its push-to-talk service over the weekend, adding the infrastructure to provide a number of new features and performance improvements.

The upgrade will allow business and enterprise users on the IP-based PTT network to have more secure conversations, and create group calls over WiFi or cellular.

The main improvement here is the addition of end-to-end encryption on all PTT calls, which for BlackBerry users mirrors what customers experience over other messaging services like BBM. The software upgrade will also add a dispatch console for administrators to track PTT users over Google Maps, an essential tool for customers in verticals like oil & gas.

While it appears the upgrade affects all PTT users, BlackBerry customers in particular will need to be using the latest version of the app on June 16th or risk losing service. Sonim and Android users appear to be in the clear, and will immediately benefit from the PTT upgrades.

The full list of upgrades is as follows:

  • Encryption on all PTT conversations.
  • Extended coverage with secure PTT over Wi-Fi.
  • Dispatch console that lets you track users via Google maps.
  • Make individual and group PTT calls.

(Thanks tipster!)