A system and method for improved push-to-talk (PTT) communications performance includes a PTT application server receiving a request from a client user equipment (UE) device to access PTT services over a carrier network. The PTT application server measures, determines, predicts, or otherwise detects congestion in a cell of the carrier network servicing the client UE device. In a representative aspect responsive to detecting a value of congestion, the PTT server modifies one or more PTT call parameters, transmits a modified PTT call parameter to the UE device, and reduces the number of signals subsequently transmitted to the UE device. The modified PTT call parameter may be a codec selection for encoding/decoding PTT voice data. Subsequently transmitted signals may include acknowledgement signals, retry requests, bundled frames, or the like.