Confused by the choice of two-way business radios?

If you have been tasked with purchasing two-way radios for your business, you would be forgiven for feeling a little confused.

Digital or analogue; licensed or unlicensed; VHF or UHF; portable or fixed…and where do walkie-talkies fit in?

Chosen with care, two-way business radios are a very flexible form of communication. They can provide simple one-to-one conversations within a small group of users or you can increase the number of channels, so you can have one for everyone, one for management, one for security, etc.  You can use each channel like an intercom system that lets you call individual people or groups instead of broadcasting a message to everyone.

We hope this guide will answer all your questions, but if you do have any more please do not hesitate to get in touch with me.

Types of two-way business radios: •    Handheld two way radios are the walkie-talkie type of radios you see people carrying around. •    Vehicle-mounted mobile two-way radios are used in a cars, vans, etc and use the vehicle’s battery for power. They will achieve better range by using an externally mounted antenna on the vehicle. •    Desktop base station radios use mains power and can be connected to a cable that leads to an external mounted antenna. The higher the antenna is mounted, the better the range. The vehicle mounted mobile radio are often used as base station by adding an AC to DC power converter. •    Two-way radio repeaters are radios that increase the operational range of your PMR radio system. Repeaters can be used to cover areas in your business where a two-way radio will not transmit or receive. A repeater receives the transmission of a two-way radio and rebroadcasts it further.

Difference between UHF and VHF: The choice here will depend on where you want to use them – in buildings, out on site, in vehicles, etc – and how much coverage you require. VHF travels furthest outdoors whereas UHF is better for local on-site use.

Choice of analogue or digital two-way business radio: There is nothing wrong with purchasing an analogue radio and they will still be around for some considerable time, but there is a clear business case for digital business radio. •    Spectrum efficiency – doubling the number of potential users •    Outstanding audio and noise cancelling •    Longer battery life •    Extended range •    Improved privacy

Extra features to consider: •    Security –emergency call or man-down will immediately notify all other radios on the same channel. •    Selectable power – allows you to switch between high and low power modes to extend the life of the battery. •    Accessories – such as headsets, spare batteries, belt clips, speaker microphones complete the business radio package.

Licences: You will need a radio licence to operate your two-way business radios and these are issued by the Government agency, Ofcom. Licensed frequencies are allocated on a case by case basis. We can apply for these on your behalf and programme your equipment for you.

Alan Macdonald-Brown Technical Sales Consultant

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