Buying two-way radios (walkie-talkies) for your business is an important decision to add productivity, increase efficiency and enhance safety. To get the most out of your investment, you need to really weigh how your people communicate, and whether two-way radios will make them more efficient at their jobs.
Most people at work communicate with landline phones, cellphones, emails and texting. These work fine in some circumstances, but fail miserably in others.
Advantages Of Two-Way Radios
Landline phones: These require a fixed location, which is perfect for people working desk jobs, but much less practical on a factory floor, construction site, school campus, or any other work site that requires workers to be mobile while talking to each other.
Cellphones: Mobile phones and smartphones offer excellent mobile communication as long as their batteries are charged and they have adequate signal strength. However, mobile coverage is notoriously inadequate in some workplaces and totally unavailable in remote outdoor areas, as well as indoors in spots such as stairwells, underground tunnels and the like. Furthermore, cellphone service often becomes overloaded in an emergency, rendering it useless when needed most.
Texting and email: These are great options when people want to remain silent, and offer instant communications as long as both users are comfortable with text. Some people are just more comfortable with a voice conversation, and some communications simply must be conveyed by voice. Those scenarios render text and email useless. Digital two-way radios with key pads and displays can be ideal for texting along with all of the other benefits they provide.
Four ways Two-Way Radios perform better.
Now let’s contrast phones, texting and email with the advantages of two-way radios:
Mobile: Two-way radios are more durable in rugged environments and often meet waterproof and dustproof military specifications so they can be used effectively just about anywhere. And, unlike cell phones, obstructions are not a major challenge — communicating just requires radios with added power or the addition of repeaters to increase signal range. In larger facilities and across campuses, distributed antennas and bi-directional amplifiers can further boost signals in even the most challenging environments. This is why radios are so essential in jobs like warehousing, security or property management where users have to roam over wide areas.
One-button Push-To-Talk (PPT): Users push just one button to talk to each other, saving the trouble of scrolling through a contacts list on a cellphone. In addition, work groups can be programmed in so it is possible to communicate with different teams, or one-to-one as needed. These flexible options make workers much more efficient, and are invaluable in emergencies or other situations where critical communications are vital.
Real-time: One-button functionality enables instant voice communications. Instant communications are not only vital in an emergency, when delays can cost lives, but also to speed maintenance technicians to the site of production line breakdowns or to help sales staff check with the warehouse to see if more products are available.
One-to-many, many-to-one: With a two-way radio network, a single person can call many people at the same time with the bush of one button – think of that the next time you try to set up a conference call or find different work groups using a cell phone.
Digital technology makes radios even more valuable
Digital radios convert voice signals into packets of data that can be transmitted over traditional networks, both wired and wireless. This makes your radio a computing device that can send texts, receive text and emails, and transmit voice signals around the world via the internet.
Digital radios also have much better sound quality in noisy areas, and they use less battery power than analog radios, which keeps them on the job longer without a charge. And they generate user data that can help track people’s locations and identify inefficiencies to help make businesses more profitable.
While some wondered if cellphones would make two-way radios obsolete, it didn’t happen because there are too many workplace applications where radios are the superior choice.