In the age of the smartphone, it seems like an anomaly that businesses continue to spend billions worldwide on a technology that is approaching a hundred years old – two way radio.
But there are good reasons why the original mode of wireless mobile communication continues to earn the trust of so many professionals.
And in the last couple of decades, as mobile phone technology has taken the world by storm, two way radio had undergone a quiet revolution of its own. The arrival of digital handsets has transformed the traditional analogue walkie-talkie into a powerful, feature-packed beast of a gadget.
Here are some amazing reasons why digital two way radio is the go-to gadget for businesses that need mobile communications.
Let’s be honest here – while mobile phones are extremely useful all-rounder gadgets, they do not always deliver the the best audio quality. For business users, not being able to hear what a colleague is saying clearly is not only annoying, it can seriously hamper getting work done, or even put people in danger.
Modern digital two way radio models like the Motorola DP1400 as seen here. It might look straightforward, but inside they are packed with sophisticated audio technology. Not only are the hi-fidelity microphones and speakers top quality, the in-device amplifiers include digital noise cancellation which removes background noise from the signal, and intelligent gain control to automatically adjust volume according to environmental noise.
Two way radio is designed for use in potentially hazardous industrial environments of all kinds, be it on a construction site or down a mine, in a chemical plant or a shipping container terminal. In these workplaces, mobile communications plays a critical role in worker safety. Digital two way radio comes with in-built features to aid this essential use.
Emergency override buttons will broadcast urgent messages across all channels on a network, or else trigger an alarm. Other features include Lone Worker monitoring, which will require colleagues operating in a particularly hazardous situation to check back into base from time to time. Perhaps the most interesting feature of all is a Man Down fall alert, which uses motion sensors to trigger an alarm if an operator suffers a fall.
We all know that you can link up your smartphone to Bluetooth headsets and other accessories so you can make and answer calls legally when you are driving. You can do the same with many digital two way radios these days, but with one additional bonus.
A standard feature of most digital two way radio these days is VOX, or voice activation. This means that you can make calls without even touching your handset – it will automatically broadcast when it hears your voice. This is true hands-free operation, and is ideal when you have both your hands full with work.
Built to last
Finally, let’s face it – your smartphone is hardly the hardiest gadget you’ve ever owned. Without investing in a protective cover, every drop is liable to result in the expensive touchscreen cracking. And drop it in water… well, it’s goodbye phone.
When you are working outdoors in all weathers, around tools and heavy machinery, or in environments where there is lots of dust and damp, you can’t afford your equipment to be so vulnerable. Two way radio is built to be rugged and durable. Most models will meet international IP standards for water and dust resistance as standard, while an increasing number of handsets are also tested against the US military MIL-STD protocols for things like shock and extreme temperature resistance.