How To Decide Which Two-Way Radio Features You Really Need
Evaluating Features That Are Important To Business or Mission-Critical Operations
As with almost any piece of equipment, when choosing the right two-way radio for your organization, there are dozens of options. So how are you supposed to know which one is the right one? You can narrow it down by looking at the various features available on different models and across brands and seeing which ones align the most with your organization's business and operational goals.
If you need something basic and to the point, there's no need to spring for the most expensive, deluxe, full bells-and-whistles model. Conversely, if your organization requires a high level of sophistication with your communication devices, going for the bare-bones option won't do you any favors and could end up costing you far more money in the long run if you have to go out and purchase another set of devices for your team.
In this article, we will look at some of the things to consider when choosing a two-way radio for your organization.
Standard Features To Evaluate for Two-Way Radios
To decide which "features" your organization would most benefit from, we must first determine what a "feature" is.
Every two-way radio shares the same qualities - such as the ability to transmit messages from one device to another - but the strength of that particular quality may vary from brand to brand or model to model.
Some of the things that are inherent in two-way radios but should still be evaluated are:
- Range and Coverage
- Frequency Bands
- Battery Life
- User Experience
Range and Coverage
Determine the distance over which you need reliable communication. Consider factors such as buildings, obstacles, and terrain that may impact signal strength and coverage.
Check the frequency bands allowed in your region and select radios that operate within those limits. Common options include VHF (Very High Frequency) and UHF (Ultra High Frequency) bands.
Assess the durability requirements based on the conditions in which the radios will be used. If your business operates in rugged environments or outdoors, consider dustproof, waterproof, shock-resistant radios designed for reliable performance in challenging conditions.
Evaluate the battery life offered by different radios. Consider the length of your shifts or operations and ensure the radios can support continuous communication throughout the required duration. Look for features like extended battery options or power-saving modes.
Consider the ease of use and ergonomics of the radios. Look for intuitive controls, programmable buttons, and a clear user interface that can enhance user experience and efficiency.
Compatibility and Expandability
If your business requires integration with existing communication systems or plans for future expansion, ensure that the radios you choose are compatible with your current infrastructure or have the capability to expand and interface with other devices.
Consider your budgetary constraints. Balance the features and capabilities you need with the cost of the radios to find a suitable option that meets your requirements without exceeding your budget.
Additional Features To Evaluate for Two-Way Radios
Other aspects of two-way radios may only be available with certain brands or models. These are additional features or upgrades that do not necessarily relate to the ordinary functioning of the equipment but are likely to provide a much-improved experience for the operator or organization and are things like:
- Emergency Alert
- Voice Activation (VOX)
- Built-In Bluetooth
- Dispatch Integration
The emergency alert feature allows users to send out distress signals or emergency notifications to a predefined group or the entire team. It is crucial in situations where immediate assistance or attention is required and ensures that critical messages are conveyed promptly, enhancing the safety and security of your team members.
Global Positioning System (GPS) is a satellite-based navigation system that provides real-time location information. When integrated into a Mototrbo radio system, two-way radios with GPS enabled on the radio, it will track and monitor the radio users' positions. This feature is particularly valuable for businesses that operate in large areas with remote locations, or industries that require monitoring the whereabouts of employees or assets. GPS will only work on a Mototrbo system that is set-up with the GPS application.
Voice Activation (VOX)
Voice Activation, or VOX, allows hands-free operation of the two-way radio. When VOX is enabled, the radio detects the user's voice and automatically transmits the audio without the need to press a push-to-talk (PTT) button. This feature is beneficial in situations where users' hands are occupied, such as when they are working with tools or wearing protective gear. VOX increases convenience, productivity, and safety by eliminating the need to operate the radio manually.
Built-in Bluetooth technology in two-way radios enables wireless connectivity with compatible accessories such as wireless headsets, earpieces, or external devices like smartphones or other Bluetooth-enabled devices. This feature allows users to communicate wirelessly while keeping their hands free for other tasks and enhances communication flexibility, convenience, and comfort, particularly in situations where wires may be inconvenient or restrictive.
Dispatch integration refers to the ability of two-way radios to integrate with a dispatch system or software. This feature allows centralized communication management, monitoring, and coordination of radio users. Dispatchers can send and receive messages, track radio users' locations, and simultaneously manage multiple conversations or channels. Dispatch integration is vital for businesses that require efficient coordination, control, and communication management, such as transportation, security, or event management industries.
About Amerizon Wireless
If you need radios that will enable your business or organization to connect over other devices, at other locations, or across distances, Amerizon Wireless will walk you through the process of obtaining the radios, along with Nationwide PTT coverage.
For more information about the monthly subscription fees, and how to obtain free TLK 100 radios when you sign up for Motorola WAVE Push-to-Talk Over Cellular, please contact our WAVE activation team by calling us at 1-866-MCA-WAVE or emailing us at WAVE@callmc.com.