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Things to Consider Before Purchasing Two-Way Radios for Business Use


For years, companies around the globe have been benefiting from using two-way radios as their primary means of communication between supervisors and staff. What used to be the communication mode of choice and necessity for public safety workers and emergency personnel has now moved into the business, industry and manufacturing sector. Two-way radios go where cell phones can't, perform more reliably and don't rack up pay-per-call/text charges each time they're used. The bottom line: improving communication within your company increases productivity and maintains a smooth business operation. Finding the appropriate two-way radios for your particular company or business is the first step.

How Business Two-Way Radios Differ from Personal Two-Way Radios

Two-way radios for consumers operate on different frequencies, are less powerful, typically have longer battery life, and are generally less durable than are radios designed for business use. One important factor of business two-way radios are the frequencies designated for them by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Here's how that works:

  • Separate "chatter-free" business channels set up by the FCC that require a business license to access them
  • Both Very High Frequency (VHF) and Ultra High Frequency (UHF) frequencies available, which leads to a discussion of where your employees will most often be using two-way radios: indoors or outdoors

Indoor or Outdoor Use

Choosing the best two-way radios to suit your company's individual needs depends a great deal on where the radios will be used. UHF radio signals, as opposed to longer VHF signals, are shorter and can penetrate and "move around" barriers inside buildings and warehouses. They're also suitable for outdoors where the terrain is dotted with trees and small buildings. Therefore, UHF radios are the better bet for indoor use, or for both indoor and outdoor use if your staff will be sending transmission both indoors and outdoors, or in more urban settings. VHF radio signals, however, travel longer and farther than UHF signals and are the perfect choice for consistent outdoor use where obstructions are few and the distance between radio users greater, as in rural areas. A few rules of thumb to remember that pertain to UHF and VHF radios:

  • VHF radios need longer antennae than UHF radios
  • VHF are usually cheaper than UHF radios
  • UHF operate on a wider range of frequencies than do VHF radios
  • UHF radios have better barrier-penetration than do VHF radios
  • VHF have slightly longer battery life than UHF radios

Analog or Digital

Analog two-way radios are the respected old-timers of two-way communication. They've been reliable performers for many years, but newer digital radios with improved audio and enhanced performance are muscling their way into two-way radio communications. Digital radios allow for data and text transmissions and provide clearer, crisper audio. Research which of the two platforms is best for your business.

Work Force Size and Accessories

Imagine instant access to all personnel in your company. Provide teams of staff members with their own secure channels on their handheld units to provide confusion-free communication when you need it. More hazardous work environments call for two-way radios with enhanced safety features and a dedicated emergency channel. Headsets and other accessories may be needed for more discreet radio use or for workers in loud environments where incoming calls are difficult to hear.

Contact HiTech Wireless for more information on which two-way radios are the best fit for your company.