Two-Way radios are very useful for reliable communications in Manufacturing, Government/Public Safety, Construction, Utility, Oil and Gas, and many other industries. The devices are low-latency, dependable and can have great battery life. However, in the age where everyone has a cell phone, what are the benefits in having dedicated radio communication systems?
Two-Way Radios are location based and can transmit voice or sensor data over the air. The distance a signal can travel is determined by the frequency, the terrain and the number of repeaters in the area. The signal doesn’t need expensive towers to form a connection and are highly reliable.
Many different frequency options are available for two-way applications: 150 MHz, 220 MHz, 450 MHz, Upper 700 MHz A Block, or 800/900 MHz channels. With all else being equal, lower frequencies (such as 150 MHz) propagate better than higher frequencies such as 900 MHz. However, there are many factors to consider when selecting which band is best suited for your purposes: FCC regulations, spectrum & equipment costs, market availability, site-based vs. area-based licensing, and more.
Two-Way radios also have the ability to broadcast selectively, from one person to another person, or broadly, from one person to many. Likewise, sensor signals can be sent on a point-to-point or point-to-multipoint basis.
Most importantly, with two-way radios, if your cellular service goes down, you can still have a functional workforce. This is especially critical during emergency situations, when 99.999% reliability is key to allow communication.
Cellular phones, through a traditional carrier, are important to the workforce as well. The primary benefit is that the phone has a nationwide reach. In addition, a smart phone can have features such as a data plan, can connect to local WiFi and can host larger bandwidth tools such as apps, video and web access. However, cellular phones data plans ultimately are dependent on another company’s network. If there is poor signal in the area, or if there are too many people using the network, the call can fail.
By having two separate but direct tools, companies can save money, time and keep working no matter the work conditions. With its own customized network, a company can feel safe when conditions go down and the radio network keeps everything running smoothly. With two-way radios and a traditional network, whatever the use-case the situation will be fully covered.
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