What are the advantages of digital two-way radio?
While radio devices have changed over the years becoming smaller, more lightweight and more feature-rich, the technology behind two-way radios has largely remained the same until very recently, using analog technology to power communication.
While much of the technology we use day-to-day has quickly become digital, two-way radio is one of the last areas of professional communications to be touched by digital technology. But that’s changing – very quickly – and for good reasons.
One choice you must make, however, is whether to employ analog or digital technology. As you make your choice, consider the following advantages that digital presents.
Benefits of Digital Two Way Radio
1. Nix High Analog Costs
A lot of people think that analog may be the more cost-effective option, but depending upon the nature of your work environment, this isn’t always the case.
Compared to digital, analog radios don’t provide nearly the same audio quality or coverage and that can slow down teams.
Here’s what you can expect from a digital two-way radio:
- Clearer Audio. A digital signal stays at its full strength until it reaches the maximum distance it can travel, unlike analog radio waves that “fade out” as they go. Because of the binary nature of its signal, it also has a very high level of noise rejection, making the voice being transmitted clearer.
- Greater Distance. All other factors being equal, a digital signal can travel further than an analog wave, meaning you get a wider area of coverage between users.
- Extended Battery Life. The battery life for Motorola digital two way radios is up to 40% longer than the battery life of analog systems. This is possible because, in a digital system, the radio transmitter is not constantly on.
- “Spectral Efficiency.” The increased use of radio communications has resulted in some over-crowding in frequencies. New regulations are emerging that require transmissions to be increasingly efficient, a demand that are best met with digital two way radio systems.
- Competitive Pricing – As the number of users of digital radios has increased, the price has also gone down. With over 1 million Motorola MotoTRBO digital radios in the market, the price is comparable and even at times better than analog radio options.
2. Greater Operational Efficiency
Today’s digital two-way radios are much more than just a means of communication. They now have a robust set of features that enable greater visibility into operations. Here are some examples:
- Robust Operational Features. From work order ticket management to GPS location tracking to WiFi, digital radios can give you the features you need without a huge investment on your end.
- Sophisticated calling features. With analog systems, the features are typically limited to push-to-talk, scanning and one-to-many conversations. With digital two way radios, you have a wide range of features at your disposal – limited only by the capabilities of the specific device you own, and the network you are working on.
3. Improve Safety
Safety is a priority for many businesses and organizations. With features like Lone Worker and Man Down, digital two-way radios can provide a greater level of safety on the field.
The Lone Worker feature, for instance, measures inactivity and sounds an alarm if there is no response. Man Down notifies you if the radio has been tilted at a certain angle (indicating the user has fallen down) and triggers a warning followed by an alarm.
Some digital radios also have an Emergency button on top of them, sounding an alarm once the button is pressed.