Since Comms Spec was establish, which was now over 25 years ago, we have worked with many organisations across a wide variety if industries. Each business is different, and the job roles vary depending on the industry the organisation is in. Some customers hire radios on a regular basis and others have never ordered a radio before. The most important thing to remember, is no matter what industry you are in, you can rest assured that Comms Spec will be able to assist you in your radio communication requirements.
On the odd occasion, we have customers reach out to us because their previous communications were not as effective as they should be. This can be for a number of reasons, but in most cases, they have the wrong tool for the job. Choosing the right equipment for your specific requirements and having the best advice on how to use it is key. Put it this way – if you took a Ferrari to a rally race, despite it being an incredibly fast car, it just wouldn’t be able to keep up with the rally cars and you would probably end up crashing. Simply being a great product isn’t enough, it must be optimal!
As experts in radio technology, it’s our job to share our knowledge and we do this on a daily basis with businesses across the UK and internationally. In a world filled with options, choosing the right radio can be a minefield and this is where our technical team come in.
So, how do I choose the right Two-Way Radio?
Our friendly and professional team at Comms Spec are great at providing solutions to each business, regardless of which industry you are in. With hands on experience many in sectors, all across the globe, we know the right questions to ask you to ensure the product we offer will suit you and optimise your communications.
We thought we would outline a number of questions that you might want to consider when it comes to choosing a two-way radio. If you wanted to get in touch with a specialist straight away instead, please feel free to contact us via the phone number or email located on our website www.comms-spec.com
Below are a series of questions with some of the main considerations to look for when purchasing a radio:
1. Do I need a licenced radio?
To answer this question, you will need to ask yourself a few things…
2. If someone overheard your conversations would it matter?
Depending on the industry you operate in, you may need to keep your information secret from other listeners – a typical example for this would be a security team managing an event.
With a licence free shared frequency radio, other radio users could listen in on your conversations if they are close enough. You may also receive interference when other nearby radio users are talking amongst each other on the network. This is because the licence free radio channel is national and can be used by anyone using a licence free radio.
3. How much coverage do you need?
Licenced free radios must be low power by law. With this point, you will not only need to estimate the total distance your radio will need to cover, you will also need to consider what the materials of your building are and any potential blackspots such as basement and line of site interference such as woodland. If it is extensive then you will need a licenced professional radio with high power capability.
This is why we can conduct complimentary site visits to investigate the coverage requirements of your company.
4. Do you need extra safety features?
Because license free radios are usually designed for simplicity and ease of use, they typically aren’t as feature rich. If you require things like GPS tracking and management tools, a licensed radio would offer far more by way of functionality.
An example of where a license free radio may work for you: license free radios are a perfect cost-effective way to introduce push to talk technology into a small or medium sized business, such as a leisure centre, a gym or even a small hotel.
An example of where a licensed radio may work for you: If your communication takes place over a large area, you will want to avoid interference as well as protecting the privacy of your conversations. You may also want to make maximum use of the great features or integration options radios have to offer. In this case, the extra cost of choosing licenced radio is certainly worth it.
5. Do I need a digital radio?
Analogue radios were the main source of communication around the world for a large period of time. By way of a brief description, analogue signal transmits natural voice and only allows one conversation at a time.
If you are at a short range, this would usually pose no issues. However, over larger and broader areas, signal can drop out, voices can become less clear and you may experience some static noise interference.
Digital technology provides a more future-proof solution for your business. It comes with the opportunity for a whole host of different functionalities such as GPS, text messaging and emergency features. They also allow 2 people to talk simultaneously. For larger businesses our radio repeaters can allow even more people to talk at the same time.
6. How weatherproof are walkie talkies?
Most of the radios we stock are fairly rugged and robust. But I guess the question you would need to ask yourself is how weatherproof do I need my radios to be? Do you work in a leisure centre with a pool and need the radios to be submersible? Or, do you work on a building site and need them to be dustproof, super rugged and hardwearing? Either way, Comms Spec can assist you no matter what your requirements may be.
7. How important are the safety features?
All businesses will have some health and safety measures in place, but some will be stricter than others. It wouldn’t make sense to hire a radio with every single safety feature available if you simply don’t need them. Here are some questions that may help you decide on the most suitable safety features for your company:
a) Does your staff work alone?
b) How dangerous are the conditions on your premises?
c) If your business operates largely outdoors, could you find a staff member in distress quickly?
We feel that these are the main three considerations for the most popular safety features that we provide. Many staff members work alone, and this is where the second question comes into play.
More often than not, someone working in an office with access to a telephone can work alone with very little danger. However, a security guard at night, a construction worker or distribution centre staff member could be subject to a whole host of hazards during their working day/night.
In this case features such as emergency buttons, man down and lone working alarms can be used as an effective management tool. Emergency features can also be programmed to send alerts to phone or other external systems, for example if there is only one staff member left on site. Doing this maximises their safety and it means staff resources can be allocated and tasks can be managed more efficiently.
8. Are two-way radios heavy?
This point is purely down to personal preferences of your team and what tasks they will be carrying out with the radio.
Some radios are small enough to simply fit on a lanyard or in a pocket – these have proved very popular within retail and education settings for workers who wish to keep weight and size to a minimum.
Alternatively, many supermarkets have seen a great improvement in their customer experience and overall operations with our newly released Vocovo product range. Providing discrete and effective push-to-talk radio communications, with tonnes of features that are perfect for a warehouse/supermarket environment.
9. Which brand do I chose?
Comms Spec only partner with manufacturers of brands that we truly trust. These brands include the likes of Hytera, Motorola and Codan. For us, the most important thing is which radio suits you, so this is always our priority when recommending a radio.
If you have always used Motorola radios, your familiar with them and you like the brand – no problem! We will find the most suitable Motorola radio for your requirements.
10. Should I hire or buy a radio?
We’ve recently written a full blog post on this specific question! If you’re unsure of whether or not you should hire or purchase your radios, check out our recent article here.
We are available 24/7 365 days a year, so if you have a requirement for two-way radios, you can contact us anytime – even if it’s super short notice! We can provide same-day delivery in some cases, so if you have an urgent requirement, please contact our team right away on 0333 000 7888.