Business radio: the beginner's guide

If you have yet to use two-way radios and are looking for something to help you get started, Sam Fenwick's revised and updated guide is a good place to start

Many organisations use two-way radios for quick, simple and reliable communications between their employees. But why continue to use them when mobile phones have become commonplace?

For one thing, two-way radios are free at the point of use – there is no need to pay a network operator for each call made and they can’t be used for non-work-related calls, cutting down on often tedious and complicated discussions about expenses. Mass market mobile phones are not the most robust of devices, while two-way radios are built to last and can take the worst punishments that working environments dish out.

There is also the matter of reliability. With two-way radio you are not dependent on the infrastructure owned and operated by cellular network providers, which quickly shuts down in the event of power cuts and can get congested during emergencies or major events. Combined with the lack of mobile network service fees and the greater resilience of devices, you can expect a lower total cost of ownership with two-way radios compared with consumer smartphones. There is also the matter of image. The use of smartphones by public-facing staff can appear less than professional in some settings, but when a user reaches for their two-way radio, it is clear they are going about their business, rather than checking Facebook on company time.

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