When purchasing two way radios it is always ideal to enter the discussion with an idea already in mind about what system you would like to purchase. Trained staff at Radiotronics are able to help lead you in the right direction on what would be best for you, but in this blog post we will discuss specific aspects that are vital decisions that need to be made in order to get the most out of your system.
When purchasing business grade two way radios an Ofcom licence is required under all circumstances. Not to worry though as this licence isn’t a financial nightmare, starting from just £75 for 5 years this will allow for your company to use your two way radios completely legally without risk of fine or in much more serious instances a jail term. Should you decide to purchase your radios from us we can do all the hard work for you, our team will fill out the entire application form for you without any additional costs on top of the charge for the licence, allowing you not to worry about the legal implications in filling out the licence forms and getting on with using your new communications system.
Many people can often be intimidated by the thought of having a radio licence, therefore opting for the much cheaper alternatives in licence free radios. Although in the moment a licence free radio may be the best option due to its affordability, many a time due to the broadcasting power of the radio the coverage that these radios supply often isn’t sufficient for the business intending to use them.
Great for families looking for an instant communication method whilst on a leisure trip, a licence free radio doesn’t offer the same privacy benefits as its licensed big brother. When broadcasting on licensed frequencies any communications are often encrypted and secured, meaning that there is little to no chance of eavesdropping, this not being the case for licence free radios as anybody with a licence free radio within the local facility is capable of hearing your conversations. Broadcasting at just 0.5w a licence free radio has a considerably lower distance coverage, whilst also struggling to penetrate buildings meaning that transmissions can often be missed or largely unclear due to their lack of power output.
What Current Radios Do You Have
If you already have an existing fleet of two way radios then it is important to ensure that your existing radios will work alongside the new ones. Multiple factors can come into play when taking this into consideration this including both analogue/digital signalling, frequency type and the manufacturer.
Many companies are currently in the process of migrating their existing systems from analogue to digital, similarly to how it worked with TV’s in the late 00’s. Many radios are currently in the market such as the Motorola DP1400 that will allow for your company to make the transition as smooth as possible, mixed mode analogue/digital allows for the radios to continue operating with an existing fleet, but at a later date when the older radios are ready to be replaced allowing for the newer radios to be switched to operate solely on digital, supplying a clearer and more superior sound quality.
Although fairly obvious it is important to remember that brands and models of radios will only work with those of the same type. If you currently have a system in place using Motorola GP340’s but are looking for an analogue/digital radio in order to begin a migration process, a radio such as the Hytera PD505 although able to complete to operate in both analogue and digital modes would not be compatible with the Motorola GP340 therefore an entirely new system would be required.
UHF and VHF in the easiest possible explanation is the difference between owning a vehicle that runs using petrol and one that runs using diesel. Both having advantages, a VHF radio is ideal for farm work and other outdoor communication needs whereby UHF is recommended for environments in built up areas, this where communications are needed to penetrate buildings such as hotels or inner city high rise buildings. Also, in keeping with the comparison to vehicles, a VHF radio will not work alongside a UHF radio due to the difference in frequency range, therefore it is important to ensure the right frequency type is purchased to ensure all radios operate together.
How Many Groups of People Will Use The Radios
Dependent on the size of the operation using the radios can have an impact on the number of channels that need to be designated. For a smaller company it may be possible that your business only needs a single channel to communicate, but if you are within a business that has multiple sectors then a number of channels may be programmed to ensure both private conversations, and other workers in different departments are not over run with irrelevant broadcasts. Should multiple channels be programmed into your radio communications system, and dual monitor feature present on most new radios will allow for a priority channel to be monitored at all times, this ensuring that people across all departments do not miss an important message should it be broadcast.
A radio with additional features is obviously going to increase the price of the radios that you purchase, but depending on the environment you are working, the price often doesn’t compare to the additional safety benefits. In environments where heavy machinery is used it may be of benefit to provide a radio to your workforce that has a Lone Worker or Man Down feature, both operating in similar ways these features monitor the activity levels and orientation of the radio respectively. Should the radio be inactive or laid on its side for a pre-set period of time a bleep will sound, if still not responded to an alert will be sent to a base station or other radios within the network alerting them of the situation.
GPS is an option that can be used in co-operation with the previously mentioned Lone Worker and Man Down. GPS tracks the location of radios within a network, allowing for a base station to monitor the moves of employees whilst also helping to improve both safety and efficiency due to the instant location updates provided. Selected radios also have Bluetooth capabilities, this allowing for the use of wireless accessories meaning that operatives movements aren’t bound by cables, or also allowing for discretion in environments where needed such as retail or hospitality.
Many companies often have a limit on the amount they are prepared to spend on communications equipment which as a business ourselves this is something that we understand. Stretching your budget slightly will allow for clearer communications between workers, improving both efficiency and safety within the workplace. The difference in price between licence free and licensed radios is only marginal but the radios will last for a longer period of time, this due to the build quality being assured for harsher working environments where the radios may be dropped from a considerable height or submerged in water.
Although at the time the purchase of business grade radios may seem like a large investment, these radios are made to the highest possible safety standards ensuring that they are built to last. The licence fee is often something that puts off potential purchasers of business grade radios, but as previously mentioned this works out at just £15 per year, with a single payment of £75 providing you with a licence for 5 years.
If you would like any additional information on the different options that are available to your business you can check out our website, or give us a call on 01425 533 533 to have a discussion with one of our highly trained sales team.