4 Reasons Why Two-Way Radios Will Not Become Obsolete
Wireless technology today allows us to transmit voice, text, and information of all kinds quickly and reliably from a handheld device. As cellular technology has advanced, some observers have issued a funeral notice for two-way radios. While there are certain purposes that can be handled via phone instead of radio, the fact is that two-way radio use is very much alive and well. In fact, it remains the superior option in many situations. Here are four reasons why we will continue to use two-way radios in certain situations.
They Don’t Need a Network
If you’ve ever experienced a widespread cell service outage, you know how quickly you became helpless. We rely so heavily on our devices that we have no other options in place should the network ever fail us.
Most public safety and government systems utilize a repeater that can potentially experience an interruption, but the radios can quickly be switched over to transmit directly to one another until the system comes back online. Many applications do not include a repeater to begin with. In those cases, if the radio has some battery, it works.
Conversations Are Easy to Share
With so many security issues in wireless electronics, the focus has become how to keep people out of conversations. When the need is to include more people, it can be difficult to expand the conversation. There are passwords to share, groups to form, and complexities to navigate. Even after conquering those barricades, it is still impossible to have large verbal conversations on digital equipment.
In a two-way radio conversation, other voices are easy to add. Just tell somebody what channel to use. That’s all. There is no limit to how many people can participate, and there is no background noise coming through the microphones until a person chooses to speak.
Equipment is Tougher & Cheaper
We’ve all experienced the panic of a dropped or submerged phone. We quickly grab it up and check it out, making sure the screen is intact and that we shake out the water fast enough to prevent damage. Not surprisingly, many such incidents end with a damaged phone that must be repaired through a very costly trip to the phone store.
Radios are a different story. Ask any police officer how durable his or her handheld radio is, and you’ll probably hear about falls from hotel balconies, unceremonious visits to mud puddles, and maybe even snack time for a K-9 partner. Through it all, the radio probably continued to function with little trouble, but if there was lasting damage, the option of repair is both practical and affordable.
Nothing seems as slow as waiting for someone to pick up the phone in an urgent situation. The same is true of similar delays for important emails, text messages, and social media conversations. The time is even longer when you or the recipient have poor coverage or a weak wifi connection—or when somebody has the volume turned down on notifications.
Two-way radios are an open line at all times. A transmitter needs only to say a few words to get the attention of all the recipients on the channel. That also means no piecemeal responses as individual recipients pick up enough signal to receive. If they are in range and on channel, they will hear the transmission.
Advances in digital technology have taken place at an astronomical rate over the past couple of decades. They have made it possible to do amazing things for our safety, productivity, and convenience. At the same time, they have drawn so much attention that we have forgotten about the tried and true methods.
Although two-way radios look much the same today as they have for their entire existence, they still provide a reliable, affordable option for communication. Two-way radios will always have a role in communication.