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Blog: Walkie Talkies Or Two-Way Radios: Which Is Better For Your Business?           Published: 02/08/2022

Walkie Talkies Or Two-Way Radios: Which Is Better For Your Business?

In scenarios where instant, group voice communication is required, nothing beats push-to-talk. Whether you are a security officer keeping in touch during an incident, or a retail assistant coordinating with a busy stock room, push-to-talk ensures you’re only a button press away from contact. There is an unparalleled selection of devices that offer push-to-talk communication. One key consideration is whether your business will be benefit more from choosing a licence-free walkie-talkie or licenced two-way radios. In this blog, we explore some of the key differences to help you make the best, most informed decision.

Is It Better To Go For The Cheaper Option?

With budgets being squeezed tightly, pricing is a key factor that must be addressed first and foremost. Generally, licence-free walkie-talkies are lower cost when compared with their licenced counterparts. For licenced two-way radios, there’s also the cost of the OFCOM licence to consider. This can range from £75 every five-years to thousands of pounds per year for organisations running repeater sites to provide wide-area radio coverage. But the old saying is that “you get what you pay for” and that’s certainly the case with two-way radio.

Which Is Safer From Interference & Eavesdropping?

As the name suggests, licence-free walkie-talkies don’t require an Ofcom licence for use in the UK. This might seem like a benefit, but it also means that you are sharing the same radio frequencies with other users that utilise this licence-free section of the spectrum. At best, you are risking interference and some messages not getting through. At worst, your communication could be overheard and compromised by those with unfriendly intentions.

Licenced two-way radios reduce the chance of interference and eavesdropping, particularly if you have your own, exclusive technically assigned licenced frequencies. On top of this, many licenced two-way radios can be deployed with some level of encryption, with high-tier radios offering optional encryption to AES-256 standard.

Is There A Variety When Looking For The Right Device?

Licence-free walkie-talkies are limited in power to 0.5 Watts where most licenced portable radios are capable of up-to 4 Watts (UHF) or 5 Watts (VHF). It’s no surprise that this has an impact on the useable range of licence-free walkie-talkies, when compared with licenced two-way radios. In addition to this, licenced radios can have their range increased further by operating through repeaters. These repeaters serve to re-transmit the radio communications across a wider area. Multiple repeaters can be linked together over an IP network, offering even greater range. Licence-free radios cannot legally operate via a radio repeater.

What Functionalities Can Each Device Do?

Licenced two-way radios are designed to provide communication in business-critical and mission-critical scenarios. Many mid-tier and high-tier licenced radios offer features like an emergency panic button, lone-worker mode, man-down mode and GPS location tracking. Licenced radios are generally more durable and offer greater protection against liquid, dust and other debris. This makes licenced radios a great investment for those working in construction, security and manufacturing, where portable devices may be subject to knocks, drops and adverse weather conditions.

As you can see, licenced two-way radios are the option to go for if you want an enhanced business communication system. Although licenced two-way radio devices can be more costly than a licence-free walkie-talkie, they’re a better and more professional solution whilst being far more flexible and future-proof.

How DTS Solutions Can Help You

At DTS Solutions, we supply UK businesses with modern and reliable two-way radio solutions for a range of security, safety and communication needs. We invite you to browse our site to find a selection of the best two-way radios in the UK, and please don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable sales team if you have any questions.