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For businesses operating in fast-paced environments, such as retail, manufacturing and warehousing, or harsh and hazardous environments, such as transportation, logistics and industrial, having business-specific communication devices is conducive to operational success, employee safety and productivity.

Despite this, many choose to instead rely upon smartphones and put off the need to acquire digital communications devices applicable to their current needs. Sometimes this comes down to price; businesses believe that the acquisition of such devices – such as digital two-way radios – is far too expensive, whilst others are completely unaware of the benefits they provide.

The truth is that not only are smartphones are considerably more expensive than digital two-way radios over their lifetime, they also fail to provide all the functions that businesses need.

For businesses to keep pace with the competition, scale and protect employees throughout operations, a digital communications network – one which includes digital two-way radios – is absolutely essential.

In this blog, we’ll share five reasons why businesses need to build a digital communications network, as well as the benefits of doing so.

  1. Operation-wide communication is a must

Smartphones can only facilitate one-to-one communication, so if operators need to communicate with more than one person in real-time, it’s simply not possible. Digital two-way radios, however, are designed for wide-area communications and use channels to join and separate communications. Using digital two-way radios, workers on the group can quickly communicate with everyone by selecting the main operations channel and then quickly return to their team’s channel to avoid unnecessary communication clutter.

  1. Communications need to be scalable

One of the most salient issues with smartphones is that they cannot – natively – be expanded to form a communications network. At most, businesses can acquire third-party applications and install them to smartphones to allow for communication with more than one person, but beyond that it becomes incredibly expensive to retrofit.

Two-way radios on the other hand, are designed to be scalable. The fact that they utilise channels means that any amount of people – providing they have the right channel frequency – can communicate. There are no ‘capacity’ issues and signal strength can be further bolstered through the use of repeaters to help expand the communications network. In essence, two-way radios have no communications limit and can be used to communicate across the region and country.

  1. Business specific functionalities and features are required

Two-way radios don’t just provide a digital communications network, they also come with a host of other features – many of which are configurable – to help manage all of a business’ communications. More sophisticated analog and digital radios can use software to integrate with IT systems and monitor alarms to add an additional layer of functionality and security, as well as a host of features that can be used to enrich a communications network.

Take the TRBOnet for instance. TRBO is an internet protocol (IP) dispatch software solution designed to work with MOTOTRBO two-way radio systems of any size and complexity.

TRBO supports voice dispatch, voice recording, event logging, text messaging, real-time location monitoring, GPS tracking, job ticketing, geofencing, lone workers, reporting and much, much more. It even has a ‘route management’ feature that enables the dispatcher to create a route that one or more radio users have to follow at the correct intervals. If the route is not followed at a specific time, an alarm will sound. Great for security!

Furthermore, the IP-based nature of the product makes it extremely flexible and scalable so the system can change as and when a business’ requirements do.

The solution can also be expanded to smartphones and tablets, delivering enterprise-grade functionality to devices which would otherwise need third-party applications.

  1. Cutting business costs is crucial

Smartphones are expensive. Though cheaper than an enterprise-grade two-way radio at the point of purchase, over their lifetime smartphones cost considerably more. Each device needs to be configured to meet the needs of the operational environment – this means the installation of necessary applications – and must be maintained on a routine basis. They also run out of battery quickly and break easy: more maintenance costs.

Two-way radios, on the other hand, are far more durable, resilient, reliable (signal issues are far less prevalent) and expandable. They can be configured – at purchase – to include the features businesses need and new features can be added as and when necessary. Overall, the total cost of ownership for two-way radios is significantly less than that of smartphones.

  1. Communications need to be clear and consistent

One of the major issues with smartphones is that users are wholly dependent on the network signal being strong and consistent. The quality of signal correlates with the coverage of the network, interference (such as building materials) and network usage. At events, for example, mobile signal can easily be jammed as everyone in the vicinity is using their device.

Two-way radios, however, utilise their own signal – allowing its communication to be clear and consistent regardless of how busy the environment is. Furthermore, two-way radios feature noise cancelling technology – this technology filters out or minimises ambient noise (background noise) so that speech is clearer.

Unclear audio and interference can be problematic in industries such as hospitality, security and transport/logistics where information needs to be relayed in real-time – or in industrial or manufacturing operations where tasks and projects need to be communicated.


By building a digital communications network and leveraging the capabilities of two-way radios, businesses can further expand their digital communications, improve operations and protect employees. Two-way radios provide a host of functionalities absent in smartphones and can be configured to meet business needs.

At DTS, we provide a diverse range of state-of-the-art two-way radios, all of which can be used to help you build a digital communications network. If you want a radio to be designed to your specific requirements, please get in touch – we have a number of experts who can modify your radios.