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2 Way Radio vs Phone

2 Way Radio vs Phone

Why mobile telephony won’t suffice?

Whilst working with customers from a variety of industries we are often asked Why Two-Way Radio…

In this day and age businesses need to be switched on to their employee’s whereabouts and safety status at all times – OH&S standards and expectations of employee and employer accountability, are the highest they have ever been. In addition the current business climate is now so competitive that maximising productivity, at the lowest cost, in all areas is mandatory to success.

 

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There are several key features of digital two-way radio products that differentiate them from mobile telephones – particularly with regard to Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) and productivity gains:

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VASTLY SUPERIOR AUDIO QUALITY

In tandem with noise cancelling technology and smart audio that automatically adjusts the volume in response to background noise, workers can now hear verbal communications – loud and clear – in even the noisiest industrial environments.

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THE ABILITY TO MAKE ONE TO MANY VOICE CALLS AND MESSAGING

In mission critical / emergency scenarios a single audio or data message can be broadcast in real time to all staff, rather than multiple phone calls to convey the same message. In the same vein, utilising your own licensed radio frequencies ensures uninterrupted communications access during events when mobile phone networks can become overloaded and difficult to access. Data delivery can be guaranteed when mobile text messages can be delayed hours after they are sent.

Radio is ideal for structured teams. It is often used where there is a ‘dispatcher’ co-ordinating workflow between many team members. In non emergency operating scenarios, where teamwork is essential, quick group oriented communications initiated with a press-to-talk, without a dial-ring-answer sequence, can facilitate seamless efficiency. In addition supervisors can passively listen to workgroup communications ensuring they are on top of situations as they arise.

 

PTT – PUSH TO TALK

Two way radios permit communication via a single push of a button. PTT functionality has long been a fundamental feature of two way radio communications. PTT offers you the security, safety and convenience of knowing your workers are never more than a single push of the button away from communicating.

Additionally the design of two way radios ensures the button is highly tactile, easy to find and push under extenuating circumstances and wearing work gloves etc. Making a call on a mobile phone whilst wearing gloves is basically impossible. Safety and efficiency are both greatly enhanced by PTT communications.

The same cannot be said of mobile phone telephony.

The sequence to begin a call is typically:

  1. Wake up screen using home button
  2. Unlock screen via a swipe or keyed passcode
  3. Select phone icon
  4. Dial or locate contact
  5. Ring
  6. Answer / No answer
  7. Talk

Two way radio sequence via PTT:

  1. Press the PTT button
  2. Talk

This takes less than 300 milliseconds!

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LONE WORKER, MAN DOWN ALARM AND DEDICATED SINGLE PUSH EMERGENCY BUTTONS

Greatly enhance the safety of your employees, whilst also increasing accountability and therefore efficiency. GPS technology in particular can be utilised to locate a stricken employee in a timely manner – it can be deployed via a single press of a button, through a dead man switch whereby an employee must hit a button at regular intervals, when the button is not pressed an alarm is activated back at base or via accelerometer technology which can detect when a worker has fallen and automatically sends a message.

There are extensive emergency features ranging from a dedicated button on the radio to devices that detect when the radio is on an angle for a long period and timers to detect activity. These are usually used in industrial or security environments.

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DURABILITY

A common problem with mobile phones is the fact and perception of them as disposable items. They tend to break easily and the response is usually to replace rather than repair. Rugged two way radio equipment can be passed from shift to shift and survive the odd drop, they are far less likely to break, even in the most adverse industrial environments. In addition radios come in a variety of IP rated models offering everything from dust and water resistance through to IECEx rated intrinsically safe models that are safe for use in the most volatile and potentially explosive environments.

Model life cycles are in the order of five years. Your organisation can make an investment and implement a system without continuous review. In the mobile telephony space new models every six months makes procedure standardisation impossible – Radio is a stable but contemporary technology – training and support costs are minimised.

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VEHICLE AND SYSTEMS INTEGRATION

Radios are typically embedded into a customer’s systems and processes, for example a fire drill may use radio at a muster point or a mine will use radio for blast announcements. Customers usually own their own infrastructure and terminals, this allows for integration to internal systems such as telephony, messaging and location services.

Models designed to be installed in vehicles and plant equipment are powered by the vehicle or equipment, negating the need to remove the radio from service in order to recharge the battery. Due to the external antenna installed on the vehicle higher transmission power provides a much greater range than a handheld device – for example most garbage trucks and many forklifts have a radio fitted in them.

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ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Integration into customer voice systems, most commonly a phone system, is possible without dialling external numbers or paying call charges – most new digital systems offer this extremely efficient integration.

Messaging can also be integrated. Rather than being used for sending adhoc messages to each other it is usually integrated into the customers IT systems applications like monitoring building management systems, security systems and production systems.


National Wireless Can HelpNational Wireless can help!

Designed correctly, intelligent digital infrastructure will include redundancy, more efficient use of the frequency spectrum resulting in lower infrastructure costs and remote monitoring which results in greater resilience and significantly less downtime.

National Wireless are leading the Digital Two-Way Radio revolution in Australia – with expert sales and service staff in three states, we are well positioned to assist in the design, implementation and ongoing service requirements of a digital radio system that will increase safety and productivity for your organisation.

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