Can a Walkie Talkie Communicate With a Phone?

Photo of author
Written By David F

Walkie talkies are great for communicating with others over relatively short distances. Many people view these devices as being similar to cell phones and believe that the two devices are capable of communicating with each other. However, the reality is a bit more complicated

In this guide, we will examine whether a walkie talkie can actually communicate with a phone.

Why Would You Want a Walkie Talkie to Communicate With a Phone?

Before answering the primary question, it is worth examining why anyone would want to use a walkie talkie and phone together. After all, walkie talkies are usually sold in pairs, so it’s likely that there will always be at least two of these devices around at any given moment.

One possible situation where you may need to use a walkie talkie and phone together is if one of the walkie talkies isn’t working. This may happen if the device’s battery has run out or if it has broken. In other cases, you may have lost your walkie talkie device.

Having only one walkie talkie around in emergency situations isn’t helpful, so you might wish you could use this device with a smartphone.

Can a Phone Communicate With a Walkie Talkie?

Put simply, a walkie talkie can’t communicate with a phone. Both devices operate using wireless signals, but operate on very different frequencies. Most walkie talkies operate in the 400-500 MHz range while cell phones operate at frequencies between 600 MHz and 39 GHz.

Cell phones also need a cell tower to catch signals and transmit them to other cell phones. This is why you can call someone on the other side of the country using your phone, but you can’t do the same with a walkie talkie.

These differences mean that an ordinary cell phone won’t be able to communicate with a walkie talkie. This information may be disappointing for some people who wished to use a walkie talkie with a cell phone in certain situations. However, it is possible to get these two devices to work with one another after making some changes.

Getting a Phone to Work With a Walkie Talkie

You might be surprised to learn that it is possible to make a radio walkie talkie work with a cell phone. Now it is important to separate actual cell phone-walkie talkie communications from the claims that many “walkie talkie” smartphone apps make. The latter are simply communication apps that operate over Wi-Fi and add cheap radio static effects to phone-to-phone conversations. So how do you actually get a smartphone to communicate with a walkie talkie?

As mentioned earlier, these devices operate on very different frequencies. You can’t simply hit a button on a smartphone app and suddenly start communicating on walkie talkie frequencies. However, if you’re willing to invest in some additional software change, you can make your iPhone or Android device communicate with a walkie talkie.

Many people would like to pair a smartphone with a walkie talkie.

Some ways to do this include:

Wi-Fi Apps

The Wi-Fi world is vast and expansive. You might have heard about some devices that use walkie – talkie communication over Wi-Fi. Such devices are rare, but they certainly do exist. For example, “Hytera” produces Wi-Fi walkie talkies capable of communicating with other devices. If you intend to pair your smartphone with this radio walkie talkie, you will need to download a special app.

You should note that this arrangement doesn’t make smartphones actual walkie talkies given that the devices are communicating based on Wi-Fi rather than ordinary radio signals. However, it can be useful for making voice-calls with people who possess smartphones with the same app downloaded.

Bluetooth Apps

Bluetooth technology has been around for over a decade and has been continually innovating. The technology was once used to facilitate slow file transfers between phones, but it is now used to facilitate audio streaming to wireless devices such as speakers and headphones.

There are many bluetooth apps out there that claim to make your smartphone function as a walkie talkie. Such apps use bluetooth to stream your audio over to other devices, but they have a limited range of around 18 meters or roughly 60 feet.

Such communication apps could be useful if you intend to communicate with people in the next room over, but they aren’t very useful for communicating with others in wide open spaces. For this reason, there are plenty of bluetooth apps out there, but with limited uses.

Learning More About Using Your Walkie Talkie With Phones

As you can see, there are a few ways for smartphones to communicate with each other as walkie talkies do. However, communication between phones and walkie talkies is difficult. So consider looking up some communication apps if you’re interested in facilitating connections between two smartphones without incurring added costs.

If you’re interested in learning more about walkie talkie communications, consider reading the other blogs and walkie talkie guide we have over at Walkie Talkie Central.

Leave a Comment