In any organization, it’s vital to have strong communication between staff members. This is why a business walkie-talkie can often prove invaluable. Let’s take a closer look at this technology, how it works, and how your business can use it.
Table of Contents
What Is A Walkie-Talkie?
Let’s start by discussing what constitutes a walkie-talkie, these elements are:
- Frequency band. This is the channel that the radio waves will be sent over.
- Portable. Many of these will come with rechargeable batteries, so you’ll be able to talk on the go.
- Antenna. This is used to receive the radio waves, so you can hear what the other person is saying. There will be a speaker in the walkie-talkie. Some businesses prefer a model that allows for earbuds, so guests won’t be able to hear private communications.
- Transmitter. This allows you to send out a message. There will be a microphone built into the walkie-talkie. The button on the side allows you to swap between transmitter and receiver. Hold it in when you want to talk.
Tell Me The Difference Between A Two-Way Radio
A walkie-talkie is a variety of two-way radio and the terms are often used interchangeably. But there are a few differences to be aware of. The most significant is their size. Walkie-talkies are handheld. Sometimes, though, you can get larger two-way radios, like the ones that are designed to sit in vehicles.
Are Walkie-Talkies Two-Way Radios?
A two-way radio is anything capable of transmitting and receiving radio waves. A walkie-talkie is the portable version of these radios. Because of their compact nature, they will be able to be used in a wide range of circumstances.
How Do You Use A Walkie-Talkie?
The good news is that using a walkie-talkie is easy. First, you need to find a channel number. This is the frequency band that you will be broadcasting to. Ideally, you should be the only people using this band, so you aren’t interrupting another group’s communications.
The radio is automatically set to receive transmissions. If you want to transmit, you will need to hold the button and talk. It’s customary to say over when you have finished transmitting your message.
It should be noted that some obstacles, like rocks or buildings, can block the radio waves, stopping the walkie-talkie from working properly. Many business walkie-talkies have been designed with stronger signals, so they can be used indoors.
Is A Two-Way Radio Just For Business?
In this article, we’ll be focusing on walkie-talkies for business. But there are a few other groups that will benefit from using a two-way radio. These include:
- Parents who want to stay in communication with their kids
Anyone who needs to communicate over a large distance will benefit from using a walkie-talkie.
Tell Me The Average Lifespan Of A Two-Way Radio?
How long your business walkie-talkie will last depends on how often you use it and how well you take care of it. In general, though, you can expect them to last for around three years. Many will be able to last for seven years, with proper maintenance. In many cases, you will need to change the batteries every 18 to 24 months.
What Are Two-Way Radios Used For?
There are many reasons why you might want to get a walkie-talkie for business use. Let’s take a closer look at each sector and how two-way radios can help.
This is one of the most common industries that use walkie-talkies for business. There are dozens of situations in which this can come in useful. Some highlights include:
- Passing on messages quickly. For example, a chef can tell waiters that a menu item is sold out, stopping them from taking further orders.
- Keeping track of all the guests and communicating their needs
- Co-ordinating events with a lot of moving parts
By using business walkie-talkies in this way, hospitality staff will be able to arrange a seamless guest experience.
Schools, Colleges, And Universities
There are a few ways that walkie-talkies can be used in this workplace. In most cases, it’s used by security teams. They can be altered to, and track all the threats to keep the campus safe. It can also be used by teachers to request resources or communicate with other facility members.
This is a profession in which it’s essential to maintain clear communication. Because of this, there are radio frequencies that can only be used by emergency services. There will be multiple channels that they can use. Members of the same crew will often have a dedicated frequency, while another channel allows them to communicate directly with dispatches.
Security personnel relies heavily on business walkie-talkies. They use this to communicate with other security staff, relaying suspicious activity. The best part, though, is that they don’t have to leave their posts. Earpieces allow them to maintain privacy.
Oil And Mining
In this industry, they need to get a two-way radio with maximum range. These can be hazardous environments, so it’s important to be kept abreast of any environmental changes that could threaten safety. If something does go wrong, it’s vital to get help as quickly as possible.
Plus, these work sites are often in remote locations, so workers might not be able to rely on phone lines for communication.
Construction sites are busy areas, often requiring precise timing. Having all the workers on the same channel ensures that everyone will be kept in the loop.
Factory & Warehouse
This position requires people to be able to keep track of boxes and orders. It can also come in useful when provisioning. Office staff will have reliable communication with those working on the factory floor. They can check which parts are in stock and which ones need to be ordered.
It’s common for truck drivers to have a CB radio in their trucks. These two-way radios allow them to communicate with other drivers to find out about traffic conditions. It also lets them get weather alerts and other important information. Plus, long-haul driving can be tough, but it can help to have someone to talk to on the journey.
Tell Me The Difference Between GMRS And FRS 2-Way Radios?
FRS and GMRS are two of the most popular types of walkie-talkies for business. But what is the difference and how can you find the right one for you?
Family Radio Service (FRS) was designed to be used for general consumers. On the other hand, General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) is designed for corporations and larger organizations. In most cases, a walkie-talkie for business use will be an FRS option.
Here are some of the key differences between them:
- GMRS is reserved for certain users. For example, emergency services will have their own reserved frequency band.
- Radios transmitting on GMRS frequencies are permitted to use higher-power, and therefore give a stronger signal that can be received over longer distances.
- FRS walkie-talkies are more accessible. You need a license from the FCC to have a GRMS radio.
- FRS can be handheld and although many walky talkys work on GMRS channels, there are GMRS radios designed to be installed in a vehicle which offer higher power outputs and transmit over even greater distances.
Do I Need A License To Use A Walkie-Talkie?
This will depend on the type of radio you are using. FRS radios won’t require any licensing. If you are using a GMRS radio that has more than 2 watts of power, you will need to be licensed through the FCC.
Popular Two-Way Radio Brands
If you are looking for a walkie-talkie for business use, there are plenty of options that you can explore. But it’s best to stick to a well-known and respected brand. This gives you the confidence that you are getting a high-quality product that is extremely reliable.
Here are some of the most popular two-way radio brands:
Frequently Asked Questions
What Should I Look For In A Long-Range Walkie-Talkie?
There are dozens of excellent long-range two-way radios on the market. Here are some of the qualities that the best business walkie-talkies should possess:
- Look for a long battery life
- Consider the number of frequencies you have access to
- Look for NOAA weather alerts, especially if you are working outdoors
- Backlight LED
- Easy to adjust frequencies
What Is The Longest Distance A Walkie-Talkie Will Work?
This depends on the type of two-way radio you are using. Usually, an FRS radio will have a fairly limited range. Often it will work for around a mile. It might be less if you have rocks, buildings, or trees blocking the signal.
If you need a business walkie-talkie with a longer range, you’ll need to move to either a GMRS licensed radio or a business radio like the Midland BR200 or BR400. These can get you around two miles, whereas a vehicle mounted or base station radio with the right antenna, you can easily reach 5 miles.
Increasingly, business owners from all industries can see the benefit of portable radios. This simple tool will encourage more communication within their teams. Plus, they tend to be a relatively low-cost investment. So, it might be the right time to start thinking about getting walkie-talkies for your business.