This concise article will tell you what you need to know to choose the best two-way radio for business use. A small investment in your company's internal communications will pay for itself in a few short months in terms of productivity, satisfied customers and repeat business.
The key considerations are indoor versus outdoor use, size versus power, durability, advanced features and maximizing signal range. Every business has its unique requirements and challenges, so we'll discuss the best business radios for different types of businesses.
Indoors, Outdoors or Both?
If your business is conducted exclusively outdoors, such as an outdoor maintenance crew, farm supervisors or stadium security, a VHF radio will give you the greatest signal range over a large outdoor area that is free of obstructions. Kenwood's TK-2400V4P, TK-2400V16P and TK-2402V16P models are extremely efficient outdoor radios built for heavy duty use in harsh conditions. They have a range of up to 6 or 7 miles, and they're built to rigorous military standards to withstand dust, water, temperature extremes, shock and vibration.
If your company operates indoors, such as in a multi-floor office building, restaurant, hospital, hotel, warehouse or shopping mall, choose UHF radios. UHF radio waves can carry between rooms and penetrate steel, concrete and wood structures. They're also the best choice high performance indoors and outdoors. Some top performing UHF radios with plenty of power include Motorola's RDU series, which has 4 watts and up to 16 channels. These radios have an indoor range of up to 350,000 square feet.
Size Versus Power - and Can You Have Both?
Bigger isn't always better. That's especially true for a hotel, restaurant, hospital or professional offices needing to equip their workers and security detail with two-way radios. Sometimes what you want it a compact walkie-talkie that's comfortable to wear for people who are constantly moving. You might also not want to attract attention to the unit, if the person is regularly interfacing with the public. Motorola offers their CLS Series and CLP Series radios, which are extremely lightweight and compact. The CLP radios can be used with a repeater, which lets you increase the radio's range up to 20 floors indoors. This is an excellent option for businesses that need compact radios but don't want to give up power. Another option for small and powerful two-way radios is to go digital. Motorola's DLR Series radios are small and lightweight, yet they have a range of up to 20 floors. These digital radios do not require an FCC license to operate, which is a big cost savings for businesses. Additionally, they provide the flexibility to speak to groups of people or have personal conversations as with a cell phone.
Advanced Features for Business Efficiency
Other features to look for in a perfect business radio is the ability to clone radio settings between units, long battery life, customer programmable software and exclusive business frequencies. Having special business frequencies is important, as this will give you a clearer signal with less interference. Certain models, such as the Motorola RDU4160D, can be used with a repeater, letting you expand the already impressive signal range. This model also includes privacy codes which enhances security for confidential business communications.