LICENSE-FREE OR LICENSED RADIO?
Walkie-talkies have a great range of applications in the professional environment. In industries such as construction, hospitality, security, retail and schools, where quick and clear instructions and communication is important, walkie-talkies can be extremely useful. Keeping in contact with your colleagues can increase efficiency and safety at work.
Communicate easily wherever you are with a walkie talkie!
What are the benefits of a walkie talkie?
A walkie-talkie or two-way radio is a small portable device that allows several people to communicate via radio waves. But how does it work in more concrete terms? Simply put, all you have to do is set two or more walkie talkies to the same radio frequency, also known as a channel. You can then send a message to other devices that are within range by pressing down a button as you talk. If the device is licence-free (or PMR446), it has a range of 5 to 10 kilometres, but your range can be increased significantly by opting for a licensed walkie talkie. We carry various brands such as Motorola, Kenwood, Entel, Mitex, Midland and many more.
Free and unlimited communication: all you have to do is set your devices to the PMR446 frequency band.
Speed and simplicity of use for professionals: unlike a mobile phone, a walkie talkie does not need to be connected to a network in order to function; walkie talkies can operate anywhere, including the most remote settings, such as if you were up in the mountains or outdoors, for example. In addition, they do not require you to dial a number in order to contact your collaborators, which is a real time-saver for professional or leisure activities that require instant responses, such as construction, security, hunting, sports coaching and many others. We offer various two-way radio packs with earpieces to communicate more freely and easily. You can compare various brands we carry and Motorola is one of the best brands we offer.
Durability that you can rely on: the majority of our walkie talkies including our Motorola or Kenwood radios are designed to withstand the most extreme conditions, which mean that they will never let you down, regardless of the environment you are working in. Their durability, which meets military resistance standards, allows them to withstand shocks, such as falls, and challenging weather conditions, such as humidity, extreme heat or extreme cold. Many radios are also waterproof and IP (Ingress Protection) certified: they can withstand splashes of water and full immersion in water while also being protected against dust. Importantly, they are also designed for daily or intensive use, thanks to their long-lasting battery life. You can have a look at our Motorola, Mitex, Kenwood, Midland radios for more information.
Which walkie talkie is best for you? Should you opt for licensed or licence-free walkie talkie (PMR446)?
Licence-free radios or PMR446 radios are the perfect option if you want to enjoy the multiple features offered by walkie talkies, while also saving money. Using this type of device is 100% free and offers completely unlimited use because it does not require a licence from OFCOM, the UK regulator for communications services. These radios will allow you to communicate without any interference on 8 to 220 channels at a range of up to 10 kilometres. Whatever their make (when comparing Motorola, Midland, Mitex, or Kenwood radios) or model, all of our PMR 446 licence-free radios are compatible with each other, for ease of purchase!
Licensed models are particularly well-suited for professionals working with sensitive information, whose conversations must remain secret. By opting for a licensed walkie talkie, your conversations will remain totally secure as your channel is private and no-one else can access it. To enjoy the benefits of a licensed two-way radio, you must purchase an annual radio licence from OFCOM, who will assign you your own private radio frequency.
This type of radio, which is more powerful than a licence-free device, gives you a considerably greater range, depending on the type of licence you choose. Its scope may even extend nationally with IP Connect, which allows you to connect to up to 15 sites all over the country, using the internet. It´s important to choose the right brand when purchasing a two-way radio, such as Motorola, Mitex, Midland or Kenwood in order to get the best range. We offer discounts on volume so do not hesitate to contact us for more information.
Two-way radios also offer highly useful professional features, which will allow you to:
• Receive alarms in real-time for activities related to security
• Benefit from protection for lone workers: in the case of falls, the radio will send an alarm signal as well as its GPS location
• Respond to standard telephone and intercom calls
What are the differences between analogue, digital and hybrid two-way radio?
There are varied models of walkie talkies available on the market, including analogue, digital and hybrid radios. But what are the differences between these models?
• Analogue: this is the classic model. It is the most widely used device on the market but it is gradually starting to be replaced by digital technology. This type of walkie talkie uses analogue frequencies and provides a single channel. Sound quality can vary, depending on distance.
• Digital: this radio offers much better audio quality, whatever the distance. The sound is always crisp because it is processed digitally. In addition, it offers other considerable benefits, such as up to a 20% larger range and reduced licence costs, for example.
• Hybrid: this hybrid device blends analogue and hybrid technology. Buying a hybrid device helps to facilitate a gradual transition to digital as your device will be compatible with all analogue walkie talkies that you are already using or in contact with.
For even greater simplicity, you can choose a walkie talkie with accessories that is best suited to your line of work, depending on whether you work in security, on a construction site or outdoors, in retail, or in events, etc. For example, we offer radios that stand out for being discreet and lightweight. With these two-way radios, their small size is particularly helpful for those working in hotels, restaurants and small shops.
There are numerous factors to consider when purchasing long range two-way radios; therefore, we have compiled the list below to help you to make an informed choice.
1. What range does my two-way radio need?
When purchasing two way radio, range is one of the most important features to consider. The range and effectiveness of the radio is dependent on two key factors: the frequency that the walkie talkie emits (either UHF or VHF) and the environment that the radio is being used in. We have compiled this guide to ensure you choose the right long range walkie talkie for your needs.
UHF vs. VHF:
Ultra-High Frequency (UHF) radios operate on frequencies between 400 to 512 MHz. The frequency of the waves is greater than those of very high frequency; therefore, they are able to penetrate obstacles and thus transmit the signal with more obstruction present.
UHF radios are typically used in built-up areas and indoors, as the frequency of the waves works well in such environments.
Very High Frequency (VHF) operates between 136 to 174MHz. They have longer waves and remain closer to the surface; hence, they can cover a greater distance. VHF radios work best when there is a clear line of sight from radio to radio with little obstruction.
This feature makes them ideal for open space usage such as golf courses and for maritime activities.
Some tips to increase your range
• Full battery and high power mode
• Open up the ‘monitor’ function on your radio
• Install a repeater
• Invest in a whip antenna
2. Battery life
Power is an important factor not only for range but also for signal strength and audio quality. Be sure to sure to use the most efficient batteries available. NiMH batteries are renowned for providing the radio with the enough power to transmit signal over the greatest distance.
The ability to receive signal won’t change when using this specific battery pack; however, the transmitting power will improve significantly.
A repeater essentially receives a signal and re-transmits it over a longer range. This occurs via a process known as duplexing; the radio receives the signal on one frequency and then transmits it on through another.
The ‘whip’ antenna in particular provides the two way radio with a higher point of transmission. Antennas play a great part in boosting both your receiving and transmitting capabilities.
The whip antenna is longer and more difficult to package than the standard stub antenna; however, this is a small sacrifice to pay for the extended range.
Typically a VHF frequency would be the preferred option when choosing a two-way radio specifically for its range. However, adding powerful batteries and the right antenna will certainly boost the range of a UHF two-way radio. Some long range two way radios come in both UHF and VHF variations, so be sure make the right choice for your activity.