Digital Two Way Radio was introduced a few years ago.
And there was a natural “HMMMM!?” attitude from end users. After all, considering the significant price difference, what was there to actually gain from digital?
Some early adopters embraced the new technology with open arms and great expectations, but what improvements or advantages did they actually see?
In the early days, there was various hype and claims from manufacturers… more range, better clarity, integrated remote GPS tracking, data capabilities, and so on and so forth.
The bottom line is, what main differences do the end users actually see between Digital Two Way Radio and Analogue Two Way Radio?
From our experience here at Radphone, the majority of customer comments have centred around improved clarity and a noticeable increase in transmit range.
Some upgraded analogue users mention the slightly strange experience of a “disembodied” voice coming from their radio.
Without realising it, users of analogue two way radios get used to the accompanying background hiss, pops and clicks that are usually noticeable during quiet passages, in between speech.
So without realising why, the end user notices “something missing” which they can’t quite put their finger on.
Analogue signals tend to degrade gradually toward the edge of radio coverage, introducing the aforementioned hiss, etc. The signal eventually degrades so far, that the majority of the received signal consists of a lot of “noise” and very little “voice”.
Digital reception is very different. It tends to be loud and clear up to the edge of range, then just stops working.
The end result of this effect is improved radio coverage.
So, is it time to upgrade to Digital Two Way Radio?
A recent development is set to accelerate the uptake of Digital Two Way Radio…
Motorola, arguably the most widely recognised Two Way Radio Brand, discontinued their analogue only range of equipment in 2014. This is a good indicator of their commitment and belief in digital PMR technology.
Our own thoughts are that Analogue PMR has a number of years left to run and is not likely to disappear soon.
However, serious consideration should be given to future possible upgrade paths with any expansion of existing radio schemes.
Also, keep in mind that unlike analogue radios, different brands of Digital Two Way Radio are unlikely to be compatible.