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Why Choose Two-way Radios Over Cell Phones?

Why Choose Two-way Radios Over Cell Phones?


Radio vs Cell

In a day and age where it seems that practically everyone has a personal cell phone to meet their day-to-day communication needs, it would seem logical to assume that the cell phone trend carries over into business to fill this same need. This, it seems, is not the case. Motorola’s 2014 survey of manufacturing plants across the US, discovered that while 33% percent of plants use cell phones, almost an equal number of plants use two-way radios (31%). And with good reason! When it comes to concerns over device durability, battery life, practicality, reliability and security, two-way radios consistently come out on top, considerably outperforming consumer devices.

In a comparison between two-way radios and cell phones, cell phones are three times more likely to fail, with drops cited as the leading cause for these failures. Motorola two-way radios, meanwhile, are designed to withstand drops from four feet. This is important in industries where there is an emphasis on rugged devices, such as manufacturing and utilities.

Long battery life is listed as one of the most highly valued attribute for personal communication devices. Understandably so! Limiting communications to “when within reach of the nearest wall outlet” loses its charm pretty quickly. Two-way radio batteries can last up to 17 hours, holding their charge over twice the length of an average shift. 7/10 cell phones, however, don’t even last a full shift.

In work environments the average phone calls is said to last between 2 and 3 minutes whereas the average radio call is as short as 8 to 15 seconds. Two-way radios can receive alarms, work tickets, and monitor lone workers and much more using a variety of software apps. Smartphones can do a lot of the same things and more; sometimes even a little too much to keep your employees focused on the task at hand! Which would you rather have your employees carry around?

Group communication is a common need in a number of industries, from education, to hospitality, to manufacturing, be it in the case of an emergency or during everyday operations. Cell phones require redundant calls to pass a message along, wasting time and energy. Two-way radios allow individuals to communicate with large groups of radio users at the push of a button. There are even applications, such as Teldio’s RBX +Plus, that augment this convenience by adding phone users to these radio talkgroups.

According to the Motorola survey, 85% of manufacturing plants are concerned about outages and emergency coverage and 84% of plants have problems with reception. The obvious conclusion to draw from this is that cell phones are not an optimal solution for most plants. Two-way radios are an alternative that eliminates the need for reception and is not constricted by those same coverage limitations. This use case is not limited to manufacturing. Similar problems are also encountered in data centers and in correctional facilities. Not only that, cellular networks are frequently overloaded during emergencies, and as such, it has become common practice for educational and healthcare institutions to use two-way radios for emergency purposes.

Communications security is a growing concern in a variety of industries, especially those dealing with personal information such as education and healthcare. Cell phones operate on public networks with unknown encryption and frequently have third-party applications with dubious security installed. On the other hand, two-way radios use private networks with privacy and encryption options. Motorola digital radios also offer applications that fill additional communication needs, but these are only offered by approved vendors such as Teldio.

Despite the fact the cell phone use currently edges out two-way radio use, it is clear that two-way radios are purpose driven devices which offer superior functionality for a number of business settings and are an alternative to consider when designing a communications network for your business.

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