Digital two-way radio technology was created to address the problem of overcrowded frequencies – referred to as achieving spectrum efficiency. With millions of analog radios in use, too many users in a frequency band impacts the quality and reliability of communications putting safety and productivity at risk. In certain countries, there are regulatory requirements being implemented that mandate manufacturers to only produce and sell digital two-way radios.
As a result, most radio manufacturers are primarily investing in developing new digital radio technology options to meet the growing needs for more efficient two-way radio communications. Digital transforms the way people communicate and use two-way radios on the job.
While analog radios have been used for years – there are limitations to its performance that many users have been conditioned to just accept:
- Background noise and static.
- Irregular experience in transmitting and receiving calls.
- Coverage gaps in how far radios will work effectively.
Lack of privacy
- No control over who can hear calls placed over the radio.
- Distracting radio noise and chatter risking missed important calls.
- No easy ability to place direct calls to select individuals or groups.
DIGITAL MAKES TWO-WAY RADIO COMMUNICATIONS BETTER
Better Call Quality
Audio– digital applies error correction to eliminate noise and static and preserves voice quality over a greater range so users can hear what is being said crisp and clear. Use of the AMBE+2™ vocoder further improves speech transmission quality in noisy environment while achieving spectrum efficiency.
Coverage– digital enables users to make more calls to more places. A digital signal stays strong and clear until it reaches its maximum range. There is no deterioration in the signal providing greater usable range in areas where two-way communication was not possible in the past.
Control— A common desire amongst analog radio users is to control who receives a message and avoid broadcasting messages to a wide group of listeners. Digital makes this possible with unique IDs assigned to each radio. A user can selectively call specific individuals or groups by selecting the radio ID(s) to direct a message only to those who need the information.
Call Management Capabilities
Individual Call – One user directly calls another user and cannot be heard by anyone else on the channel.
Group Call– One user can call a select group of users. All parties in the group hear each other and cannot be heard by anyone outside the designated group who may be on the same channel.
All Call– One-way voice transmit from one user to all users on a channel.
Late Entry– While an individual or group call is in progress, latecomers are joined into the call.
Text Messaging– Digital enables sending/receiving free-form or preset text messages. Users have more ways to stay connected when voice communication is not feasible or messages need to be stored for reference.
Privacy– No extra encryption hardware is required to ensure private communications when operating in digital mode. Only the intended recipient(s) hear what is transmitted without the risk of significant loss in voice quality that can be experienced with analog scrambling.