worker with a two-way radio

Frequent questions about two-way radio communication

Do I Need A Two-Way Radio License?

It depends on what type of system you require. If you only need a small number of radios in a remote location over a small area then you might be able to use unlicensed radios (such as PMR446). If you require a larger area of coverage, require secure communications, have multiple teams who need to communicate separately, or are operating in a built-up area such as a town centre then you will need to buy licensed equipment.

Radio licencing is a complex topic, but through Motorola Solutions extensive partner network, we can pair you with a local expert to help you find the solution that is right for you while aiding you through the licensing process for your region.

Can Two-Way Radio From Different Manufacturers Communicate With Each Other?

Yes, and no; some functions are common across all manufacturers because they are defined by radio standards such as DMR (Digital Mobile Radio). While basic functionality will work between systems (such as voice transmission), you might want to use features outside those defined by the standards.

Before deciding what equipment to purchase to extend your system, you should check what features you are already using and find out if any are unique to your current equipment. If they are not unique, you should still check with the manufacturers to ensure that interoperability testing has been performed between the systems.

What Distance Do Two-Way Radios Work Over?

The answer to this question depends on the equipment you are using and the infrastructure you have installed around it. As an example, the International Space Station, orbiting at an altitude of 408 KM uses two-way radio to communicate with the earth, but there are very few obstructions between the station and the antennas so the signal is easily received. In comparison, an unlicensed radio operating inside a building may only work for around 100 metres.

Two-way radio systems can have infrastructure installed around the area of coverage which makes the range of the system only limited by the amount of equipment you can afford to install. Two-way radio repeaters can extend signals over a large area and can be joined together through other means such as the internet to create connected pockets of coverage (such as a multi-site university campus).

Can Two-Way Radios Be Traced?

Many models of two-way radios include GPS functionality which can report the position of the radio over a digital network to a control room. The location functionality can be always-on or only switched on in specific situations such as when the emergency button is pressed.

Contact Viking Communications!

Viking Communications has been in the business since 1964, always maintaining the consistent goal of helping our clients to communicate more effectively and efficiently. We are locally owned and operated, this allows us to provide professional service in two-way communications systems, with a personal approach for each client.


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