Historically, push to talk (PTT) technology has been the norm in industries like security, public safety, transportation, manufacturing and construction. It’s popular technology because it’s so simple to use, allowing the user to concentrate on their job at hand. It also enables efficient, quick communication that’s confined to a predefined group of individuals needing to hear the entire conversation.
Still, there are some things you need to think about when it comes to this technology. Here are six factors to consider if you’re thinking about buying a push to talk two-way radio.
- Face-to-Face Communication
Realize two-way radios use PTT and while this technology enables you to simply push a button to start communicating with others, it also means you can’t speak when the other person is speaking like you can in a face-to-face conversation.
A wide range of industries use two-way PTT radios, including:
- Health and safety
- Event planning
- Mining and oil exploration
- And more
So, if any of your competition uses two-way PTT radios for business and you’re not, it puts you at a competitive disadvantage for productivity and agility.
- Industry Safety Hazards
Safety hazards go beyond environmental hazards. For example:
- Individuals working in construction sites and factories require a radio that can withstand being kicked around or dropped.
- Individuals working in remote locations need the ability to send for help and signal an emergency.
- Public safety workers require two-way radios built for their needs specifically.
Since two-way radios can be a lifesaver in an emergency, often this technology is built specifically for individuals in serious trouble. Safety features, like lone worker or man down, are crucial for some workers. If you have employees who could face life-threatening hazards, this can impact your radio-buying decision.
Unlike a cell phone, a two-way PTT radio can work in environments with a lot of dead zones like in facilities with a lot of concrete and steel, large sprawling campuses and areas blocked by physical barriers or hills. Communications come through clearly without staticky connections or dropped calls. Two-way radios even work through emergencies and power outages where cell phone towers could become overloaded.
Keep in mind that radio frequencies are shared, meaning what you’re saying over the radio isn’t confidential, unless you’ve properly implemented security technology. Be sure your radios offer secure channels if that is important to you.
The environment plays a significant role in two-way radio performance. For instance:
- If you use a radio near combustible materials, it must be rated intrinsically safe.
- If you use a radio outside, it needs to be dustproof in dry environments and waterproof in rainy locales.
- If you use a radio indoors, for security or retail reasons for instance, it generally doesn’t need extra protection against explosives or weather.
While you don’t necessarily need to buy your workers two-way PTT radios with more functionality than they require, it’s a poor investment to buy the technology that doesn’t adequately address the environmental conditions they’re working in.