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Best Two-Way Radios In The Market Now

Two-way radio has been in use since World War II and has since evolved from traditional two-way communication to the current 4G broadband radio that is currently in the market now.

 

Singapore is unique in such a way that it controls quite strictly on who uses the walkie-talkie and what frequencies and bandwidth it allows users to use within the country. Previously, it was broken down to three different type of license that you’ll be able to get from the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) for commercial use within Singapore.

 

  1. License-Free Radio – These radios do not require any annual license from IMDA and can be usually purchased over the counter. These radios are limited to 0.1W and the frequency is being shared by anyone that is using these types of radios.

  2. Localised Private Network License – This license is issued to users of walkie talkies with a minimum of 5 units and the output power is capped at 0.5W ERP for localised operations and these radios can only be bought from companies that have the dealer class license from IMDA.

  3. Wide-Area Private Network License – This license is for those that require coverage over a large area such as an office building, or a mall, and a localised private network license walkie-talkie just could not have the coverage for such a large space.

  4. Public Trunking – There used to be a provider in Singapore called Grid that used to provide an Islandwide walkie-talkie services using the IDEN platform which has not been discontinued. This service means Grid used to put up base stations all over Singapore and users that subscribed to their service will be able to speak to their other talk groups all over the island. This does not work that well within buildings since it would mean that the building would need a base station as well as Distributed Antenna System (DAS) within the building for communication to be seamless with the outside stations. However, with the availability of Singapore’s telco network and the high speed latency of 5G, this has now been replaced with operators that are able to provide a business critical push to talk application, such as TASSTA, to ensure that your PTT solution will always be available whether you are indoors or outdoors.

 

The two main companies that manufacture two-way radios for the commercial space are Motorola and Hytera. Both companies have developed digital radios on the Digital Migration Radios (DMR) platforms and have secured a large percentage of the market. Both companies have also developed very popular portables for commercial use and I’ll list down the top 2 popular models for each brand below.


Motorola

  1. XiR P3688 

Two way radio Motorola XiR P3688

2. XiR P6600i 

Two way radio Motorola XiR P6600i

Hytera

  1. PD708

Two way radio Hytera PD708

2. PD508


Two way radio Hytera PD508

Now it must be said, all four of these models have been around for more than 5 years and both Motorola and Hytera have launched new models this past year, but those 4 models have been the most popular ones the last 7 years. Before this, another popular model that was being produced from Motorola was the GP328 and that model remained relevant for over 20 years.

 

The relevancy of maintaining the same type of model do have its perks. For one, it’s a tried and tested device that no longer have bugs fixes and accessories can be used for a long time.


However, this means that consumers that has a different requirement today would have to find other ways to find a product that suits their needs. As mentioned in an earlier article, someone in an ATEX or Intrinsically Safe environment that needs a camera or a work tablet, previously would have to carry a typical walkie talkie AND an ATEX tablet or phone.

 


Two way radio at the top of Mt Everest

Here’s a fun fact, the top of Mt Everest now has 5G and people from base camp no longer needs to rely on walkie-talkies anymore and theoretically, someone at the peak can actually upload a picture of themselves or stream it to the whole world. What this shows is how the lack of product innovation can actually open up other innovations that we sometimes wouldn’t even think off.

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