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We get asked this question on a regular basis. There is a lot of doubt on the difference between the these 2 radio equipment so to briefly explain the difference we have decided to bang our heads together and come up with this little explanation.
A two-way radio as the name suggests is a radio that operates in two ways, transmitting and receiving. Some people make the mistake of putting a scanner and two-way radios in the same category which is incorrect as most scanners only can receive.
A walkie-talkie is a radio that is portable. This type of radio can be commonly referred to as a “hand portable”, “handheld radio”, “handheld transceiver” etc. In simple terms, it is a radio that allows you to talk and receive while walking around.
A walkie-talkie is a portable two-way radio, but a two-way can be more than just a walkie-talkie.
A two-way radio can fit many applications for example:
Vehicle two-way radios that require 12 volts of power and an external aerial.
Two-way radios that are Atex approved for areas where dangerous gas or substance is present.
Two-way radios that have a lone worker facility that alarms if the radio goes into the horizontal position for a predetermined time.
Two-way radios that have tracking facilities that can give your GPS position.
So as you can see, there is a difference between the two, but most if not all the major manufacturers do not refer to their products as Walkie-Talkies but as Two Way Radios.
People also tend to associate them with children’s toys, but that is definitely not the case. Now, modern walkie-talkies are much more developed than those that you probably had in your childhood, and with a whole panoply of new abilities like the fact that they operate with a power of 0.5 to 5 Watts, have long battery life, have a clear Lcd display to keeps you informed of bandwidth and battery status and to make communicating simple and clear, have channel scan and a talk confirmation tone or Roger beep that tells you when it is your turn to speak.
They can also be complemented with many useful accessories like: rechargeable batteries, rapid chargers, multi-port chargers, remote lapel speaker microphones, headsets etc.
Extremely convenient, most weighing just 100–200g and small in size, robust, ergonomic and lightweight they are great for practical everyday use and outdoor activities.
The convenience of the cell phone is irrefutable, especially regarding long-range communication because It allows you to send a video or a photo, text a message, or dial a number and speak to almost anyone, anywhere in the world.
While not as widely used as cellular telephones, the truth is that in many personal and business applications and situations, there are a lot of advantages to using push to talk devices over cell phones.
Let’s see some of them:
Walkie-Talkies are robust, easy-to-use, simple to work with and free to use! They are particularly useful for activities in the great outdoors like Camping, Fishing, Hunting, Skiing or Hiking, where a lack of mobile signal can cut your connections with the rest of the world. A walkie-talkie will allow you to communicate with someone else using another one on the same frequency and with an open line of sight they can easily have a reach of between 3 to 5 km.
It provides you with a way of contacting someone in an emergency, especially when a mobile signal isn’t achievable.
They are also very useful in harsh work environments where mobile phones are too delicate or out of signal range. Construction Site Workers, Police Officers, Firefighters, Lifeguards, Hospital/Airport/Shopping/Warehouse Staff use them on a daily basis.
Another significant advantage is the cost. Even compared to the cost of obtaining the most expensive license to operate a GMRS or business radio, cell phones can cost a lot more to own and operate. Walkie-Talkies are cheaper to obtain and free to use, not requiring any contracts or incurring in costly monthly usage fees or roaming charges. You can make the “calls” you want, and know that you will never have to pay anything for them.
One of the most significant advantages of using them over cell phones in any environment is their ability to provide instant communication with no wait time. You simply pick up the device, turn it on and listen or press the PTT button to talk. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.
Walkie-talkies are used in a wide range of different sectors helping business all around the world.
Their versatility and usefulness, enabling communication at all times have made them indispensable in many business environments.