Today, radios are known to everybody. Radio communication has evolved with time and we now see radios not only in homes but also integrated into cars and smartphones. The radio was invented in the late 1800s and has managed to stay in trend for a long time. However, technologies advance with time and today’s mobile-first world is dominated by cellular networks. This brings us to the question – are radios relevant today? Radio communication largely revolutionized various industries back in the day. But failing to adapt to changing times, means failing to move forward. If your business still relies on radio communication, it is time to upgrade. In this article, we will shed light on why radios may be holding your company back. But before we do, let’s take a look at its days of glory.
Radio Communication: Champion of the Past
Radios have a long and interesting history since the time they came into commercial use in the early 1900s. Radio communications were earlier restricted to maritime, to transmit messages from the shore to the ship and vice versa. However, the role of radio communication was vitalized during World War 1 when the military began using the radio exclusively to relay messages to their forces in real-time. Meanwhile, radios also became mainstream in common households.
AT&T was the first to ever release a radio advertisement in 1923. Soon after, radio and BBC became the prime source of news for the public. Then again with the onset of World War 2, radios played a crucial role in communicating the news of the war to the civilians.
Post-war radios still remained in trend and were used as a means of delivering diverse news and entertainment in the form of radio-based talk shows, music hours and much more. On the business front, companies began using two-way radios to simplify their field communication. Cut to today, walkie-talkies and two-way radios are still used by many businesses to stay connected with their field employees. But times have changed and we have progressed into the world of cellular networks where smartphones are mainstream. Clinging on to radio communication may be slowing down your business’s growth. Let’s understand how.
7 Major Pitfalls of Radio Communication: Factors Businesses Must Consider
1. Limited Coverage & Low Audio Quality
If you have ever compared the audio quality of the radio broadcast to that of a cellular broadcast, you must already agree that the call quality over radio frequencies is not the best. Combine the low audio quality with low coverage and you end up wasting minutes in figuring out who is calling or what they are speaking. Radio communication has a very limited reception area. This is a big problem for businesses that have a distributed workforce. With two-way radios, your employees can only communicate with their team members who are in close proximity.
2. Requires a License
Different countries have different regulations about the use of two-way radios and walkie-talkies. While in some countries, it is legal to use unlicensed walkie-talkies, others like the USA require an FCC license to make use of two-way radios. Businesses need to be aware of these regulations and need to go the extra mile to purchase licenses to operate two-way radios in various parts of the world.
3. No Value for Money
Radios have limited offerings, but a whole lot of costs are included. First off, purchasing dedicated two-way radio devices such as walkie-talkies for your entire crew. Maintaining and repairing these dedicated devices is an additional cost. Moreover, every time you modify your processes or add new members to the team, the licenses too need to be modified. This makes implementing two-way radios an overall costly affair.
4. No Visibility of the Field Workforce
An efficient operational control is difficult to achieve with radio communication. Line managers and supervisors need to be constantly aware of the whereabouts of their deskless workforce. With two-way radios, managers find themselves checking in on their employees way too often. You cannot have definite information on your field employees’ locations, working hours or activities.
5. Demand the Use of Separate Devices
Today, smartphones are easily accessible and affordable. Everyone owns a smartphone. But if your business relies on radio connectivity, your deskless workers have to carry multiple devices on-site. Two-way radios are bulky and cumbersome to carry around, especially in dynamic frontline and field environments. Your field workforce deserves a single device that has a powerful feature set and simplifies communication.
6. Non Scalable
Radios have very few offerings compared to the dynamic communication requirements of the present-day world. We live in times where cellular and WiFi connectivity over smartphones enables us to share instant images, make real-time video calls, exchange documents and files over the air and so much more. You cannot integrate two-way radios with your corporate platforms or a variety of business applications for task management, location tracking, etc. Neither can you seamlessly capture employee usage data and combine it with intelligence to analyze employee performance. In comparison to the lightning speed at which modern-day communication is evolving, radios just do not offer enough scalability.
7. Do Not Offer Enterprise-Grade Security
All businesses value their corporate data and are aware of the implications of losing out on sensitive customer information or business data. With the ever-evolving cyber threats, radios may not be the best way to communicate business-critical information to your deskless workforce. Several other users may be using the same radio frequency as your organization. In a competitive corporate environment that has several stringent data protection laws, it is best to opt for a communication method that enables end-to-end encryption.
Time to Switch to PTT Over Cellular
The reason why radio communication in the form of two-way radios or walkie-talkies has been alive for so long is because of the immense benefits that it offers to field employees. But, at the same time, is it worth suffering the above-mentioned challenges? What if there is a way to combine the push-to-talk capabilities of the two-way radios with cell phones? Push-to-Talk over cellular or PoC or PTToC offers businesses the best of both worlds. You can experience hassle-free push-button connectivity by simply downloading PTT software on your cellphones.
NuovoTeam is a PTT software that can be easily installed on Android & iOS smartphones to deliver ultrafast push-button field communication. Your deskless workers need not switch between multiple devices on-site, they can turn their smartphones into walkie-talkies effortlessly. NuovoTeam not only offers the PTT functionality but a plethora of other powerful communication features including video messaging, file sharing, location sharing, SOS alerts and much more, which makes it a perfect choice for business communications.
Remote communication is a vital factor, especially for businesses that have a field workforce. Prevent your company from using outdated radio connectivity and switch to a faster and simpler means of communication with NuovoTeam.