What Is The Difference Between Analogue And Digital Radio?

two way radio

wall to wall comms




two way radioIn the age of digital technology, a lot of the tools we use for our day-to-day roles are becoming easier to use and have many more features that will appeal to a wider range of users. This is particularly evident with two-way radios. Traditionally, two-way radios would use analogue frequency to help users communicate with one another. This technology was introduced by the army and adopted by the general population. Analogue radios have been particularly effective in the security industry. Moving on a few decades and now radio technology is transitioning to digital because of the benefits that come from using a digital frequency. Digital radios have the advantage of being more reliable, but it may take analogue radio users a bit of time to adapt to the new system. If your business is thinking of switching from analogue radios to digital radios but need more advice, please get in touch with Wall to Wall Communications today.

Analogue radios are ideal for:

  • Small companies
  • Single-site companies
  • Remote locations

Digital radios are ideal for:

  • Bigger companies
  • Multi-site companies
  • Densely populated areas

Advantages Of Using Analogue Radio

One of the biggest advantages of analogue radio is that they have been around for a very long time. This means that the radios can be trusted. Analogue radios have been the primary form of two-way communication for the majority of businesses, so we have extensive knowledge of how the frequency works. The features of analogue radio haven’t changed much over the years, so as standard they include push-to-talk, scanning, encryption and one-on-one or group conversations. Here are some of the advantages of using an analogue radio:

  • A variety of accessories and add-ons
  • Time tested technology
  • Easy to use
  • Affordable
  • Understood by the general public
  • Uses bandwidth

Disadvantages Of Using Analogue Radio

The main disadvantage of analogue radios is that the technology is limited by its age. In a world that is turning digital, analogue radios can seem a bit restricted compared to the options that are available to digital radios. Another disadvantage is that analogue radio users are often limited on the number of people they can communicate with and that signal is often limited by range. There are a few more disadvantages of using an analogue radio which we would like you to be aware of:

  • Mostly restricted to one-to-one conversations
  • Can only receive analogue radio frequencies
  • The technology for analogue radios can’t be upgraded

Advantages Of Using Digital Radio 

With the introduction of digital technology to two-way radio systems, a lot of the features of analogue radios are upgraded because of the integration of digital technology. Digital radios have allowed the world of wireless communication to expand as the new technology makes radios more accessible and enables them to play a larger role in the day-to-day operations of their users. A few features that digital technology improves are a greater caller range, better voice quality, more reliable coverage and upgradeable software. Here are some of the advantages of using a digital radio:

  • Multiple conversations at the same time
  • Unit ID, text messaging and status buttons available
  • More choice to send digital signals
  • Bandwidth consumption is reduced
  • Less interference
  • New software updates available
  • Can use analogue simultaneously

Disadvantages Of Using Digital Radio

The main disadvantage of digital radio is getting people trained on the new system and allowing them to feel comfortable with the technology, especially if they are just used to analogue radios. Another disadvantage is the cost as with any new technology, the price of buying it is going to be expensive at first but once it gets more used the prices should be more competitive. There are a few more disadvantages of using a digital radio which we would like you to be aware of:

  • Digital radios can be expensive
  • Battery life can be short because of the added features
  • Can take a bit of time to get trained on them
  • Digital radios can’t handle RF frequencies