There are a variety of radios from licence-free, POC, ATEX to digital radios. At Wall to Wall Communications we are a proud supplier of a wide range of radios designed for each purpose and price point. For help choosing your perfect radio you can read our blog post “Which Radio Is Best For You and Your Business” to get some ideas, or contact us here.
2) Set up
When you either rent or purchase a two way radio through Wall to Wall Communications, you will have an experienced team that will help you set it up. If you are using a licence-free radio, you will be able to begin using your walkie talkies straight away by tuning every radio into the same frequency. This can be done by turning the dial, usually at the top or on the side of the radio that says “channel” or “frequency”. Alternatively you can choose your frequency by navigating on the LCD display. Repeat this with every radio you plan on using, setting them all to the same channel or frequency. However, if your radio isn’t licence-free, you will need a licence from OFCOM. You can learn about these on our blog post “OFCOM Licence: All You Need To Know”. If you have any additional questions about OFCOM licences you can either call us on 0208 770 1007 or email us at email@example.com.
3) Test your radios
Before you start using your radios, it is important to test them before splitting them up. Start by turning the volume up on all the radios and press the “push to talk” (PTT) button. As you hold the button down, wait 1 to 2 seconds and then speak into the radio that you are holding 0.5 to 2 inches away from your face. Wait for the sound to come out of the other radios to confirm they are working. The “push to talk” button is typically the large button on the side of the radio. After the radios are working fine in close proximity, test them again once they are where you will be using them. This will allow you to test the signal strength and the radios range. If you are having any issues with this, do not hesitate to contact the Wall to Wall team as there are many ways we can help boost signal and voice clarity.
4) Sending and receiving messages
Use the radios in the same way you tested them, repeating every time you want to send a message. After sending your message via walkie talkie ensure you release the PTT button to prevent it picking up cross-talk or white noise.
5) After use
After using your radios it is important to turn them off and re-charge them ready for the next use. This is particularly important if you are planning on using your radios daily.
At Wall to Wall Communications we have have been working with two way radios for over 40 years. Their use in industries such as Construction,Events,Security,Hospitality Leisure,Auction Houses,Transportation,Retailers,Film Production,BanksorHospitals has helped to improve communication amongst staff which therefore increase efficiency, security and safety. However, with industries such as security being faced with confrontational situations on a regular basis, improved communication is not always sufficient enough to keep members of staff and the public safe. In addition to this, when confrontational situations arise there is not usually evidence to prosecute. This gap in the market has given rise to body cameras.
But what are body cameras?
A body camera, also known as ‘body-worn cameras’ is a small camera that is attached to the body that can be left running for the purpose of recording any interactions or incidences during working hours.
Why do staff wear body cameras?
Provides admissible evidence for courts: Typically incidences that occur at work are taken to court with only verbal testimonies and eye witness accounts. With body-worn cameras there is hard, factual and admissible evidence that can be used in court to ensure accurate accounts of the situation is relayed.
Used for training and review purposes: Recordings of situations and work related issues can be reviewed and used for training purposes. In turn this will increase productivity, efficiency and competence.
Decreases the likelihood of incidences: As well as ensuring incidences that do occur are accurately dealt with, body-worn cameras can actually decrease the likelihood of confrontations happening in the first place. When members of staff are wearing a visible body-worn camera, there is less likely to be an incident, with the presence of the camera acting as a visible deterrent.
Reduction in false accusations: In some industries, particularly the police, there are often false accusations made against the staff and/or member of the public for one reason or another. Wearing body cameras not only decreases the number of people making these false accusations, but false accusations can also be solved quickly and reliably with factual evidence.
Which industries could benefit from body cameras?
The rise in popularity of body cameras are mainly due to staff members and industries that have frequent contact with the public and that have high prevalence of either staff assault or accusations against staff. These industries can include door staff, security, blue light services etc. The use of body cameras can be applied to any company that feels they would benefit from their presence.
POC stands for PTT (Push To Talk) Over Cellular. This technology essentially allows a two way radio to use the mobile phone data network instead of radio waves. However, this is not a new technology and has been around for years. Where POC radios were previously relying on 2G and 3G mobile data networks, the technology was not advanced enough to deliver fast, clear and reliable voice communication. For this reason, POC never fully succeeded or dominated traditional two way radios.
Now with the advancements of the 4G data network and more recently the launch of 5G technology, PTT Over Cellular is becoming increasingly reliable. In the future, POC will likely replace traditional RF two way radios and for some businesses it’s already an appealing option.
What are the advantages of POC?
Virtually unlimited range: Traditional radios typically have a range of only a few miles and need the assistance of antennas to communicate further. However, with POC, as long as both of the handsets have mobile data or a WIFI signal, they will be able to communicate regardless of distance.This will allow you and your team the freedom to move freely without having to stay within the range of the radio signal. This can have the potential to expand your business without any limits and increase productivity.
Exemption from OFCOM licensing requirements: When working with traditional two way radios, to use of a radio frequency you need a license from OFCOM. When functioning in a dense urban environment, the demand for the limited spectrum of radio frequencies can be high. A benefit of POC is that they eliminate the need for an OFCOM licence before using. So if you are a business that functions in densely populated areas such as London or Edinburugh, POC could be a good option for you.
Who would benefit from POC technology?
Businesses that involve travelling would most benefit from POC technology. Where traditional two way radios have to be within range to communicate, POC radios can connect anywhere there is a mobile data signal or WIFI. As a result, businesses such as taxis, skip hire companies, couriers and haulage are ideal candidates. In addition to this, companies that span across multiple sites and across large areas would benefit from POC technology for the same reason. These can include security companies, retail firms with multiple outlets and industrial estates across the country.
Is it expensive?
In relative terms no. On average, the per handset cost is comparable with a traditional radio but there are some extra costs involved, namely the cost of data SIM package and a yearly service fee. However when compared to the high cost associated with installing repeater systems, POC can be a much less expensive option for users with large scale communication requirements.
At Wall to Wall Communications we are proud to have been working with two way radios for over 40 years. With this long-term experience we have become experts in radios, radio repair, radio hire and knowing which radio is best for you and your business. Whether you are a small business looking for temporary radio hire, or a large multi-site operation looking for permanent radio hire and maintenance, Wall to Wall Communications can meet your needs. The industries we are proud to have provided two way radio to the following types of clients; construction, events, security, education, hospitality and leisure, auction houses, transportation logistics, retailers, film production, banks and hospitals.
Case Study: Lewisham Shopping Centre
One shopping centre in particular that Wall to Wall Communications has provided a radio solution for is the Lewisham Shopping Centre in South London. Providing the Clean Event Group staff with reliable and functional radios was of the utmost importance to ensure that the team could provide a safe and secure environment for shoppers at the Lewisham Shopping Centre.
The requirements for Wall to Wall Communications was to upgrade the Lewisham Shopping Centre analogue radios to two way digital radios, as well as provide radios with location tracking whilst on site.
To do this, we upgraded their two way radios to the digital Hytera PD705 and the Hytera PD785 radios. In addition to this, Wall to Wall Communications provided a Hytera RD985 repeater to make sure that radio communications were reliable and clear throughout the large shopping centre as well as indoor tracking beacons to enable the location finding function.
Benefits of two way radios in shopping centres
With a large number of visitors and staff entering and leaving a place like Lewisham Shopping Centre every day and over a large multi-story infrastructure, it can become difficult for staff to stay fully connected and informed.
If your business requires a similar solution to Lewisham Shopping Centre, or has its own set of challenges, two way radio hire with Wall to Wall iCommunications is the solution you have been looking for. The benefits of two way radio hire include:
Communication across multiple stories- With shopping centres typically spanning multiple stories, mobile signals can become blocked by obstacles which can interfere with communication. Solutions for this include the installation of antennas and repeaters to strengthen the signal and allow it to travel further.
GPS tracking- With indoor tracking beacons it can be possible to see the real time location of all radio users as well as the paths they have taken throughout their shift. This is done through the use of patrol check-points and RFID tracking. This data can then be stored and used at a later date.
Task management- With uninterrupted communication, delegating tasks is seamless and reliable with the addition of a manager override function.
Improved voice clarity– Shopping Centres can be loud and cause radioing to become muffled and unclear. At Wall to Wall we provide radios with noise cancelling abilities to eliminate this issue.
Digital radios– Like Lewisham Shopping Centre, upgrading to digital radios can come with many advantages. Mainly, digital radios can adapt and be upgraded to have more capabilities and more channels as needed.
Radio signal vs mobile signal– Relying on mobile signals in crowded locations can become unreliable with many people using their mobile phones. Radio signals do not have this issue, so even during busy periods communication remains uninterrupted.
At Wall to Wall to Wall Communications we know how important it is to you and your business to have two way radio communication functioning consistently, reliably and at its optimum level. That is why here at Wall to Wall we have an in-house radio repairs team with over 40 years of experience to give you the peace of mind you need. In addition to this, we also provide onsite checks, repairs and updates to keep on top of your two way radio’s functionality. We are dedicated to not only supplying two way radios, but also keeping them running throughout their lifetime.
In house radio repairs team
At Wall to Wall Communications we have a dedicated and expert radio repairs team. With years of experience, the team are able to quickly and effectively diagnose common issues with a wide range of radios including analogue radios and digital radios. After diagnosing the issue, the in house radio repairs team can deconstruct and rebuild your radios down to component level to fix even the smallest of problems. With the newest and most advanced technology at our fingertips you can rely on an accurate diagnosis and professional results every time.
Having to send your radios in for a regular service can leave your staff without communication and halt business. That is why at Wall to Wall Communications we can hire out radio units whilst your radio repairs are taking place to ensure business is unaffected and kept running smoothly.
On site radio repairs and maintenance
For customers who cannot do without their radios, at Wall to Wall Communications we also offer onsite repairs and preventative maintenance visits. Depending on your two way radio package, these visits can be tailored to your system in regards to the wear and tear, software updates needed and frequency of use.
Outdated Firmware: During our onsite visit, our team of experts will check the firmware on the radios and update it where possible to ensure your radios are functioning at the highest level possible.
Short battery life: A short battery life can create disturbances in the running of your teams. The radio repairs team can realign the power output to prolong your radios battery life to keep you communicating all day long.
Poor signal: If your radio is experiencing lower coverage and weak signal, our experts will investigate the cause. Commonly this is a result of the antenna damage or signal “Drift”, which is a service that can be provided during onsite visits.
Out of date specifications: During the onsite visit, our radio repairs experts can make adjustments and provide a full RF test.
All minor faults: Whilst onsite, our radio repairs team can fix a multitude of small problems there and then. For any major faults, the team will take them to Wall to Walls in house radio repairs workshop for further diagnosis.