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Background

 

The shift to digital radio from analog has increased over the last five years, and this trend shows no sign of abating accross the many industries which rely on two-way radio for their operation.  The main difference is the way signals are transmitted and received.  As in digital musical recordings, rather than using electrical signals resembling sound waves in order to deliver audio, digital radio transmits and receives by processing sounds into patterns of numbers.  Digital technology provides many benefits for the FCC regarding bandwidth but even more for the end user in terms of features and benefits. 




Direction

 

The radio frequency spectrum is crowded and FCC regulations are mandating more efficiency and capacity through digital technology.  The propose transition date from analog to digital is January of 2018.  This is not a hard date as these transitions take time.  In 2013 the FCC mandated that wide band (analog) be eliminated and transition to narrow band (analog) to free bandwidth on the spectrum.  Currently the FCC has proposed the transition from  narrow band (analog) to digital to free bandwidth.


Transition

 

The transition is simple as digital fits seamlessly into licensed channel structures in UHF and VHF.  The choice of digital technology makes it easy to gain spectrum efficiency and improve your radio communications.


Features and Benefits

 

Enhanced Voice Clarity and Coverage


Both digital and analog signals diminish as the distance increases from the station transmitter.  However, digital two-way radio offers improved audio quailty at a greater range than analog through a stronger resistance to interference from other signals and avoiding the imperfections of transmission and reception, which are typical of analog.  Once the analog signal moves further away from the transmit center point, the audio will slowly fade out until unrecognizable.  By contrast the digital siginal will remain strong and crystal clear to the limits of coverage.

Software Applications

The Digital hardware is very light and works much more like a cell phone.
  • Contact List
  • Ability to speak with one person or group
  • Text Messaging
  • Alerts
  • GPS- Allows the employer to track the employee location and monitor productivity.
Longer Battery Life

Transmitting analog radio is power intensive, but the new digital technology allows some radios to function roughly 40 percent longer on a battery charge than the comparable analog system.

Privacy

Digital two-way radio is easier to secure than analog, which suffers from notable loss in voice quality when scrambled for privacy purpose.

Transition from Analog to Digital

The digital platform provides a migration path that allows for simultaneous use of digital and analog radios.  Digital and analog voice can be conbined in the same devices, making it easier to transition to digital for those companies who have already made a significant investment in the analog infrastructure.


Summary

 

Just as technology has revolutionzed everything, digital technology is now revolutionizing two-way radio.  If you need help navigating the many options available for future direction, contact us.