Two Way Radios: Analog or Digital?

Our civilization has taken a quantum leap in the past few decades. Technologies that were ruling the world back in as early as the 70s’ now look completely archaic, largely due to the invention of far better “digital” technologies. This is also evident for two way radios. Once analog radios were the norm. From US army to big corporations, everyone used analog radios for communication.  But with the expansion of technologies, analog radios have largely been replaced by digital ones. We guess you are a bit curious to know the difference between the two. Well, you will not have to parse through thousands of websites anymore as our little guide will explain things in a brief manner.

Analog Vs. Digital

  • Despite the invention of digital counterparts, analog two way radios are still more common, partly due to its simplicity and ease of use.
  • In analog radio, voice signals are sent in a continuous wave using the sinusoidal value waveforms. On the other hand, digital radios convert the voice into numeric patterns and then transmitted over a long distance. But analog radios are much cheaper and can be purchased at a fraction of a cost of digital radios.
  • One of the major downsides to analog radios is their lack of voice clarity. Their passive signaling systems can easily get disrupted by other incoming signals. On the contrary, digital radios make sure there is no latent interference and audio quality is top notch.
  • Apart of communication tools, digital radios are endowed with other amenities such as GPS and text messaging, which analog radios lack. Furthermore, analog radios tend to suffer greatly as voice quality drops significantly when scrambled signals are transmitted for greater personal security.
  • Analog radios cannot communicate through multiple channels, which substantially reduce their functionality and often creates confusion during high usage hours. On the other hand, digital radios can handle multiple conversations at a time, making them viable for large corporations that require continuous communications among different employees.
  • Businesses that require coverage over a greater geographical area or businesses that are looking to expand recently should opt for digital radios, as analog radios usually demand transmission specific receivers. Hence, business still intending to use analog radios will have to do a full fleet replacement, that might be costly and often not feasible.
  • As stated previously, analog radios are extremely simple in nature. This might be a hindrance sometimes, as they cannot be synced and till date, no software applications are available for them.

Despite all their drawbacks, analog radios are still available in the market, and companies are continuing to use analog radios for communication purpose. One reason might be that digital radios are still not that prevalent and cost a large fortune. Or, analog radios might not be that bad after all!