The Basics (Introduction)

Two way radios are structured to transmit and receive. The radios allow back and forth communication between similar radios operating on the same radio frequency. Two way radios can be mobile, stationary base or hand held walkie-talkies.

How they work

All two way radios work in an almost similar manner. The unit is powered by a rechargeable battery. The hand held unit has knob for volume control aside from the push talk button. To activate transmission the user simply presses the push to talk button and speaks into the microphone. His or her voice is then transmitted into the air to be received by another radio on the same frequency. When the user releases the PTT button the radio’s receiver becomes active.

Two way radios are built to use very high frequency (VHF), and ultra-high frequency (UHF) radio waves. VHF and UHF are best for outdoor communication since they travel faster and further in open areas. These frequencies can penetrate through obstructions.

The range of communication is liable to the wattage of the unit and the antenna. The most common range is 1 or 2 miles. Weather conditions and physical obstructions may cause the range to vary from time to time.


Two way radios are the earliest invention of wireless communication technology. This technology is still available today and works even better. Below are distinctive capability features of two way radios.

Direct communication

The transmission from the sender to the receiver and the reception of feedback is instantaneous. All the user has to do is press the Push to talk button and speak his message, which is delivered in a few seconds. This direct communication is the reason why the two way radios are used by many security organizations for their tactical operations. There is no monthly subscription with these radios; users don’t have to worry about exceeding their allotted time like what happens with mobile phones.

Group communication

Two way radios have the ability to facilitate group communication. The radios are equipped with a group call function so that one user is allowed to call two, dozens or hundreds of fusers at the same time. The sender is saved the burden of having to call many people each separately , he /she is doesn’t have to repeat the same message again and again if he/she is transmitting to more than one receiver.

Who are the users of two way radio systems?

For many years, two way radios have used by many organizations because of their mobility, instantaneous transmission and reception, and group communication. Below are some of the organizations and industries that use two way radios.

  • Public safety organizations- the police, fire brigades, emergency medical services, ambulances, and disaster recovery agencies.
  • Security organizations like the military and intelligence agencies
  • Transport industry- railway, airport, and seaport
  • Construction companies
  • Delivery service companies
  • Government agencies, and many more

Modern day two way radios

Today the two way radios come with additional features. These include display screens that show important information at a glance, ringtones, silencers, and range alerts. You can add many channels into the radios, each channel with its specific frequency. Businesses can have one channel for management, another channel for security, cleaning and other departments. Two ways radios provide a simple and flexible communication to streamline business operations and customer service. You can use each channel like an intercom system, calling each individual person rather than broadcasting a message to everyone. The radios with the scanning feature pick up conversation for the channels you have programmed.

Other two way radio Devices

Two way radios include a wide range of devices that enable back and forth transmission and reception through radio communication. The same technology that is used in hand held two way radios can be used in another form. Think of the wireless call box for instance. The device can be used for voice communication at security gates while they can also allow personnel to unlock the door for a visitor to enter. Other devices include a wireless PA system. The system uses the technology of two way radios to broadcast messages from base stations or intercom. The call boxes in business premises allow customers to call for help from attendants who are equipped with two way radios.