2012 proved to be the best sales year for two-way radio manufacturers over the past 20 years, due in part to the increased number of security businesses in South Africa. Effective communications in the industry is proving too costly to operate without. Two-way radios are quickly becoming the preferred medium of communication, mostly due to its affordability and unlimited talk time.
Companies in the industry have acknowledged the importance of effective communication and are increasingly relying on service providers to offer a service of the highest quality. The need for managers and supervisors to consistently be aware of employee whereabouts, unexpected incidents and operational problems has forced the need for improvements in the current solution.
The increased demand for effective stable and reliable communication has allowed for advancement in the industry. Due to the ability to now effectively supply this technology, the latest trend in the industry is to implement Push-to-Talk (PTT) in almost all security companies.
Although there have not been any revolutionary improvements in traditional two-way-radios over the past few years, the system has become the tried and trusted norm for single channel communication. Push-to-talk was previously regarded as new, untested technology, making its acceptance difficult due to the perceived investment risk for large scale businesses.
The last 18 months has seen a shift in the acceptance of push-to-talk as companies are beginning to trust the technology and are becoming more open to testing the system. In the last six months the technology has quickly become a mainstream solution in the security industry. Companies are becoming increasingly aware of the benefits that it can have in improving business operations, due to its unmatched stability, customisable functionality and national coverage.
PTT is becoming the norm because of the advanced communication capabilities of the system. Where traditional two-way radios communicate to all devices on a single-frequency channel, PTT allows users to be divided into functional communication groups. Therefore, with PTT you can communicate one to one, within dedicated groups and across all users simultaneously.
The key to this technological advancement is the ability of the devices to use cell phone networks instead of the radio towers, repeaters or antenna used by traditional two-way radios. This allows for increased stability, enhanced reliability and national coverage.
With regards to short-term improvements, certain suppliers like Instacom are including a free instant message system on the device to complement its verbal communication capabilities. Users are now being able to send instant messages as an alternative communication medium to either groups, individuals or the entire network.
It is also understood that situations occur where cell phone calls need to be made either on-site or on the move. It is necessary for staff to be able to communicate out of the PTT network. Instacom has now included airtime on its devices which is recharged on each device every month.
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