How To Buy Two Way Radios

There are hundreds of different suppliers to buy two way radios from and as part of their two way radio services they should all be able to assist you. However, being an educated buyer is always the best route to go. By reading our guide you will be able to understand the complexities of finding the right two way radio for your application. Read through, take your time, then choose a supplier to speak to and you will be able to fact check against our guide.

Choosing the Right Supplier to Buy Two Way Radios

Choosing the right supplier to buy two way radios from depends on what type of service you are expecting.

What level of customer service do you require when making your purchase?

  • Do they answer the phone
  • Are they polite and receptive to your phone call
  • Do they provide a quote promptly
  • Is the price provided competitive
  • How quick can they deliver the products
  • Is the payment all upfront via credit/debit card
  • Do they offer credit terms such as 30 or 60 days

Note: Expect to pay a slightly higher price if you choose to pay on a credit account rather than pay in full, up front with a credit/debit card.

  • Is there after-sales service suitable?

Note: Checking online reviews can be a good starting point so you can check past customer experiences

Looking to Buy Two Way Radios For the First Time?

Once you have considered the above customer services options, it then comes down to the application usage of the two-way radio.

Two Way Radio Area of Usage

  • The total distance to be covered
  • What if any buildings are in the coverage area
  • What type of structures are the buildings made of
  • What is stored in the buildings or are they offices
  • The height of buildings such as high-rise buildings
  • Is there a basement
  • Are there tunnels
  • Are there are dangerous gases or flammable materials on site
  • Is the terrain flat or are there hills

Note: The terrain is an important factor as two-way radios cannot transmit through the earth, but there are add-ons such as repeater base stations that can be used to overcome undulating terrain.

Buy Two Way Radios from a Referral

Referrals from friends or work colleagues can make your supplier selection very simple and is usually a great way of making your choice. It is worth noting that a referral to a supplier will still need you to consider all of the elements detailed on this page.

Your Buying Requirements

  • How many personnel will require a radio?
  • Do you require earpieces of remote speaker mics (lapel mics or fist mics)?
  • Do you need separate channels for different user groups?
  • Do you have lone workers?
  • Do supervisors require a channel scan function?
  • Are users familiar with a specific brand of radio?
  • Do you need individual chargers?
  • Do you need multi-chargers if you are storing the radios centrally?

Do You Require Any Specialist Features When You Buy Two Way Radios? 

  • Lone worker alarms
  • Man-down alarms
  • Site alarm connectivity
  • Ability to make phone calls
  • GPS tracking

The above are some of the baseline factors that will need to be considered when you buy two way radios. This will help narrow down your requirements so that you can choose the correct two-way radio for your application.

Supplier Buying Solution

When you speak with a two way radio supplier, having the above information to hand will help the supplier quickly understand your requirements. This should allow them to quickly narrow down a product solution that is right for you.

Looking to Buy Two Way Radios and Add to the Ones You Already Own?

Licence Free Example

If we start with licence-free two way radios or walkie talkies as they are commonly referred to, then you will need to know the make and model.

If you current have Motorola T92 H20 walkie talkies that you purchased online. You may have forgotten who you bought from, or the company you bought from is no longer in business.

Solution to Licence Free Example

Search online with the phrase ‘Motorola T92 H20’ and find what you believe to be the most reliable company (check reviews and overall quality of their website) and the best price you are prepared to pay and make the purchase.

All Motorola T92 H20 radios are programmed the same way by Motorola Solutions, meaning that your current T92 walkie talkies and any new set will be able to communicate together straight out of the box.

Important Notice: For licence-free walkie talkies, the above ‘out-of-the-box’ solution applies to, but is not limited to Motorola Solutions, Kenwood, Icom, and Hytera. This simply means that you can buy more of the same make and model licence-free two way radios and they will communicate on the same channels as your existing two-way radios 'out-of-the-box'.

Licenced Two Way Radio Examples

Licenced two way radios are a little bit more complicated. To start with, as above, you will need to know the make and model.

Licenced Example 1:

You purchase some Hytera PD705LT UHF from a two way radio supplier.

You will then have either purchased an Ofcom licence(s) direct with Ofcom and gave the licence details to the supplier to program your two-way radios accordingly.

Or the supplier you purchased from, facilitated the Ofcom licence application and upon receipt of the licence, programmed your radios with the Ofcom licence information.

Solution 1 to Example 1:

In this example we would suggest going back to the company you purchased from and asking them to program the new radios with the same Ofcom licence information as before, this should be a quick process and the radios will then work with your existing radios.

There could be several reasons why you don’t want to use the company you purchased from, such as bad service, not in businesses anymore, price, etc. If this is the case then move to solution 2.

Solution 2 to Example 1:

If you want or need to find a new company then we would suggest starting at the manufacturer's website or in due time our own directory. In this example, Hytera has an approved dealer section that ensures whoever is on this page will be an existing, experienced supplier of Hytera products and have the knowledge and experience to assist you professionally.

Licenced Example 2

If you have technically proficient employees who know how to program two way radios, the process can be rather simple.

Solution to Example 2

  • Buy the same make and model two way radios from a trusted source.
  • Buy your make and model radio programming lead
  • Buy the programming software

Once everything is installed and connected you can now program your new two-way radios to your requirements.

Code Plug or Licence or Send in Radio or Have an Engineer Attend Site

Once you have decided on the company that you are going to use, then they will need to program the new radios to work with your existing radios.

They will then need:

  • A copy of your existing Ofcom licence
  • A copy of the code plug, (The code plug is a software file that has all of your radio programming information)
  • Depending on the complexity of your radio system or if you do not have a code plug, then they may ask you to send one of your radios to them so they can ‘clone’ the information.
  • It is possible to have an engineer attend your site to do this but there will usually be a cost for the engineer's time.

Once the suppliers have programmed the new two way radios they will be ready to use with your existing equipment

Get Two Way Radios Repaired

If you do buy two way radios then you will be covered by the two way radio warranty. If the radios are damaged by you, then that is outside of the scope of the warranty. You will need to get your two way radios repaired which is a cost factor that needs to be considered. 

Our Thoughts

When you want to buy two way radios there are a number of factors to consider. Once you understand what you need, what you require from the chosen supplier and what they will require from you, you can then confidently choose the best supplier to buy two way radios from and/or buy the relevant programming equipment to complete the work in-house.