How to Assess Two-Way Radio Coverage for Events
“How far do the two-way radios reach?” or “what is the range?” have become common asked questions by people interested in renting our walkie talkies. Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to them. Other factors besides the power and the range of the radios will affect the final coverage.
Things to Consider
How can you know whether the two-way radio equipment you are renting will give you the coverage you need or not? First you need to know where the event will happen. How you are planning to communicate with your staff. Will it be outdoors or inside a building? Across rooms on the same floor? Across rooms in different floors? With staff located outside the building? Across buildings? Across the city? Each situation will require a different two-way radio solution.
When you want to communicate across a room or across rooms on the same floor with no metal walls between them, two-way radios in Direct Mode (radio to radio) will give you enough coverage.
If what you need is to communicate with your staff across rooms on different floors or with people outside the building, like in the parking lot, a repeater or repeaters may be required to extend the coverage. In this scenario a proper location to place the repeater will have to be set ahead of time.
When the event is happening outdoors or across the city, the use of Verizon, Sprint PTT phones or POC (Push to talk over cellular) may be the solution. These phones work as two-way radios and use the Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, or AT&T networks which have normally good coverage in city environments.
Assess for Coverage
Whenever it is not clear whether the equipment will provide the coverage you need, the best way to know which two-way radio equipment will offer the best solution it is to perform a site survey. You will need at least 3 people, with one of them acting as the repeater. We suggest you perform the test with the same type of two-way radios you are planning on using (analog or digital), with the same type of accessories and carrying the radio the same way your staff will do during the event (clip to the belt, to a clipboard, etc.) Radio coverage will be different depending on where the user carries the radio.
Request a Demo
Metrotalk offers rental demo equipment to assess coverage free of charge. Do not wait until the day of the event, CONTACT US now to request your demo. We will give you instructions on how to check coverage and include a UPS return label for you to send the walkie talkies back.