EMCI Wireless Blog

Radio Repeater

The Top 10 Most Valuable Benefits of Two Way Radio Repeaters

Projections from the Exclusive Report by The Insight Partners show that the global two-way radio equipment market will reach a value of $12 billion by 2028.

Communication is key in all organizations. There are plenty of ways to establish communication, and one of the most effective is 2-way radio. Radio repeaters can enhance communications, they improve two-way radio communication coverage and eliminate dead spots with minimal infrastructure.

For 10 of the main benefits of two-way radio repeaters, keep reading.

Motorola SLR 8000 Repeater

What Are Two-Way Radio Repeaters?

In general, radio waves travel in straight lines. They can go around and through things but this can drastically affect the strength and clarity of the signal.  This causes problems when you’re operating a radio system in a built-up, hilly or mountainous area.  Sometimes, even on flatter terrain, the sheer distance between the transmitting radio and the receiving radio weakens the signal to an unacceptable quality, or the signal may be lost altogether.

A two-way radio repeater takes weak and low-performing signals and retransmits them at a higher power so they can cover longer distances, ranges, and terrains without degradation. 

Repeaters eliminate unwanted noise and interference, helping to clarify messages as they are strengthened and re-transmitted. When properly installed, radio repeaters provide reliable communication signals from one radio to another, almost completely eliminating dead zones.

A radio repeater uses a receiver, a transmitter, and a base station antenna to amplify communications. This allows users to communicate over much greater distances, and depending on the nature of the business this could be incredibly beneficial to operations.

The Benefits of Two-Way Radio Repeaters

Radio repeater systems are widely used by commercial businesses that operate over large or built-up areas, emergency services, public transport and amateur radio enthusiasts. They are also used on large sites such as a warehouse or hotel as this type of building can be difficult to cover due to its structure.

Smaller businesses can manage with just a two-way radio system or other communication methods. However, larger facilities such as airports, school campuses and manufacturing plants may need additional coverage for their buildings and locations. If you want to improve your communication infrastructure, then adding a repeater can help in several ways.

1. Coverage

If you feel that your current two-way system doesn’t have enough coverage then a repeater may be the best solution. Most companies work out of a primary base of some sort, and it’s often very easy for staff to communicate when they’re on site. If, however, you have staff who are regularly away from the base location, then staying in contact with them can become a bit more difficult.

This is common within the construction and transportation industries where employees work over a large area but need to be able to communicate with each other at all times. Radio repeaters amplify signals, increasing the effective range of two-way radios.

Repeaters can even connect to wired or satellite networks if needed. This way users can communicate even if they’re in completely different areas.

2. In-Building Penetration

Radio waves can travel long distances through open air, but obstacles in the way can interfere with communications. Again this depends on the nature of your business and the design of your workplace.

If you’re in a building that has a lot of walls and floors between individuals then they may have trouble staying in contact with standard two-way radios. Despite being in the same building, going to different areas or up and down floors can be very time-consuming. This is also a bit unrealistic if they’re in and out of communication with each other throughout the day.

A repeater will boost the signal between radios and throughout the building, helping overcome this issue. Some typical examples of where this may come up are hospitals with a lot of floors or worksites with several buildings.

3. Team Coordination

Signal amplification isn’t the only benefit of two-way radio receivers. They also allow you to have multiple channels of communication. Many businesses have multiple teams that need to communicate within their individual teams, but not with each other.

An events facility, for example, may have multiple teams such as food vendors, security, floor staff, technical teams, and more. All members of security need to be in constant communication with each other, but not so much with the other teams.

You can assign a different channel to each team so that they can all stay coordinated and won’t have the confusion of hearing the other teams talking. You also have the option to enable the teams to communicate with each other across these various channels. All of this will help things to run smoothly and efficiently.

4. Unique Applications

Modern two-way radio systems go beyond simple communication, and there are several other features that you can choose to implement. Motorola’s MOTOTRBO is the perfect example of a radio system with this kind of functionality.

Motorola has the industry’s largest Application Developer Program, resulting in a range of applications to improve the capability of your radio system.

Apps are split into various categories to make it easier to find the ones you need:

  • Alarm & telemetry
  • Interoperability
  • Situational awareness
  • Messaging solutions
  • Workforce efficiency & management
  • Device and system management
  • Broadband & LMR voice
  • Asset management
  • Integrated command and control

These various apps are available because of the partnerships Motorola has with different developers. Using these will help increase your efficiency, productivity, and overall safety.

5. Eliminating Line of Sight Issues

As mentioned above, obstacles like walls can diminish radio signals and cause some issues. Over a large distance, there may be obstacles that have a much larger effect on connectivity.

Repeater stations usually have their antennas mounted high up on top of a tall building or hill which ideally is central to the area that you are looking to cover, so their range is much greater. The boosted signal from a repeater can also improve the clarity of the transmission.

Sometimes people need to communicate on the move and will have no control over their environment. Emergency services, for example, may have to go anywhere at a moment’s notice, and communication is essential.

Repeaters placed on top of hills or buildings can solve this problem, as the line of sight issue will be eliminated. This way users can stay in contact during an emergency without any connection issues.

6. Reliability

Using a two-way radio repeater is a much more reliable method than cell phone communication. While cell phone signals are generally quite good there may be times when a signal becomes weak or is completely lost.

In people’s everyday lives this is usually just an inconvenience, but in certain industries, it can be a huge problem. For a business where constant communication is key, having a poor signal can result in miscommunications and potential downtime.

This is even more important for emergency services. If they aren’t able to communicate with each other because of a bad signal, lives could potentially be lost. With a two-way radio receiver, the odds of having any signal issues are reduced dramatically.

It’s worth noting that there may be certain locations (generally rural areas) that consistently have little to no service provider coverage. This is another thing you won’t have to worry about with a two-way radio system.

The battery life of radios also helps ensure reliability. They last a lot longer between charges than cell phones so users don’t need to worry about them dying as much.

7. Encryption

Digital repeaters have several advantages over analog systems. One of them is the ability to encrypt communications between them.

This is incredibly useful for public safety services such as the fire and police. They can communicate on channels that only they can access with a combination of voice, data, control, and other uses. Not only does this stop people from listening in but it helps prevent interference from outside radio users.

8. Other Connections

Radio repeaters are capable of translating radio signals. They can take one set of frequencies and convert it to another – i.e. services that use different frequencies can easily communicate.

This is ideal for different branches of emergency services such as police and fire service. They will also be able to communicate with services in a nearby town if need be.

Radio repeaters may also be able to access telephone or satellite networks such as BGAN, MSAT, or INMARSAT. This provides a backup option if there are any issues in communicating with a certain destination.

9. Linking Repeaters

Sometimes even with a repeater, a signal may not be able to travel as far as you’d like. One solution to this is to connect multiple repeaters together. This is known as a “linked repeater” and can consist of as many repeaters as are needed.

The repeaters are linked together through RF or via the internet. There are multiple online networks that you can use to link repeaters such as:

  • EchoLink
  • Internet Relay
  • Wires-X
  • DMR
  • D-STAR

By doing this you can then use a two-way radio system to communicate with people over essentially any distance.

10. Cost

While this isn’t something that makes repeaters functionally superior, it’s still something that any business or organization will benefit from. Setting up a two-way radio repeater is fairly inexpensive, especially when compared with other communication methods.

The radios themselves are very durable, so there isn’t often a need to replace them. You also won’t have to worry about a monthly service charge to a phone network when using radio frequencies.

Finding the Right Radio Repeater System for You

EMCI Wireless is a leading radio supplier in Florida. We offer a wide range of solutions to cover the needs of any organization. Our MOTOTRBO portable and mobile radios are among the best on the market, and you can enhance them with radio repeaters, controllers, and gateways.

On top of this, our trained technicians can repair any equipment if needed, and we can assist you with any FCC licensing issues such as applications or renewals. If you have any questions for our team or need any help finding the right two-way radio repeater for you click here to contact us today.