Digital Radios Explained

Digital Radio Technology. (as of Feb 2017)

There have been significant developments and product launches by a number of key manufacturers for “digital” products and Digital Radio is promoted as the next generation for communications solutions, and has a number of key benefits when compared to analogue systems.

The latest Digital radios are comparable in cost to their analogue counterparts.

There are currently two technologies for Digital Radio equipment: DMR and dPMR. Both are Digital but use different modulation/multiplexing. dPMR and DMR are not compatible so you cannot mix the two technologies.

Key Features of Digital:

  • Better Audio quality - Voice is digitised before transmission
  • Better Audio/range performance - Voice quality tends to be better
  • Better Spectrum Efficiency
  • Better battery life - There is typically a >5% battery saving in digital mode
  • Easier Integration into Systems
  • Easier IP‚ÄąConnectivity and Better Intregration of PC based Solutions

Depending on the type of equipment used, Digital technology can also offer the following features, much like advanced analogue systems and MPT1327/42 radios:

  • Individual and Group Calling
  • Alarm Call, Radio Check, Radio Disable/Enable
  • Trunking and Pseudo Trunking

In reality, most of the features and functions of Digital radio are re-creations of what is already in existance with analogue equipment, but with the benefit of digital audio clarity and an increasing range of applications, both hardware and software to increase the added value services available on complex systems. “In fact, one of the key drivers for users switching to digital is to add business enhancing data services & applications to radio systems.” [taken from the dmr association website].

With Digital solutions it is far easier to integrate into more complex systems as IP connectivity is simple and as any voice traffic is already digitised is also easier to send. GPS positioning is easier to send and is an option on most digital radios.

Many manufacturers and third parties have developed a growing number of added value packages to integrate with Digital systems, from expanding radio coverage over IP to fleet management and dispatch and warehouse management systems using bar coding and scanners with the information being passed over the digital radio network for quick and easy productivity.

In summary Digital Solutions can offer some significant benefits to a number of users. So, if you are considering Digital as your next upgrade, then talk to us first. We will give unbiased recommendations based on your actual requirements, plans for the future and indeed budget.