3 “Brass Tacks” Reasons Radios Don’t Prepare Companies for the Future

Heavy, Expensive, and Unacceptable: Discover Why Two-Way Radios Aren’t a Forward-Looking Investment

In our latest e-book, “12 Reasons Radios Are Holding Your Company Back,” we discuss at length “The Dirty Dozen” pitfalls deskless workers and enterprises face with outdated technologies like two-way radios and push-to-talk (PTT) apps. In this article, we’ll dive into three of those “brass tacks” reasons.

Construction foreman using outdated radio

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The “brass tacks” section of the e-book covers three straightforward issues with radios that should be table stakes for any purchasing decision, namely answering basic questions like:

  1. Does the communication solution work as well as it should?
  2. Does the communication solution positively represent your brand?
  3. Does the communication solution have a reasonable cost for its value?

For radios, the resounding answer to all three of these questions is a simple no. Keep reading to see what we mean.

Reason No. 1: Radios Have Unacceptable Coverage and Audio Quality

Fast, reliable, and secure communication should be table stakes for your organization’s modern deskless workforce. Sadly, this isn’t always the case.

Today, many frontline workers are still using radio technologies with leftover issues from bygone decades. Issues like deficiencies that require workers to keep their device’s antennae pointed vertically, so their signal capability does not decrease by half. These same technologies are affected by the number of floors, stairwells, and walls in a given location. Communicating in concrete parking garages with these technologies is almost impossible.

On top of these audio quality problems, radios are also often limited to small usage/reception areas. This makes it incredibly difficult for decentralized and distributed workforces in industries like transportation, where vehicles and deskless workers are constantly on the move.

Reason No. 2: Radios Have Unwieldy Form Factor

If you work in customer-facing industries like hospitality, events, entertainment, or retail, you know that how your employees appear in front of your customers is incredibly important. If appearance is so important, why would you let your customer-facing employees wield a giant radio in front of customers? The truth is radios look and feel antiquated. If your customers see your employees holding that hardware, what does that say about your organization?

On top of this, radios are heavy. The goal of technology should be to make your deskless workers’ jobs easier — not to add weight to their already stressful day-to-day jobs. Your deskless workers’ communication software should be operational on any hardware you choose or need: let form follow function. You shouldn’t be locked into having to operate with a heavy piece of equipment on your person.

Reason No. 3: Radios Have Unreasonable Cost for Limited Value

If your organization uses radios, you’re likely locked into at least one unfavorable contract of some kind when you consider your total cost of ownership. Here are just two unforeseen costs that usually come with radio contracts:

Cost of Expanding Infrastructure

With radios, every expansion is a logistical nightmare. Adding new users, spaces, or groups can be cost-prohibitive, complicated, and often requires a new license to be sourced and agreed to by the FCC. In today’s environment of fast-paced technological advancements, regulated spectrum is an obsolete concept. Superior functionality should drive you to choose communications tools, not expensive binding agreements. Today’s deskless workers need tools that are convenient, cost-efficient, and easy to deploy, manage, and update.

Cost of Maintaining Equipment

With radios, your team is locked into one expensive system — batteries, cables, repeaters, additional equipment — that can’t be mixed and matched with another advanced system without costly workarounds. Firmware upgrade cables are often proprietary and expensive. And often, radio parts like batteries have to consistently be replaced as they age. With secure collaboration systems built to operate on phones, teams can speak with anyone, anytime — no matter what device they use.


To recap, you’re paying a lot of money for something antiquated and insufficient. This would be unacceptable in just about any other industry, but radios have unfortunately been able to put many organizations in bad situations with legacy technology and unfavorable contracts.

Honestly, this list could end here, but there are (at least) nine more forward-looking reasons radios are really holding your company back.

Download Orion’s latest free e-book to learn:

  • 3 “brass tacks” reasons radios are a poor investment
  • 5 reasons radios hold your deskless workers back
  • 4 innovative features and benefits you won’t find with radios
  • How a voice-first intelligent collaboration platform empowers and protects your deskless workforce
  • And so much more

Learn more about “The Dirty Dozen” reasons radios are holding your company back. Get the free e-book today!

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