Nextel's Digital Service vs. "True" Dispatch Radio
"True" Dispatch Radio provides "one-to-many" communications. Nextel's digital service provides "one-to-one" communications. With Nextel, when private call is used, only one unit at a time can talk to the base (or office) unit. The problem is, other units in the field have no idea that the base unit is busy because they can't hear (monitor) what's going on. So when they call the base or any other unit that is in use, they just get a "no-response" message and must try again later. This happens because the base cannot hear (scan) other conversations taking place in the field.
Talk time is counted by the second and billed by the minute. When two units are talking, all airtime is counted for both units. Clearly, it is common industry knowledge that as company communication increases, so does efficiency, productivity and profits. Nextel has recognized this shortfall in their product and now have started offering unlimited one-to-one calls. However, their customers are still paying more for less as all of the productivity features inherent in "True" Dispatch Radio have been eliminated. It appears Nextel is trying to make the least expensive mode of semi-dispatch radio seem affordable by selling a low, anti-productive use of their system. This environment causes decreased efficiency and productivity. Group dynamics are lost, employees are isolated and communication is severely inhibited. The owner and managers find out, too late, that this restricted communication environment has also caused decreased company profits.
Now that you're convinced that your company needs "True" Dispatch Radio, you need to decide between a fixed radio, mobile mounted radio or a portable handheld radio.
Fixed, Mobile or Portable, How Do I Choose?
If your company's field service workers spend more time out of the vehicle than in, you should consider a portable handheld radio. Portable radios from Kenwood and Motorola are small, lightweight and clip on a belt. Although portables are handy and convenient, they operate at a lower power level than mobiles and thus lose some coverage. A mobile mounted radio in the cab of a vehicle is recommended for any field service worker who spends most of their day behind the wheel, and will have better range. A fixed radio is for use in the office and, in conjunction with an outside antenna, will have the longest range.
Afcomm's sales team will help you determine the best radio for your needs.