01440 268 486 sales@oscommsonline.com

UK Nationwide Radio Communication Solutions

Search
Close this search box.
oscomms_logo
motorola logo
kenwood logo
pinnacle response logo
hytera logo
Digital Barriers Logo

Let’s Talk About the Range of Professional Walkie Talkies

The range capacity of professional walkie talkies is an important feature as this will determine the device’s ability to get the information across long distances. If you’re going to invest in a professional two-way radio system, always check on the range of each device! 

professional walkie talkies

But what exactly is walkie talkie range? 

In this blog, we’ll share  with you the essential things to know about walkie talkie range and how you can use this to decide which device to buy. 

What is Walkie Talkie Range? 

A walkie talkie’s range refers to its ability to transmit messages over long distances.

Two-way radio manufacturers advertise walkie talkie range as the total distance that radios can cover. 

When buying a  two-way radio you should consider if the device will be used  only for short-distances or will you still need to use it  while you’re outside in large open spaces. 

There are modest two-way radios with an average range that can cover up to 1.5-2 miles. These short-range walkie talkies can perform simple operations and are best for use in close proximity with another. 

Long-range professional walkie talkies often come with different range capacities ranging from 25-30 miles. 

What Affects the Range of Professional Two-Way Radios? 

Is a walkie talkie’s range guaranteed? 

In most cases, the maximum range offered by two-way radios are tested within areas with no interference. 

The actual usable range of radios varies significantly from one situation to another and is often far less than the maximum range advertised. Some consumers view this as false advertising by manufacturers, while others believe that these maximum ranges are the most objective metrics available.

But in an ideal setting, some buildings are too high, and some terrains are too vast for range to work as efficiently as it could in flatter, less-crowded areas. 

Please note that your professional walkie talkie’s range can be affected by the following: 

Weather

Changes in weather can alter the circumstances that guarantee the best range. Here are some ways weather affects radio transmission. 

  • High levels of moisture in the air can absorb and scatter radio waves which reduces the effective range of the signals.
  • Similar to rain, fog consists of tiny water droplets that can interfere with radio wave transmission causing a shorter coverage.
  • Snow can absorb radio waves, especially at higher frequencies, thereby diminishing the range.
  • A temperature inversion causes radio waves to bend and travel further than usual, potentially increasing the range. However, this effect is unpredictable and can also lead to signal distortion.
  • While wind itself doesn’t directly affect radio waves, it can move obstacles like trees and foliage, which can block or reflect signals, impacting the range.
  • Electrical activity from lightning can cause interference and static in radio signals, reducing clarity and range.
  • Changes in atmospheric pressure can alter the density of the air, affecting how radio waves propagate. High-pressure systems can enhance range, while low-pressure systems can reduce it.

It is important when choosing the best professional walkie talkies for your needs that you check the type of weather you’re going to be dealing with. This prevents you from losing a significant range when using your two-way radios. 

Obstacles

Tall trees, electrical posts, tall buildings – these are just some of the most common obstacles reducing the range capacity of your radio devices. 

Obstacles obstruct, reflect, and absorb radio waves, which causes radios to not reach distances they’re supposed to reach. 

Here are the most common obstacles and how they can cut the range quality of radios. 

Concrete, metal, and other building materials can block or reflect radio waves, drastically reducing the effective range. Urban environments with many buildings can particularly limit the distance over which walkie talkies can communicate.

If your area has dense vegetation, know that it can absorb and scatter radio signals, especially when the foliage is wet. Forested areas or thickly wooded regions can therefore reduce the range more than open spaces.

Moving vehicles, especially those made of metal, can block signals. The interior of vehicles, such as cars and trucks, can also act as a barrier, reducing signal strength.

Interior walls within buildings can attenuate signals, especially if they are thick or made of materials like concrete or metal. Multiple walls between walkie talkies will progressively reduce the range.

Landscape

Elevated terrain can obstruct line-of-sight communication, creating shadow zones where signals are blocked. Additionally, being on top of a hill or mountain can enhance range due to a clearer line of sight.

Most radios are now made with features that enable signals to channel along valleys and canyons, sometimes extending range within these areas. However, steep walls can block signals from reaching outside the valley.

Open, flat landscapes with minimal obstructions offer optimal conditions for maximum range, allowing signals to travel unimpeded.

Large lakes or oceans can reflect radio waves, sometimes extending range over water due to fewer obstructions. However, irregular coastlines and coastal waves can cause variability in signal strength.

Sharp elevation changes like ridges or cliffs can create abrupt barriers for radio waves, causing unpredictable coverage areas and dead zones.

Why Walkie Talkie Range Matters

Most buyers complain that their professional walkie talkies don’t work the way they expect it to work. One of the factors is that most buyers don’t consider range interference when buying. 

If you’re buying a two-way radio, take into consideration the factors that could affect range. If you’re going to use it indoors, don’t settle for one that cannot transmit through walls. If you’re exclusively buying a handheld radio for outdoor use, check the terrain and the surroundings that could block your device’s range. 

For the Best Walkie Talkie Range for Your Needs, Talk To Us

Range is one of the top factors to consider when buying a professional walkie talkie. If you need clarity on this specification, don’t hesitate to talk to a member of the OS Comms team. Our years of experience can help you find the most ideal walkie talkie with the best range for your needs. 

Contact us today. 

Scroll to Top
Motorola R2 Portable Two-Way Radio
A next-level workhorse, the MOTOTRBO R2 marries durability and ergonomics to ensure confident, easy handling. And with superior range, configurable audio and seamless integration, the R2 is a reliable addition to an uninterrupted workday.

Please contact your account manager for more information
and assistance or the wider sales team on:
sales@oscommsonline.com