Tetra | Dmr | Lte | 2020-07-02

Two Way Radio Ensure Businesses are Ready to Reopen as Lock Down Eases

Source: The Critical Communications Review | Gert Jan Wolf editor

Some businesses may never have thought of using radios before, but they provide a reliable solution to cope with social distancing rules and to maintain ordered queuing and prevent the build-up of crowds.

Organisations looking to reopen for business following the easing of COVID-19 lockdown rules face a number of challenges. The key challenge being how to operate efficiently while enforcing social distancing rules. This is particularly testing for retail and entertainment businesses that have to engage with the general public.

Businesses may have to operate with a reduced workforce due to furloughed or laid off staff and so must do more with less. A business that once employed three people may now only be allowed to employ one to ensure compliance with social distancing protocols.

Employees who are able to return to work need to be physically separated. Workers may no longer be in sight of each other, so it may not be possible to just quickly speak to a colleague face-to-face anymore. Many will not be working at a desk with access to a fixed phone.

Good mobile communications are therefore essential to cope with these restrictions and to maintain productivity. Two-way radios provide the perfect solution as they enable social distancing to be maintained and allow business critical messages to be transmitted to the right person instantly.

Unlike mobile or desk phones, two-way radios offer one-to-many communications for the efficient and timely sharing of information. Everyone who needs to hear the message can do so in real time. This ensures a faster response to any problem or customer demand.

Protecting employees and as far as possible the public is also of critical importance. With potentially fewer staff at work, employees are more likely to find themselves in lone worker roles. Two-way radios double-up as a safety device as they offer emergency calling, Lone Worker protection, geo-fencing, and Man Down sensor alarms.

All of this helps protect workers if they have an accident in an isolated environment or encounter trouble, such as a confrontation with a member of the public.

Retailers need to manage the public including enforcing social distancing in queues inside and outside the store. They may need to deploy social distancing wardens and station staff members outside premises to comply with local regulations and ensure customers are safe and free to spend.

Staff will need to be in constant two-way communication with colleagues and security guards, so a radio is vital. Radios will help improve staff productivity, deliver better customer service, and minimise in-store disruptions. This will enable retailers to cope with the current restrictions, while still attracting and retaining customers.

Similarly, airports will need to maintain social distancing rules at check-in desks, passport control, and in customs queues. In addition, they may operate passenger remote temperature screening systems for both arriving and departing passengers. These can be connected to two-way radios to alert airport staff if someone is detected with an abnormal temperature.

Some businesses may never have thought of using radios before, but they provide a reliable solution to cope with social distancing rules and to maintain ordered queuing and prevent the build-up of crowds. For example, Hytera has a wide range of two-way radio products to suit any type of business and any budget, including unlicensed and licensed digital radios and push-to-talk over cellular (PoC) broadband devices.

What they have in common is that they all provide instant PTT communications. The radios are rugged and designed to be used in harsh environments. They can be cleaned and disinfected (unlike mobile phones), as they are moisture resistant, and they can therefore be shared by different users.

Small businesses with limited budgets can choose from Hytera’s range of cost-effective handsets such as the BD305LF PMR 446 unlicensed radio, the BD505 and PD505 DMR terminals, and the PNC370 PoC radio. The compact and ergonomic design of these terminals ensures easy one-hand operation, whilst the anti-slip textured case provides a firm grip - ideal for logistics and delivery firms.

For those looking for a professional grade radio, the lightweight, slim PD685 DMR terminal, the PT350 entry-level TETRA radio, or the PNC550 PoC radio are all excellent choices. For those requiring top of the range, cutting-edge terminals, Hytera can offer its new PDC550 PoC radio, the PTC680 TETRA/LTE multi-mode advanced radio and its DMR/LTE equivalent, the PDC760 multi-mode advanced radio.

Hytera also offers a range of body worn cameras to help with policing social distancing, recording incidents, and for protection of staff. A wide range of accessories including wireless headsets and earpieces are also available. In addition, the company offers a full range of PPE equipment including protective masks, medical face shields, safety goggles, disposable gowns, gloves, and infrared thermometers.

Since many years Hytera has long supported critical industries in the UK, including the healthcare and utilities sectors. Hytera and its channel partners have continued to support these essential industries during the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic and have remained in business throughout. They are equally ready and willing to help other businesses to be radio ready as they come out of lockdown.