Frequently Asked Questions

What are the advantages of radio over cell phones?

The radio industry is fast becoming known as the 'push to talk' industry. Radio is an immediate form of communication and can be used where cell phone coverage is not available. Many organisations are now recognising this and the fact that radio can offer a superior and cost effective option for their business communication needs.

How do I choose the best radio for the job?

If you are serious about communication then you need to get expert advice. Many people go to the local electronics store and buy off-the- shelf radios that just aren't appropriate for the job. We will discuss your needs and advise you on the most cost effective solution.

What's the difference between analogue & digital radio?

For the customer the main difference is the quality of the audio. Digital radio cuts out the background noise and maintains clear communications to the end of its range. Digital radio can also incorporate many state of the art features which are not possible with analogue, for example inbuilt GPS, extended coverage, a "Man Down" safety alert.

How long can I expect my radio equipment to last?

Like most things in life how long it lasts depends on how well you treat it! Last week I visited a customer who has had the same radios we sold him 27 years ago!! The standard warranty is 2 years but the new digital equipment is coming out with warranties ranging from 3-5 years.

Is it cost effective to rent radio equipment rather than purchase your own?

Renting radio equipment can be cost effective. If you only use the radios for short periods of time then it is very cost effective to rent the radios rather than having large sums of money tied up in equipment. Leasing long term is also an attractive option for some organisations. We are happy to listen to your communication requirements and help you decide whether buying, leasing or renting is best.

How do I know which channels I can use?

Unless you are using Citizens Band (CB) radios on the Personal Radio Service (PRS) channels then you need to have a licence to operate a channel or the permission of the channel owner. We can arrange and programme the channel into your radios.

Isn't it cheaper in this day and age to buy on-line?

When you require a specialist product buying on line can be a risky business. Every week we have people who come in who have bought online and find they have wasted their money. You need the correct advice from radio specialists to get the right solution and ongoing service for your communications.

What if I have a problem with my radio equipment?

This is where getting the job done right the first time is important. If you have received the correct advice and bought the equipment most suitable for your needs you will greatly reduce the chances of having a problem. Like any product there is always the chance of failure. However if you have bought off a reputable dealer, like ALCOM, you should have no problem having your issues resolved.

What is wide and narrow banding all about?

To free up more space on the radio spectrum the government decided to narrow the width of the radio channel on the mobile land radio spectrum.This needs to be done by November 2015. Most radios under 10 years of age are capable of being switched to narrowband. Call Alcom for advice on whether you are compliant.

Should I be using UHF or VHF radios?

As a general guideline UHF radio works better in build up areas like cities with high rise buildings. VHF tends to work better in rural areas with lots of trees and is used predominately in the forestry industry. Again, getting specialist advice from a reputable radio communication specialist is vital to ensure you are on the correct frequency.

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