A Comparison of Walkie Talkies With 7 Different Devices That Utilize Radio Technology

The average person’s experience with Walkie Talkies is seeing them used by the cops or by children as toys. Apart from this, some people might also be aware that Walkie Talkies are used for military communication, marine VHF, and aviation communication.

However, there are many more uses of Walkie Talkies which are not known to us. One can find their use during activities like hiking, rock climbing, skiing, hunting, and kayaking. It is also quite common to find Walkie Talkies on film sets, music festivals, and construction areas.

Walkie Talkies are simple handheld portable communication devices. They utilize radio waves of a particular frequency for establishing communication over short and medium distances.

Each walkie-talkie is a battery-operated set consisting of a transmitter as well as a receiver for sending and receiving the radio waves. It also has a speaker and a microphone, as well as an antenna.

There are several factors which set Walkie Talkies apart from other types of communication devices. The following information depicts a comparison of Walkie Talkies with other radio technology as well as different types of mobile phones.

Walkie Talkies Vs Radios

A radio receiver is commonly known as a receiver, a wireless, or simply a radio. The radio receives information in the form of radio waves, which are then converted into a usable form.

These radio waves are intercepted by the antenna of the radio. Electronic filters separate signals of different frequencies so that only the signals of the desired frequency are intercepted by the antenna.

The radio also contains an electronic amplifier which increases the strength of the signals received for better processing. The radio waves are converted into tiny electronic currents from which the information is extracted.

Walkie TalkiesRadios
The most significant feature that sets Walkie Talkies apart from radios is that Walkie Talkies consist of a transmitter as well as a receiver. As a result, Walkie Talkies can both send and receive information in the form of radio waves.As suggested by the term used to refer to them, radio receivers, commonly known as radios, can only receive information transmitted in the form of radio waves.
Walkie Talkies are used as a means of two-way communication. Their applications include communication within the military, police force, aviation, and marine forces. They are also used for commercial purposes as kids’ toys or baby monitors.Radio receivers are a component of all electronic devices that utilize radio technology. By themselves, they are used for listening to broadcasts by radio stations. Apart from that, they are a component of devices such as televisions, remotes, and cell phones. In fact, radio receivers are a component of Walkie Talkies too since they partially fulfill the purpose of Walkie Talkies.

Walkie Talkies Vs CB Radios

Citizen band radios, commonly known as Cb Radios, are land mobile radio systems which allow two-way communication over a short distance. They are used by public safety organizations like the police force, ambulances, firefighters etc as well as by the general public.

Channels are exclusively dedicated for the use of Cb radios by public safety organizations. They allow half-duplex communication, meaning the transmission and receiving of data in the form of radio signals takes place one-by-one.

The Federal Communications Commission of the United States regulates the usage of Cb Radios. People of all ages are allowed to operate them, and there are barely any restrictions surrounding the usage of these radios.

Walkie TalkiesCB Radios
An important feature of Walkie Talkies is that they function on a fixed level of radiofrequency. This frequency varies across different Walkie Talkies depending on the purpose of their usage.Cb Radios operate within a spectrum of radio frequencies which can be spread across different radio bands. In the United States, Cb radios can be operated across 40 channels which are shared between the AM mode and the SSB mode of the radio.

Walkie Talkies Vs Ham Radios

Amateur radio, also known as ham radio, is a device that makes use of radiofrequency spectrum for non-commercial purposes. The use of ham radio does not lead to any monetary gains or rewards of a similar kind.

The use of the word ‘amateur’ explains the purpose of the operators of this radio. They have the authority as well as the interest to operate on the radio frequencies designated to them.

This allows the establishment of two-way communication between operators working on the same radio frequency.

Walkie TalkiesHam Radios
The biggest point of difference between Walkie Talkies and ham radios is their purpose. While both establish two-way communication between users, Walkie Talkies are used for commercial and professional purposes. They are used in the military, aviation, marine services, and police services. They are also available to the general public in the form of children’s toys and baby monitors.Ham radios or amateur radios, on the other hand, are not utilized for commercial purposes. They do not yield any monetary gains or similar rewards. Instead, they are used for research purposes, experimentations, private recreation, radiosport, and sometimes in case of emergency communication.
Another point of difference is that there is no licensing required for procuring the Walkie Talkies used for commercial purposes. They are available to be bought by the public from the outlets which sell them.Ham radios alway require obtainment of licensing for operating them. In the United States of America, ham radio licensing is strictly regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). The licensing is granted to people of all ages who display an understanding of the equipment related to ham radios as well as safe and legal use of them pertaining to the FCC regulations.

Walkie Talkies Vs Two-Way Radios

The concept of a two-way radio is quite similar to that of Walkie Talkies. Two-way radios are a type of radio technology that consist of both transmitters and receivers. As a result, they can send as well as receive signals transmitted in the form of radio waves.

The fundamental difference between Walkie Talkies and two-way radios is that while all Walkie Talkies are two-way radios, not all two-way radios are Walkie Talkies.

Two-way radios are generally considered to be a higher-end technology compared to Walkie Talkies. Hence, the advanced Walkie Talkies utilized for professional purposes are usually marketed as two-way radios.

Walkie TalkiesTwo-Way Radios
Walkie Talkies are always half-duplex. This means that the transmitter and the receiver of the walkie-talkie do not function simultaneously. The operations of sending and receiving radio signals are carried out by the device one-by-one. As a result, the people engaged in two-way communication through a walkie-talkie must speak to each other one-by-one.Two-way radios, on the other hand, can be half-duplex as well as full-duplex. An example of a half-duplex two-way radio is a walkie-talkie. However, the full-duplex two-way radios that exist are more advanced than Walkie Talkies. The transmitter and receiver of these devices work simultaneously. As a result, people engaged in two-way communication through a full-duplex two-way radio can talk to each other simultaneously.

Walkie Talkies Vs VHF

VHF stands for Very High Frequency. It is one of the several radio bands that operate within the radio spectrum. Radio bands are ranges of radio frequency and wavelength within which radio channels are designated to operate.

The International Telecommunications Union defines the frequency of VHF to be 30-300 MHz and the wavelength to be 10-1 meter. Radio technology devices that operate on this band of the radio spectrum are called VHF radios, or simply, VHF.

Walkie TalkiesVHF
Walkie Talkies do not have a designated radio band within which they function. Depending on the purpose and the complexity of individual Walkie Talkies, they are assigned different radio bands. VHF and UHF are the two common radio bands within which different Walkie Talkies function.As it is indicated by their name itself, VHF radios are called so because they function within the particular radio band of Very High Frequency.

Walkie Talkies Vs Satellite Phones

A satellite phone, also called a satellite telephone or a satphone, is a type of mobile phone that utilizes satellite technology for transmission of signals in the form of radio waves. It is different from regular cellphones in the sense that it does not utilize cellphone towers for signal transmission.

Companies either utilize Geosynchronous Satellites or Low Earth Orbit (LEO) systems for the satellite phones that they design. Each satellite covers a vast geographical area and is designed to process large amounts of data.

As a result, satellite phones have evolved from not just allowing voice calls, but also video streaming, texting, file sharing, and other services.

Walkie TalkiesSatellite Phones
Walkie Talkies are fitted with radio transmitters and receivers. As a result, the sending and receiving of information in the form of radio signals is carried out directly between two Walkie Talkies.As indicated by their name, satellite phones utilize satellite technology. This means that the information transmitted in the form of radio signals is first sent from the transmitting satphone to the designated satellite. Then the designated satellite processes the information and transmits it further to the satphone that is supposed to receive the data.
The direct sending and receiving of signals between Walkie Talkies results in no delays in the transmission of radio waves.Since satphones utilize satellites as a mediator technology in the transmission of radio signals between two devices, they result in a delay of approximately 250 milliseconds.

Walkie Talkies Vs Mobile Phones

Mobile phones have a variety of names. They are also known as cellphones, cellular phones, handphones, mobiles, cells, and phones. They are the most common communication technology used by the general public.

Mobile phones utilize cellular towers as mediator technology for the transmission of signals. The information exchanged between mobile phones is in the form of radio signals. The signals are transmitted from the sender phone to the designated cellphone tower.

The information is then processed by the cellphone tower and transmitted to the receiving phone. Mobile phones are full-duplex communication technology. As a result, the transmission and receiving functions are carried out by the phones simultaneously.

Walkie TalkiesMobile Phones
Walkie Talkies facilitate two-way communication over short and medium lengths of distance through direct transmission and receiving of signals between the two devices. Thus, Walkie Talkies cannot be used for communication over long distances, but they are an effective device of communication over a short and medium distance during times of disaster.Mobile phones facilitate two-way communication over a relatively longer distance subject to the availability of a cellphone tower. The use of cellphone towers as mediator technology for the transmission of signals means that mobile phones have lesser chances of allowing communication during times of disaster when cellphone towers might be damaged.
Walkie Talkies are strictly used for single-duplex voice communication. This means that users can only talk to each other, and that too cannot be done simultaneously.Mobile phones provide full-duplex communication as well as a variety of ways of communicating. This means that users can not only call each other and speak simultaneously but also avail other facilities like messaging, video conferencing etc.

Walkie Talkies Vs Intercoms

Intercom is the short form for intercommunication. An intercom, also called an interphone or a talkback, is an electronic device that provides two-way communication in the form of audio and/or video.

Intercoms are mainly used for communication within a building, a small collection of buildings, or a small area. The advent of mobile phones is resulting in a decline in intercom technology. A very common application of intercoms that we can see all around us is their use in home security systems.

Walkie TalkiesIntercoms
Walkie Talkies are always wireless. They transmit and receive information in the form of radio signals of a particular frequency depending on the band within which the walkie-talkie functions.Certain complex forms of intercom are two-way radios, and hence quite similar to Walkie Talkies. However, not all intercoms are similar to Walkie Talkies. Wireless intercoms do establish communication using radio signals. However, wired intercoms, which are more common, communicate through circuitry connecting the two interphones.

Final Comments:

With the development of communication technology, many have started considering Walkie Talkies outdated and excessively simple playthings. However, a detailed comparison of Walkie Talkies with various communication technologies clearly shows that Walkie Talkies hold certain advantages over many of them. It also clarifies that certain purposes are best-fitted to be fulfilled through the usage of Walkie Talkies.

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