Like the AM or FM radio in your car or home stereo, your business two-way radio can be designed to receive and broadcast on either UHF or VHF frequencies. UHF and VHF is simply the frequency band that your radio is communicating on. There are performance benefits and disadvantages of each. Having said that, unless you reside in a rural area or your organisation have an existing VHF radio channel, most new to two way radio users will most likely operate in the UHF radio spectrum.
What are the performance differences between UHF and VHF?
UHF radio broadcasts, like FM radio broadcasts, give better building penetration performance, due to UHF's shorter wavelength compared with VHF. Therefore, UHF is the most common frequency band that metropolitan business radios will use. UHF includes both public (CB Channels) and private business frequencies available for your radio to broadcast on.
VHF like AM radio, gives better radio coverage over long distances due to VHF's longer wave length compared with UHF. However, VHF radio has weaker building penetration strength compared with UHF. Therefore, VHF is most commonly used by farms, rural mining projects or users who are prepared to sacrifice in-building coverage, for better outdoor coverage over longer distances. VHF has no public frequencies available, therefore, VHF radios can only broadcast on private or licenced frequencies.
"I've heard that a CB radio is a UHF radio".
CB Radios, or Citizen Band Radios, refer to the radio's ability to broadcast and receive transmissions on the Public, Citizen Band Channels (80 CB Channels) in the UHF spectrum. When you buy a "CB radio" or "CB Walkie Talkie" at your consumer electronics store such as Dick Smith, JB Hi-Fi etc., you are buying a radio that can communicate on the 80 CB channels ONLY. These walkie talkie devices offer no private / licenced channel capabilities. They are in effect toy radios, or personal use radios, to be used on the occasional camping trip or purchased in order to talk to truck drivers on the road, but consumer CB radios are not business communication devices.
Radio Warehouse DO NOT recommend that you purchase a CB radio if wanting to use the radio for business use UNLESS the radio has the joint ability for us to program our Onsite 8™ Team Channels or a Private Licence Channel onto the device.
The hybrid "prosumer" radios that offer both consumer 80 CB channel access and private commercial channel programming abilities, include (in no order of preference) the Icom IC-41Pro, Kenwood TK-3710 or Wireless Pacific Go Pro™. These radios are built to a far higher commercial and government specification than the toy CB radios you will find purchase elsewhere... the bubble packs, the "2 for $99" specials etc.
If you need any further independent advice, please feel free to contact our solutions team. They earn no commission and will give you advice that's right for your business. Unlike other many other online stores out there, Radio Warehouse are fully authorised dealers of every solution we sell.