The range of a two way radio or walkie-talkie actually depends on a multitude of factors. These prohibitive issues can be things like the radio’s transmit power, the quality of the in-built antenna and even the amount of potential obstacles to block signal.
As we will discuss further in this article different types of radios work better in certain environments. UHF (Ultra-High Frequency is any radio frequency range between 300 MHz and 3GHz) radios, tend to work better in urban or indoor environments than their VHF (Very High Frequency is any radio frequency range between 30 MHz and 300MHz) counterparts. Using the right kind of radio in the right kind of situation can be a major factor in your radio’s performance.
A good general guide is to expect a business walkie talkie working in simplex operation to talk about 1-2 KM (1-1.5 Miles) of coverage. We do have a number of customers that do experience further distances, but I think it’s important to give the standard distance rather that the optimal distance. This would be for business grade 4 watt UHF radios or 5 watt VHF radio frequencies.
As the statement above says, there are radios that boast a higher operating distance (apparently even some that claim an optimal distance of 30 miles!). Frankly, this is unlikely to actually be the case. Whilst it is theoretically possible for a two-way radio signal to reach that far, the sheer amount of obstacles, signal interferences and technical gremlins hampering your progress, render attempts at such a feat of signal strength to be fools errands.
If you are desperately in need of a radio that works longer distances, you can purchase a repeater, which is a powerful extra radio that boosts your signal over much longer distances. They work by communicating on one frequency and transmitting on a second. The Radio is then programmed to transmit on the first frequency and receive on the second, with the repeater powered by 240v and commonly attached to an antenna the range is doubled and sometimes quadrupled. However, these can be very expensive and also require a license in most countries
Another option would be to rent airtime from your local radio dealer. For a small monthly charge, you should be able to boost your signal coverage exponentially. It won’t be as powerful as a repeater, but it should be enough to cover most of your needs. Once again, for a more specific estimate, you would need to contact a local dealer.
Unfortunately, two-way radio systems are affected by a great many variables. A system that might work brilliantly in one location may be a shambles in another. Picking the right radio for the right working environment is a choice that simply cannot be rushed. Ultimately, the choice has to be an informed one.