Myth-buster: Radio power
Three myths about radio power -- busted
Does a more powerful mobile radio enjoy better coverage? Does the base station hear the radio better? Will the radio itself perform better?
Well, not exactly...
"The radio with the most Watts will enjoy better coverage."
Mobile radios have more output power but that is not the main reason why they get service in places where handhelds struggle.
The main reason is that the mobile radio has an effective and long antenna that is ideally positioned.
Another reason is that the mobile is not blocked by the user's body, which can seriously attenuate the signal for handheld radios.
"The base station cannot hear a lesser-Watt radio."
You don't have to shout to be heard.
A good, sensitive base station, such as the TB3-series TETRA base stations, will listen well. The base station will hear especially well if it is equipped with the recommended antenna solution.
TB3-series base stations can "hear" radios transmitting with lower power.
The radios' batteries will also last longer when they transmit with lower power.
"It's best always to use the radio with highest possible power."
Sometimes it's not possible for the radio to shout!
The network operator usually defines a maximum transmission power for the radios. This figure may vary from one base station to another.
So, when a radio registers to a base station, it gets this maximum power definition and will not transmit using more power. Even when it could!
In other words, a radio will use exactly the amount of power that the network lets it use.
More powerful radios are not always the best way to achieve the most effective and efficient communications.
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