The walkie-talkie is the second most used voice communications equipment after the mobile-phone. GRID Communications offers a wide range of walkie-talkies to suit different users. Regardless of the type of walkie-talkies, it is therefore essential to familiarise oneself with the dos and don’ts when using walkie-talkies. This will help improve the overall users’ experience when communicating using walkie-talkies. For walkie-talkies communication to be clear, concise, succinct and operate smoothly, certain procedures or etiquette should be observed.
Basic Walkie-Talkie Usage Etiquette Rules
• Speak clearly and slowly. Communication over the walkie-talkie isn’t always as clear as when communicating face-to-face. Generally, speaking audibly at a slightly higher pitch then normal and directly into the microphone would enhance clarity when communicating over walkie-talkies. Use adequate pauses where necessary.
• Listen before speaking. Allow the other party to finish speaking before interrupting unless it is an emergency.
• Be precise, brief and straight to the point. Long sentences can be difficult to understand over walkie-talkies. Break up long sentences into shorter ones.
• Follow the voice procedure that your organisation has set. This would avoid miscommunication when using walkie-talkies within organisation.
• Do answer all calls promptly when they are for you. As walkie-talkie communications are mostly work-related, it is important to respond promptly when calls are received.
• Use Phonetic Alphabets when spelling words over walkie-talkies. The use of Phonetic Alphabets can help to avoid ambiguity when spelling words over the walkie-talkies. For example, RSVP should be spoken as “Romeo Sierra Victor Papa” when clarity is needed. A list of the internationally recognised phonetic alphabets is shown in table A below.
• Perform walkie-talkie checks to ensure that the radio is in good working condition. Checks such as volume, battery strength and signal strength should be performed on a regular basis. For extended usage of the walkie-talkie in the field, do carry spare batteries where charging of the expended battery is not possible.
• The international radio language is English, except in cases where you are licensed to speak in some other languages.
• When using a two-way radio you cannot speak and listen at the same time, as you can with a phone.
• In a group call situation, do not respond if you are not sure that the call is for you. Wait until you hear your call sign to respond.
• Unless using walkie-talkies that are encrypted (such as GRID’s TETRA system) for secured communication, do not transmit sensitive or confidential information. Non secured walkie-talkies can easily be eavesdropped as frequencies are shared.
• Do not conduct unnecessary talks over the walkie-talkies. Unnecessary talks are not only annoying to the other users but could also prevent more important calls from coming in.