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Nobody ever got fired for buying Motorola two-way radios?

May 2, 2016

The title of this post refers to a cliché statement a few two-way radio buyers would say to us over the years whenever we tried to get them to switch from Motorola two-way radios to another brand.

What they meant is that choosing Motorola two-way radios was a safe bet for them, as everyone was familiar with the brand. They knew that, even if they overpaid, or purchased radios with a bunch of features they didn’t need and would never use, that their bosses would just sign off on the orders without too much fuss.

But, is it true that blindly choosing Motorola is a safe bet for your company’s next two-way radio investment?

I think not, and I am going to explain to you a few reasons why.

How Motorola achieved dominance

Motorola has dominated the two-way radio industry for over 50 years. The way they were able to accomplish this was to be the first in innovation.

They invested countless dollars and engineering resources into improving the technology. Innovation does not come cheap, however. In order to protect their investments, they incorporated some proprietary features no other manufacturer could provide due to their intellectual property rights. This ensured they could sell their radios at a premium.

One of their biggest cash cows has been the Federal Government – and entity not known for efficient purchasing practices. In fact, the Feds have been subsidizing First Responder radio purchases for state and local agencies from Motorola since 1991 at an astronomical cost – even up to $6,000 per radio!

This is crazy!

What businesses really need

Although it is sad, no one is too surprised when the Federal Government wastes money like this. However, when I see this spill over into smaller agencies or the private sector, it leaves me scratching my head.

Businesses are constantly on the lookout for newer technology that can enhance their productivity. That being said, they also need to avoid overpaying for technology that they will never use. And this is the situation facing many Motorola two-way radio buyers.

I sell to over 80,000 businesses in the US, and I would say more than 90 percent of those businesses need only “push to talk” and “let go to listen” technology when it comes to two-way radios.


The fact that a radio can incorporate GPS, Bluetooth, Large Color Digital Displays, and a host of other really “gee-whiz” features should mean diddly squat to the 9 out of 10 businesses that don’t need them and will not use them even once.

So don’t fall into the trap of overspending for bells and whistles that are meaningless to your business.

A better choice

RCA, another very well-known brand in the electronics industry, is disrupting the two-way radio industry in a positive way. First, it offers its radios factory direct through us here at Discount Two Way-Radio, its North American distributor, which removes a layer of distribution and cost. Second, it also provides us with a large inventory of new radios, accessories, and repair parts so we can turn things around in 5 to 7 days -- much quicker than having to ship to the factory, which is the case with most Motorola dealers.

At the competition, new radio orders and repairs can take 30 to 45 days – and I have heard horror stories where the repair was closer to 90 days. Try explaining that delay away when your boss asks “Why did we choose Motorola two-way radios?”

You might just find out the hard way that someone could indeed get fired for purchasing Motorola!

Posted in: Industry Guides