It Used To Be All Talk, But Now There’s So Much More To Two-Way Radio

With 25 years under his belt at Avoira, radio workshop manager Simon Clark has seen great change. It’s all for the better he says, with greater diversity of challenge, opportunity and technology.

Over some 25 years with Avoira – or Pennine Telecom as was back in the day – I’ve seen some pretty dramatic change.

The technology has really moved on and for us radio engineers that has brought new challenges and opportunities. This, I would argue, is all for the good.

I’ve always enjoyed the variety of my role. With the incredibly diverse client base which Avoira serves, every day is different. One Monday you could be working in a shoe shop, Tuesday a nuclear power plant or racetrack. The task could be a simple two-way radio hire for a local event, or being the first in the world to implement a new digital trunked system at a huge shipyard.

My job has taken me to places I’d never otherwise have been or seen.

But it’s the way technology has changed and converged which is really opening doors for engineers. This means that in terms of technical challenge and career opportunities, there’s never been a more exciting time to join the industry.

In my early days two-way radio was, quite literally, all talk. As a young QC engineer I’d be sat at the bench tuning radios by changing crystals and retuning just for the use of push to talk, release to listen.

Since then we’ve seen analogue systems usurped by more powerful and flexible digital systems. Telephone interconnect is a fairly standard requirement with wider integration into unified communications (UC) platforms increasingly demanded.

In fact our radio engineers now find themselves working on projects that span a range of disciplines and technologies.

A client might need any one or combination of a two-way radio system wireless network, command and control solution, task management platforms, telephony…

They might need a wide area network, a single structure multi-site solution, trunked radio…

There might be health and safety considerations such as ATEX risks, lone working and man down alerts.

It’s all a very long way from PTT.

As a business Avoira is very much geared up for this. Whilst Pennine’s roots lay in radio – we began life as a Motorola service agent – the business has long since diverged to embrace wider specialisms.

Having become an established and respected player within the telephony, IT, cloud and UC spheres, we offer an impressive range of embedded, interdisciplinary expertise.

The creation of Avoira further strengthens the attractiveness of our proposition. Here I’m talking not just about our appeal to existing and potential clients, but employees too.

Yes the broadening of the business and the resources it offers is driven by the need to best serve our customers as their demands change. But it also provides engineers with more variety and stimulation in their day-to-day work.

The advance of multi-disciplinary solutions brings with it opportunities to develop skills beyond radio. And as an enlarged business fluent in many technologies, Avoira can offer broader opportunities for career development.

It is, I can assure you, a world apart from my crystal days at the bench back in the 90s. That’s a good thing.

Don’t get me wrong. I enjoyed those days and the subsequent challenges that came with both technological change and my own career development. But for an aspiring engineer today, the prospects have never been more enticing.

Find out more about careers with Avoira.