Case Study
Enhance Construction Industry Communication with Icom Two-Way Radio



Close to 6.5 million people working among 252,000 construction sites across the U.S. on any given day,* construction is certainly a mega-industry that is crucial to our nation’s expansion. Construction spending in the U.S. topped $1.23 trillion in in 2017 and it only continues to grow. Yet, it’s an industry often known for missed deadlines and surpassing budgets. 

Enhancing communication is one way construction operations can more effectively manage their teams and projects to get the job done in a timely manner while coming in under budget. Here we’ll discuss why communication within the construction industry can be a challenge and how to overcome it by using Icom two-way radios

Communication Needs Within the Construction Industry

From small residential construction projects to highly-visible and large-scale capital improvement projects, communication plays a vital role in the project getting done correctly, safely and within the expected timeframe. And according to Construct Connect, poor communication within such a collaborative industry can result in misunderstandings that will only lead to delays and going over the pre-determined budget.

In fact, this article from ProCore shares that “large projects across asset classes typically take 20 percent longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80 percent over budget.”

Though there are many reasons for this outcome, they go on to share that timely and inclusive information sharing is important to avoid it. Communication within a complex construction environment will only increase the efficiency and success of the project.  


Communication Challenges That May Arise

It isn’t just the largest projects that are faced with communication challenges, however, EMJ Corp quotes an FMI survey of 600 construction leaders sharing that poor communication and poor project data account for 48 percent of all rework on U.S. construction projects – leading to projects that take too long and cost too much. 

  1. Can be difficult to maintain communication within a large group
  2. Communication isn’t relayed in a timely manner
  3. Discussions are too broad instead of focusing on one specific outcome with follow-up
  4. Not everyone who has stake in the project is receiving the necessary communication
  5. It takes too long to talk to everyone involved
  6. The construction industry moves fast and it can be hard to keep up with speaking to each necessary party
  7. Crew members aren’t actively listening and miss important instructions
  8. Questions are left unanswered due to lack of time
  9. The environment is too noisy

Of course, there are many more, but these are the most reported issues in maintaining proper communication among construction crews. 

Overcoming Communication Issues Within the Construction Industry

One of the easiest ways to overcome the most common barriers to proper communication within the construction industry is to ensure the information necessary is relayed effectively. That means speaking directly to every person who will be involved in that particular aspect of the project. Well, it sounds like it should be easy, but clearly there is a lot of disconnect that goes on. 

In order to be able to follow through with this recommendation, having the ability to communicate with each of those people as quickly as possible and without all the red-tape is key.

Avoiding the middleman and going for direct, immediate communication is best. So, how can that be done within a large worksite where there may be tens or hundreds of crew members spread out far and wide (or perhaps straight up)?

In our article, Two-Way Radios that Enhance Safety and Service Levels, we share that two-way radios enhance safety and service levels for a wide range of industries and events, including construction.

When each member is equipped with their own two-way radio, communication can happen quickly and with ease. Questions are able to be answered in real-time, avoiding situations where decisions may be made without having the proper information or go-ahead. 

Icom Two-Way Radios for Push-to-Talk Instant Communication

A slew of two-way radios to outfit an entire team can seem like an overwhelming cost on an already tight budget, which is why this important piece of equipment is sometimes underutilized. But when project and construction managers take time to understand how a lack of communication can quickly cause projects to go overbudget (or worse yet, lead to injuries on the job), they often realize that it’s an investment worth making.

These are just a few of the ways that two-way radios can improve communication on a job site:

  1. Talk with the push of a button – You may think a cell phone is good enough, but too often the person on the other end of the line just presses “ignore.” It’s easy for the other person to think it can wait. Or you may end up in a long chain of text messages that allow for anything but simple communication. Push-to-talk is simple and effective.
  2. Clear audio and reception – The other downside of a cell phone is that service may be compromised in certain areas of the worksite. Or, the person on the other end of the line can’t be heard due to all the surrounding noise. Icom two-way radios are made with features that can suppress background noise so a clear conversation can be had. 
  3. Made to handle tough conditions – Many two-way radios were made with the construction industry in mind. With water-resistant casings and dust-tight construction, you can be sure it can stand up to whatever you put it through on the job. 
  4. Create Talk Groups – Perhaps the largest benefit to using a two-way radio within a construction site, is the ability to relay information to a large group at one time. No need to get everyone on a Zoom call in the office, or make phone calls one-by-one, instead your message can be relayed quickly and effectively to every person who needs to be involved. Icom’s LTE-CONNECT system is one that allow for almost unlimited talkgroups.
  5. Get NOAA weather channel alerts – The safety of your team comes first. NOAA weather alerts on a two-way radio are useful during outdoor construction projects and can be potentially life-saving.

It’s easy to see how using such a simple piece of technology can make a huge difference to the bottom line of a construction project. When a client wants results and they want them delivered on time and within budget, sacrificing a bit of the budget for key communication such as Icom two-way radios for all is really a no-brainer.

Icom Two-Way Radios for Construction

If these sound like walkie-talkies for the professional, you’d be right. And in doing a search, you’ll quickly realize that the options are vast. With as many two-way radios available, it can difficult to narrow down what’s best for your team.  


Icom F3210D

Best for Noisy Areas

In the field of construction, the most basic of two-way radios won’t do. Instead, you’ll likely require extended reach over a larger area that also offers supreme audio in noisy conditions. Because of its built-in bridge-tied load amplifier, audio output is powerful and clear from the large embedded speaker. Other features include:

  • Push-to-Talk
  • Individual/Group Call
  • Digital Voice Scrambler
  • Talk around function
  • Surveillance function
  • Hands-free Operation capability
  • Roaming scan for the best connection

Icom IP501H

Best for Wide Area Coverage over LTE

If wider area coverage using LE (4G) and 3G networks is what you require, this is the two-way radio you need. Smooth, telephone style conversations are possible with this handheld that boasts individual calls, group calls and all calls just like a standard two-way radio. Multiple users are able to initiate calls and it is not necessary to check or wait for channel availability. Other feature include:

  • Emergency buttons – lone worker and man down functions; can even break into calls to transmit a time-sensitive message
  • IP67 for waterproof and dust-tight construction
  • High quality and clear audio using G.726 Vocoder
  • Voice message recording
  • Text message reception
  • Can be turned into a mobile for wireless speaker-microphone capability

Icom IC-Sat 100 PTT

Best for Satellite Push-to-Talk Communication


If your construction zone is in a remote, isolated area void of cellular or landline network infrastructure, you’ll need a two-way radio that functions over a satellite network. The Icom IC-Sat 100 PTT utilizes the unmatched Iridium satellite network that provides 100% global coverage. This is different than a satellite phone in that users can immediately start talking to all radios in the same talkgroup with just a push of a button. This is ideal for many industries including construction. Other features include:

  • One-to-many communications
  • Functions anywhere on the planet, even at the poles
  • Low-latency communication
  • IP67 waterproof and dust-tight construction
  • 1500 mW provides loud and clear communication
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Short data message function
  • Provides secure conversations with AES 256-bit encryption

If you require a fixed-mount solution for communicating remotely, we recommend the IC-SAT 100M PTT. Managing a construction project and crew in a remote location can be challenging and will require the proper satellite devices. We recommend you check out our resource guide: Best Satellite Devices for Construction.

More land mobile two-way radio products can be found at Icom America


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