It is often forgotten that radio is a relatively new form of communication. We have moved so far in terms of digital communication in the last couple of decades that it is hard to believe the first commercial radio transmission was not until the 1920’s – just 100 years ago. With the mass migration to digital systems, many forecast the death of radio as a medium. This could not have been further from the truth and overlooks the importance of radio as a concept. 

Radio has itself moved across to the digital world. DAB radio is an option in many places, but it’s a different type of digital radio that we are talking about in this article. We are looking at Digital Mobile Radio – or DMR – and if you want some interesting DMR radio facts and figures, that link is a good introduction. We’re going to explain what DMR is, the various functions within DMR, who uses DMR, and what you need to know to use it yourself. 

We’ll begin with a simple explanation of what DMR is. 

What Exactly Is DMR?

Digital Mobile Radio is a form of communication radio that operates within the digital spectrum. It is becoming more widely used as people and businesses recognize its purpose.

DMR is a simplified radio communication method that is most used for one-to-one communication. The most popular are hand-held DMR units used by many businesses and industries. To understand DMR, you need to know about the various ‘tiers’ of DMR, which is your first introduction to DMR jargon. 

What is Meant by DMR Tiers?

Let us introduce you to DMR and tiers 1 to 3. The European Telecommunications Standard Institute (ESTI) effectively governs DMR and has set down three specific tiers under which it operates. These are: 

  • Tier I: This includes unit-to-unit, unlicensed transmission on public frequencies. DMR Tier 1 is most commonly used by individuals and small businesses looking for short-distance coverage.
  • Tier II: This licensed conventional DMR system aims to replace a conventional analog system. It offers a wide-range coverage and high-power communications.
  • Tier III: DMR trunking systems support packet data services, including IPv4 and IPv6 formats. This tier is aimed at organizations looking to benefit from trunking, voice, and data solutions. 

Think of the tiers as classes of use, and you are on the right track. Next, we want to talk about how to use DMR and who uses this form of radio. 

How to Use DMR

DMR is designed to be simple to use, but there are some steps you need to take before you start using the system. Before you go ahead and purchase your DMR sets, you must make sure that the DMR network covers the area you wish to operate in. You’ll also need to follow these steps:

  • You will need to learn DMR jargons to avoid confusion, and we have covered some below.
  • Digital mobile radio does not require a permit or license. You will need a Radio ID, which may be obtained from Your ID will be sent to you by email within 24 hours. 
  • Once you receive your Radio ID, you will need to program it into your radio, instructions will be given. 
  • Next, you will need DMR-capable equipment. Check out the first we gave you for some recommended options. 
  • You will also require a programming cable and PC software compatible with your DMR transceiver. 
  • Once you have purchased all the equipment, you’re free to program your radio to benefit from an extensive range of frequencies. Programming instructions will be supplied with your DMR device.

If you’re interested in DMR, you are likely to fall into one of the categories in the next section.

Who Uses DMR? 

There is no doubt that the future of radio communication is digital. DMR users get clearer and more direct sound than analog and access to the likes of GPS solutions that come with digital devices. So, who are the users of DMR? Here are a few examples:

  • Staff at airports, railway stations, large warehouses, shops, malls, and any similar where one-to-one radio communication is used.
  • Security teams covering buildings, construction sites, and anywhere needing protection often use DMR.
  • Restaurants, hotels, and other hospitality providers are customers of DMR.
  • Any business that covers various floors will utilize DMR as analog will not be sufficient.

It can also be used by hobbyists, at sports stadiums, and anywhere that communication by analog systems is not good enough. Any business or municipal building may issue the doorperson, for example, with DMR to communicate with security or other departments. Now let’s check out some of the unique DMR languages that explain the processes of using DMR.

DMR Jargon

As with ham and CB radio – two other amateur forms of radio communication – DMR has its jargon for certain features. The following are essential to understand:

  • DMR ID, as mentioned earlier, is the unique radio code that identifies you as a user. 
  • Your Code plug is a file including all of your radio’s settings, talk groups, contacts, and repeater information generated within Microsoft Excel. 
  • Talk groups are stored in the contact section of the code plug. They cover national and international links, and you can choose those you want to be a member of.

These are just a few of the phrases you will become more familiar with as you use your DMR set regularly. Let’s finish by looking at what we have learned and why DMR has an important place in the future of radio communication.


DMR is a largely one-to-one radio communication system entirely within the digital spectrum. Thanks to the convenience and clear transmissions, it is used by various businesses and other operators in place of the older and less reliable analog system it may eventually replace entirely. So, whether you plan on buying a DMR, a Ham, or a CB radio, you can find them all at online cb shops like Walcott Radio.