Over the last 10 years tourguide systems have become a standard part of tourist services provided by travel agencies, museums and individual guides. However, not all guides or tour operators realise that the tourguide system purchased isn’t necessarily suitable for every country they organise trips for.
Unfortunately there are not too many universal frequency ranges worldwide that do not require a licence. It also often happens that the permitted ranges are subject to change whether due to security policy (e.g. in the US after 9/11) or to the range being allocated to other services (e.g. LTE telephone signal).
Unfortunately most of the popular tourguide system models are produced on one of 2 or 3 lower UHF ranges, e.g. 863-865MHz for Europe or 794-806MHz for most Asian countries. For tourist agencies running trips outside of Europe this causes problems as duplicate tourguide systems are required meaning higher costs. Even if trips to Asia are mainly in autumn/winter and European trips are more spring/summer it is still necessary to purchase two sets on different frequencies.
At present (and there is nothing to suggest that this will change) the only global universal unlicensed range is 2.4GHz (a de facto range of 100MHz which is quite wide in current modern technology).
A tourguide system operating on a 2.4GHz band may seem ideal for tour operators who take tourists to different parts of the world.
Unfortunately however, digital 2.4GHz systems haven’t been too popular so far among guides and travel agencies. This is not only due to the higher costs in relation to the traditional models but also due to the significantly lower range. For example, the range of Okayo digital models such as the DGT-2400 or WT-600 is just 30-40 metres. This is a serious drawback compared to the popular Okayo WT-300 (analogue model on 863-865MHz frequency) which is over 100 metres.
Things have changed this year due to the return of the brand mGuide (MEXPO’s own brand, a leading distributor of tourguide and audioguide equipment in Europe) and the new digital tourguide system model – the mGuide DLR-01 (Digital Long Range).
The DLR has a range of over 150 metres which more than meets the needs of the most demanding clients. Furthermore, the mGuide DLR comes equipped with a very practical 2-way communication option in full duplex between 2 transmitters operating on the same channel. This means two tour leaders or a tour leader and guide can speak to the group simultaneously or also add some background music.