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Okay, tech folk, I'm hearing all about Zello since people are using it during the hurricanes.

I know there are open channel that anyone can listen to but can you have private conversations on it as well? If so, could this be another addition regarding ways to communicate back home for little or no cost?

Posted by
30958 posts

Frank II,

I've only had a brief look at Zello and from what I can see, these are some of the features.....

  • Zello requires either cellular or Wi-Fi service to operate, probably uses VoIP technology, and probably similar to IRLP (Internet Radio Linking Project) invented by a B.C. Amateur Radio Operator.
  • It's probably not much different than Facetime, Viber or other apps.
  • If there is no internet access, there will be no Zello service.
  • If no Wi-Fi available, it may use cellular data which of course will incur charges for those roaming with their home cell networks.
  • Users can set up "channels" that are either private or shared with a group of users. Moderators can be used to control traffic on the channels.
  • It won't provide communications in areas where all communications infrastructure is "down" (only Amateur Radio or similar techonology can do that).

I'll have to do a bit of further research on it.

Posted by
30958 posts

The Zello service appears to operate somewhat like this.....

In order to use Zello, I assume anyone you wanted to communicate with would also have to download the App. It's probably not something I'd ever use, as I can have a full duplex conversation using Viber or Facetime, so I can't see any advantage for half duplex.