from what i learned from my military training to be a radio guy, a simple radio, like the vox, could have a range of up to 40Km in perfect conditions (cold day, clear blue sky, large antenna ontop of large hill.) but, average is 25-30km. throw on a power amp from a vehicle, and you can boost that out to roughly 200km. anything over that, you suffer from line of sight degredation, basically the earth is round, and straight lines go straight. so i can see the imperiam putting out relay stations every 100kms to bounce the signal around the planet.
talking to a ship is easy, have enough power, aim a directional antenna up in the general direction of the ship, and boom, your good. granted, weather and radiation will screw the signal so youll end up with static, but nothing too annoying.
for short range ship to ship commo, ie within 1000km, and in the void of space, radio is good due to lack of interference of planetary weather. only have to track solar flares which release xray, gamma rays, UV rays, basically, if its a ray, itll mess with commo. but, a simple computer program that can read the frequencies of the rays can adjust the distortion and make it better.
anything out beyond 1000K, you start to suffer from lag due to distance. (just did some research about speed of radio in space [its 186,000mps=speed of light]) it takes radio waves 8 minutes to go from earth to sun and back. imagine being in ultramar phoning in to terra letting them know that the red 'nids are coming! it would be almost the 42 millenium before a response was sent.