Do I need a licence to use two way radios / walkie talkies?

 In this article we are going to cover the different licence types for two way radios (walkie talkies) and radio systems.

Two way radio are commonly known as walkie talkie, sometimes HAM radio and amateur radio.

In order to determine if you need a radio licence for your two way radio, there are a few things you need to consider;

  • Are you going to be transmitting from your two way radio?
  • Are the radio for business use?
  • Are you radios PMR446?

If you are transmitting with the radio (as opposed to monitoring) then you will need a  licence. The only exception to this rule is if you are operating PMR446 radiios (licence free radio) 

Related content: Licence free radio - pro's and cons

Do I need a radio licence?

Businesses using two way radio most certainly need a licence; insustries such as these would need an Ofcom licence to operate

  • Taxi firms
  • Leisure Centres
  • Hotels
  • Schools and Colleges
  • Hospitals
  • Industrial sites
  • Transporters
  • Hotels 
  • Oil Rigs

What type of licence do I need?

Simple UK light:

This licence authorises the use of hand-portable or mobile radio equipment anywhere within the UK. Base station use is not permitted. Licensees have access to fifteen frequencies, spread across four Business Radio frequency bands.  These must self-coordinate with other Simple UK Light licensees.

The licence fee is £75 for five years.

Simple Site Light:

This licence authorises the use of a radio system operating a base station and mobile stations within a small area (typically 1 kilometre or less). Frequencies available under this licence class are typically used for radio paging systems. Licensees have access to a range of frequencies and must self-coordinate with other Simple Site Light licensees.

The licence fee is £75 for five years.

Suppliers Light:

This licence is a specialist licence for radio suppliers and permits them to:

  • Service and repair business radio and marine equipment
  • Hire out business radio (including trunked business radio) and/or radio paging equipment to customers, for up to one year.
  • Allocate business radio (including trunked business radio) equipment to customers awaiting Business Radio licences, for up to three months (known as ‘parking’).
  • Demonstrate business radio (including trunked business radio) equipment to customers for up to eight days.

Licensees have access to a wide range of frequencies and must share and self-coordinate with other Suppliers Light licensees.

The licence fee is £75 for five years.

Technically Assigned:

This is a flexible licence that authorises the use of a wide variety of business radio equipment. Licensees can choose from a wide range of frequencies across all Business Radio bands and a wide range of coverage areas, from very small (e.g. in-building coverage) to very large (e.g. a county).

Licence fees are calculated on the basis of several factors; this includes the size of the coverage area and the popularity of the frequency band.

The licence fee ranges from £75 to £1480 for a single channel assignment.

Area Defined:

Area Defined licences give customers exclusive use of a frequency across either a 50km2 grid square, a country, or the whole of the UK. Licence fees are calculated using a combination of frequency width, frequency range and region covered.

As an example, a duplex 12.5kHz frequency between 450 and 470MHz to be used across the UK would cost £9,900. A duplex 12.5kHz frequency between 68 and 80MHz to be used across the UK would cost £3,300.

Availability of UK-wide channels is extremely limited above 165MHz, so if wish to purchase an Area Defined licence you should check spectrum availability with ofcom first.

Give us a call if you have other questions or need some help with your licencing needs.

Ofcom also have a FAQ section on their website that is filled with great information








information source: https://www.ofcom.org.uk/manage-your-licence/radiocommunication-licences/business-radio/guidance-for-licensees/business-radio-faqs
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