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Licencing of Radios

Aaron Ward
01 August 2015


In most countries worldwide, most kinds of wireless or radio transmitting devices require licensing with the local radio licensing authority. There are exceptions for example Bluetooth, Wifi etc but these system are usually fairly short range devices compared to two-way radio systems which potentially can cover huge areas and could create interference to other users.

In the UK voice radio systems fall into two categories.

  • Licence-free (PMR446) radios. These can be used across the UK and Europe without notifying the licensing authorities. Compared to licensed radios PMR446 radios have some restrictions as to their capabilities which limits them only to use in Back-to-Back Systems systems.

  • Licensed radios are more adaptable to larger systems because they can work through Base Station Systems and with Repeater Systems to extend their range to cover huge areas. Licences in the UK are issued by OFCOM and the fee paid for by the licensee direct to them. Your radio supplier will normally apply for the appropriate licence on your behalf.

  • Ofcom Online Licensing Online Licensing  (Radiocommunications Licences)
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