Knowledge Base
Answers to Your Questions about Radio and Wireless Voice Communications

PMR 446 Advantages

Aaron Ward
09 February 2016

PMR 446 radios on paper at least have lower specification than licensed radios but this article explains their advantages and why they should be considered as a communications system for small sites such as shops, schools and small businesses.

No licensing. No bills to OFCOM ever.
PMR446 requires no licence to operate. OK the Ofcom Simple UK licence is only £75 for five years but it only gives you access to three UHF frequencies. These are shared with thousands for other users. PMR446 give access to 8 analogue and 32 digital channels. Range is less so the likelihood of interference is much less too. A private OFCOM channel is going to cost you at least £75 per year. Much more in some urban areas.

Lower Cost
For a professional quality PMR446 radio the like-for-like cost comparison with a licensed version is usually slightly lower in cost.

Better Battery Life
Battery life is almost double that of the Licensed radio. The lower transmit power is much less demanding on batteries which typically last 5 years or more.

Can be used anywhere in Europe.
If you run a business that takes you outside the UK PMR446 is pretty much the only option to using radios abroad. Otherwise licensed radios need to be licensed on a per-country basis which can be extremely expensive.

Common arguments against PMR446.

Too Much Interference.
PMR446 interference is only an issue to those who have bought radios that have not been correctly configured away from the factory settings. Correctly configured you will almost never hear other users. Wildtalk always configures PMR446 radios away from the factory settings. The digital PMR446 channels are almost certainly never to suffer interference.

Poor Range
This can be an issue on larger sites. Trying PMR446 before going along the Licensed radio route may show range is not an issue at all. If Wildtalk suggests to a customer Licence Free as the best solution and range is an issue we will fully refund.

They are no more than Child's Toys.
A quick look at the range and specification of PMR 446 radios from Kenwood, Icom, Hytera and many other makes will show that they are identical to their licensed counterparts in build quality and reliability and have been and will continue to be a professional solution for UK and European businesses.

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