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The difference between unlicenced and licenced two way radios!

Licence-Free Two Way Radios:

The benefits of having a licence free radio include having the ability to use them straight away. It’s just a matter of turning them on out of the box!

Licence free radios are ideal for smaller sites, businesses or anyone who doesn’t need large areas of coverage.  Depending on the environment licence free radios should be able to provide enough coverage to support your needs, but this does vary significantly as radio waves travel line of sight.  This means the more obstacles in the way such as trees, buildings and hills the more your coverage will be reduced.

Licence free radios are perfect for anyone who is buying them for leisure e.g. hiking, road trips or skiing!

The disadvantages of using licence-free radios is that other people and businesses may use the same frequency which in turn will mean you can receive and hear unwanted conversations, which also means others may be able to hear yours. The use of additional CTCSS & DCS codes on the better quality license free radios will reduce this enormously though.

Our top licence free radios include:


Licenced Two Way Radios:

By having a two way radio with a licence this allows you to have a frequency in which you can use your higher powered two way radios more securely and legally within your given specific area. Licences are obtained from Ofcom and we are very happy to assist with the complete process as they vary technically as well as their costs.

Once you have received your licence Ofcom will provide you a frequency that your radios can be programmed to transmit and receive on.  Depending on the type of license and availability, Ofcom will attempt to give you a frequency which other radio users shouldn’t be using within a certain distance of your business.  Once using your radios if you do suffer interference from other users, Ofcom will investigate and offer an alternative frequency if there is one available.

Because Licenced radios are legal to operate with more power they will provide a greater distance than their PMR446 license free equivalents, however they do still suffer the same limitations explained with obstacles reducing range.  If you need a larger coverage with licensed radios we can apply for a repeater frequency which is not available in licensed free.

Some disadvantages to licenced radios are that they can be higher in cost when compared with licence free radios, but this needs to be offset against the many benefits.  Licenced radios also need to be specifically programmed by us to your channel. This will be done as part of the purchasing process via specialist software programming.

Our top licenced radios include:


If you wish to find out more about licencing or to have us manage your radio licence, contact us today!

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Our Staff

Our staff are available 9:00 - 17:30 on 01628 878 066 to answer your questions.