Licence-Free or Licenced?
PMR446 UHF radios are an ideal and low cost introduction to two-way radio communcations for on-site and field use,and are more than suitable for a wide number of applications.
PMR446 is designed to operate over a nominally small area, (dont believe some claims of “8 km range” when in the real environment - and the range is determined by a number of factors including the topography of operation, power and whats in the way. As a rough guide all radios will work well in an open environment but range will be more limited when there are obstacles to what is in essence an electro-magnetic wave (just like light). Multi storey buildings or thick concrete/steel walls will cut down a radios signal so its always a good idea to test the coverage before committing to one particular type of equipment. PMR446 radios transmit 500mW (0.5W) compared to licenced radios using 5W so as the power is greater then the range is generally greater with a licenced unit. In addition PMR446 is a shared service across EU, so there are many many radios in the field and interference may be heard on occasion.
We are always more than happy to advise on which is the best solution for you, subject to your needs and budget.
With the exception of PMR446 which is Licence-Free across most of the EU, and some 2.4GHz equipment, all radio transmitting equipment must have a licence, must meet the strict regulations for CE approval and be supplied by an Ofcom authorised supplier (Wireless telegraphy Act 2006). The responsibility for obtaining and maintaining a suitable licence rests with the user and the penalties for not having a licence can be severe including confiscation of equipment, hefty fines and inprisonment.
Red Radio are authorised by Ofcom to supply licenced radio equipment, and service all equipment, and can assist with all aspects of licencing and all our equipment is fully tested and certified.
Over the last few years Ofcom have made licencing much simpler and more cost effective, with a range of licences to suit various applications - from simple on-site communications to wide area linked equipment. The main licences available are:
- Business Radio Simple Site Light Licence
Allows use of a base station and portables/mobile units within a small geographical area (typically <1km). Channels are non exclusive (from an allocation of channels, shared, and with possible risk of interference but co-ordinated by us in your area for best fit). Licence cost is £75 for a 5 year period.
- Business Radio Simple UK Light Licence
Allows use of portables/mobile units, but NO base unit, anywhere in UK. Channels are non exclusive (from an allocation of channels, shared, and with possible risk of interference but co-ordinated by us in your area for best fit). Licence cost is £75 for a 5 year period.
- Business Radio Technically Assigned Licence
A more complex licence allowing on-site or wide area fixed base equipment or talk-through (Repeater) equipment and portables/mobile units running higher power. Channels are exclusive (useful when a specific requirement for privacy such as security). Licence cost is typically £75 for a 1 year period, but determined on application subject to location in UK.
We can assist with all Licence applications, and can generally speed up the process of you application. In addition, if you need to be up and running in a hurry, we can supply your new equipment on a “parking” channel, pending your licence approval. there is no charge for this, or re-programming your equipment once your Licence has been approved, subject to site visit or carriage charges.
Call for details.