What are PMR446 walkie-talkies?
PMR446 (Personal Mobile Radio, 446 MHz) is an open radio frequency for licence-free two-way radio communications in the European Union.
The frequency is free to use, but it is limited in range than licensed frequencies. Unlicensed radios are ideal for small sites, indoor and line-of-sight outdoor communications. There are two types of PMR446 services available to users; these signals are analogue and digital.
Analogue – the analogue PMR446 service is harmonized throughout Europe. This allows analogue two-way radios from the UK to be ready for use in any EU country on a license-free basis.
Digital – the digital PMR446 signal is not harmonized throughout Europe. This means that any digital unlicensed radio purchased in the UK will not be compliant for use within the EU. This is because the digital PMR446 service is able to facilitate the transmission of data which would be subject to regulation.
What is the range of a PMR446 Walkie-talkie?
The range of a PMR446 unlicensed two-way radio dependent on variables such as location, terrain and weather conditions under which you are communicating.
So, the maximum range of the radios depend on ideal conditions – typically referred to as ‘hilltop to hilltop’ . However, the range is obstructed in heavily urbanized or dense woodland areas. Consequently, trees, walls, hills and even the weather can affect the range of your radio.
Therefore in most conditions, a 0.5w unlicensed radio can realistically achieve a range of 0.5 miles, following the rule of thumb of one mile per watt.
What other technical information is there on PMR446?
Finally, unlicensed radios transmit between 446.0 and 446.1 MHz and digital dPMR/DMR cover 446.1-446.2 MHz on an analogue service.
Most of our two-way radios transmit through analogue signals. Analogue PMR446 radios use eight FM channels, each channel separated by 12.5 kHz, which is standardized across Europe.