LICENSE-FREE OR LICENSED RADIO?
Two-way radios have a great range of applications in the professional environment. In industries such as construction, hospitality, security, retail and schools, where quick and clear instructions and communication is important, walkie-talkies can be extremely useful. Keeping in contact with your colleagues can increase efficiency and safety at work.
Have you always wondered the difference between a license-free or a licensed radio? This artice will help you decide on your future purchase.
In the following article, we’ll take a look at how to choose a two-way radio and which might best suit you depending on the circumstances. If your knowledge of the subject is somewhat limited Onedirect is here to advise you.
A license-free two-way radio is commonly purchased for casual use or communication over shorter distances.
With a power output of around 0.5 watts, they are only able to transmit over a shorter range. PMR446 radios have pre-programmed channels for your convenience, all of which function within the UK and across the EU.
The specifications of a license-free two-way radio make them ideal for use in event management, hotels, factories, or, construction sites.
Advantages of license-free two-way radios
- No license (of course); additional payment is not required
- Generally cheaper
- No interference with licensed radios because of pre-programmed channels
Disadvantages of license-free two-way radios
- Other radio users can communicate on the same frequency you are using, therefore you might encounter unwanted traffic
- The range of these walkie-talkies is significantly less, on average around 3km
- Not ideal for emergency situations as the channels are subject to first come first serve usage
Robust and weatherproof license-free radios – an ideal tool for simple communications, particularly outdoors and in hazardous environments.
- Up to 10km range
- 16 channels and 121 privacy codes
- Hidden screen display
The IP66-rated Mitex PMR446 Xtreme2 Two-Way Radio was designed with versatility and ease of use in mind; thus, it is perfect for use in harsh environments.
- up to 12km range
- IP66 Rating
- 15 channels
The Midland G18 Pro two-way radio is a very reliable and easy-to-use professional walkie-talkie with VOX and SCAN functions for hands-free communications.
- Up to 12km range
- 99 PMR446 channels
- IP67 Rating
You will require a license when your two-way radio doesn’t operate on a pre-programmed PMR446 frequency.
A license helps you to avoid any unwanted traffic whilst talking on a specific channel; as a result, interference is greatly reduced. Often hospitals, business owners, and those working in the transport industry prefer a licensed radio, as it offers more privacy and a greater range.
How do I get a license?
Obtaining a license is nowhere near as difficult as it sounds. You can simply visit the Ofcom website and obtain one there.
Licenses can vary in price; a basic package can be anywhere from £100 whereas some high-demand licenses can cost up to £500 in busy areas like London.
However, this not only comes with your license but also the ability to add other two-way radios onto the same contract.
Types of license
UK simple license
This license gives you the right to use a more powerful two-way radio anywhere in the UK.
This license is easy to apply for and only costs £75 for 5 years.
This type of license allocates you a set geographical area in which you are free to use specific frequencies to communicate.
This package will usually cost you around £100 but in areas like London, prices have risen significantly in recent years. The radio must be used inside the allocated area. Use outside may interfere with another radio’s communication because the frequency will have been provided to another radio user.
These licenses are very flexible. The cost will vary depending on where you intend to use the radio and on the intended communication. The popularity of the frequency will also have a part to play in the price.
Benefits of a licensed two-way radio
- Each radio is assigned a frequency so as a result, you can have uninterrupted communication.
- More powerful battery and therefore a larger range
- Perfect in an emergency because of frequency allocation
Our recommended licensed two-way radios!
The Mitex GeneralX Twin Pack is a robust, heavy-duty radio that works with existing Mitex models (General, Pro, and DMR). With an IP66 rating, the walkie-talkies are resistant to dust, water, and vibrations, making them suitable for industrial, working, and outdoor environments.
- Up to 25km range
- IP66 rating
- Powerful 5-watt rechargeable Lithium-ion batteries
The Entel DX482 – UHF is a professional radio that delivers outstanding audio, clarity, quality & volume. This radio offers the ideal combination of features and performance to ensure a streamlined user experience.
- IP68 rating
- UHF, frequencies 400-470 MHz
- 16 channels
The Motorola DP1400 offers flexible analog and digital communications, with high voice clarity, superior audio, and the full range of features that you would expect from a Motorola radio.
- Up to 25km range
- IP54 rating
- Noise-cancelling software