Do I need a License to use Two Way Radios?

What!? Two-way radios require a license?

We know, this may come as a surprise to some, but as these devices are able to broadcast via radio waves, walkie talkies come under similar laws that govern traditional radio broadcasts. Two-way radios that generate more than 0.5W power require a license. This in a way can at times help determine the quality of the equipment at hand but not always.

License-free radios don't have as much transmission power as licensed radios. This enables all license free walkie talkies to function with each other. However this means that you may end up sharing frequencies with someone who also happens to be using a license-free radio near your location. Many users don't change the channel on their radios from the default setting. If your team are using them in a busy populated area such as right in the city centre, you might across multiple channels full of endless chatter.

Radios that have a 5W transmission power can reach much further than licensed radios. This additional power boost makes them much more suitable for penetrating through buildings thus performing better in city environments.

But what type of radio do I need?

The everyday person will be okay with a license free set of walkie talkies. There are less of them available from key specialist suppliers, but they are a lot more popular and come up when you do a quick search for them. Take a look at the product we offer that's license free here. These are usually much cheaper than licensed radios as for example for the cost equivalent of one licensed two-way radio, you could buy six license-free radios.

Depending on the radio you decide to use, you will need to purchase a license separately. The added benefit of privacy and additional transmission power means many professional business users will favour licensed two-way radios. 

Okay, so how do I get a two-way radio license? Can you help with that?

At CTS radios we can sort out all the administration work for you in regards to obtaining a license to use your radios, for more information, click here. 

If you decide to dedicate the time to do this yourself, you will need to apply via the official Ofcom website where a license can be issued to you. A basic two-way radio license is essentially like any other license to use something (think driving license). Having a license from Ofcom allows you to use licensed radios. Note however that this doesn't give you a dedicated channel. It can cost from £75 per organisation and is valid for 5 years. (This can be subject to change by Ofcom)

There are other variations of two-way radios licenses such as the 'geographic license', which essentially gives your organisation access to its own dedicated frequency. The require renewing every year and the price can vary from £100 to £500 depending on your location.

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