Radio Licencing in the United Kingdom - What Are The Rules?

Ofcom is the government body that is responsible for supervising the use of all radios that transmit a radio signal with the United Kingdom.

The use of most types of walkie-talkie or other radio transceiver will require some type of licence from Ofcom.

Regulation of "the airwaves" is necessary to ensure that different classes of radio user do not use radios that interfere with each other.

Radio users include many types of business, the police, fire & ambulance services, the military, local councils, air traffic control, shipping, hobby users ("radio hams"), rail and road transport companies etc etc.

The only radios that do not need any licence, are the low-powered "consumer" radios that use the eight "licence-free" channels set aside for general public use in the EU. These radios are usually called "PMR446" radios. We do not have any of these radios for hire - all of our hire walkies are the more powerful "licensable" models.

Radio Licencing and Short Term Radio Hire

It is clearly completely impractical for people to have to apply for a specific licence every time they wish to hire radios for a 1-day event!

So, Ofcom have set aside a few dozen frequencies that are allocated for the use of short-term radio hire companies such as ourselves.

These frequencies will never be allocated to any permanent site, so there should not be a risk of our hired radios "interfering" with radios belonging to a venue or location where they may be used.

They will not cause problem if used in or near airports, military bases, police stations etc etc.

Radio hire companies like us have a special type of licence (a "Business Radio Suppliers" licence) that allows us to hire out radios set to the "hire company channels".

So, when you hire radios from us, you are using OUR licence, and therefore you do not need to worry at all about licencing issues.



Custom Programming Available

If a radio hirer has their own licence, and needs our radios to be set to use the frequencies specified in that licence, we can re-program our radios, for a small charge to cover our time in programming the radios before sending them out, and also re-programming them back when they are returned.

Sometimes a hirer needs this to ensure that our radios will "talk" to some other radios being used at the same location.

If you want us to do this for you, we will need the full details of the frequencies, CTCSS codes etc that are to be used.

If you bring in or send to us one of the "other radios" we may be able to figure out what its setting are, so that we can program our hire walkie-talkies to match it.

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