What is an OFCOM radio licence?
An OFCOM licence is something that two way radio users must obtain. OFCOM is the UK’s official communication regulator, operating under several Acts of Parliament including the Communications Act 2003. OFCOM is responsible for managing the civilian use of the radio spectrum, ensuring that the use of radio waves is fairly distributed and not overwhelmed. Any business or individual that uses a two-way radio must have an OFCOM radio licence in order to legally operate
There is however one exception. If you are using a licence-free radio then you do not need an OFCOM licence…
Licence-free radios are one of the few exceptions to needing a radio licence. These are radios that can be bought and instantly used. They are the kind of radios you can find in stores off the shelf. Licence-free radios also have a small range and a relatively low output of 0.5 watts, meaning they are unlikely to interfere with the UK’s main radio waves. It is because of this that these radios do not encounter OFCOM radio licence fees.
Contributing to their overall low price and non-existent OFCOM radio licence fees is their simple design and easy-to-use features. This makes them ideal for personal use where mobile signal is not available such as at festivals, leisure parks, when hiking or skiing.
Benefits of licence-free radios:
- No OFCOM radio licence fees
- Easy to use
- Low initial cost
- Professional use within a small range
- Personal use
Licenced Radios + OFCOM licence fees
Licenced radios on the other hand do encounter OFCOM licence fees and higher initial costs. However, they are more powerful and do come with more radio features. Licenced radios have a higher power output of up to 5 watts. This provides the user with increased range and signal coverage, and as a result, requires its own OFCOM radio licence with accompanying OFCOM radio licence fees. Licenced radios are required if your business needs a dedicated and uninterrupted frequency and further range.
Benefits of licenced radios:
- Clear audio quality
- Wider radio signal range
- More reliable radio signal
- Uninterrupted radio frequency
- Professional use
- Dial up individual radio users
- More secure conversation
- Clear audio quality
OFCOM Radio Licence Fees
There are several types of OFCOM licences available, and they all come with their own OFCOM licence fees. Each radio licence offers different signal ranges and either a shared or a dedicated radio frequency. Both of these factors affect the OFCOM radio licence fees.
- £75+ for 5 years in OFCOM radio licence fees: Ranging from £75+ in OFCOM radio licence fees you can buy a radio licence that will cover you for 5 or more years. For this price you can obtain one of two licences…
- Simple UK Light: Every year you will share access with other users to a number of radio frequencies and tones. Without the need for a base station, you will be able to communicate with other users throughout the UK.
- Simple Site UK: This is also another relatively low cost OFCOM radio licence fee. The Simple Site UK will allow you to have access to a radio signal over a 3km radius from the base station or paging system. If your business operates in a static position, this is the ideal OFCOM licence for you.
- £75-£1480 per year in OFCOM radio licence fees: For between £75 and £1480 in OFCOM radio licence fees per year you can buy a Technically Assigned (Shared and Exclusive) radio licence. Your business will have a dedicated frequency, un-interrupted by other radio users. You will have sole use of the radio frequency within an allotted area, with the use of a repeater. However, this can only be used up to 50% of the time. If you require the use of the radio signal more than 50% of the time, you will encounter increased OFCOM licence fees.
- £75-£9900 in OFCOM radio licence fees: Area Defined is an OFCOM licence fee that ranges greatly, as it can be completely tailored to your business requirements. This means you will never have to pay for what you don’t use or don’t want.