What is the difference between licensed and PMR446 licence-free two-way radios?
Licensed radios are typically used for business and commercial use and require a dedicated frequency which ensures that only those on that frequency can hear transmissions. In order to access a dedicated frequency, a radio licence granted by Ofcom is required by law. Licensed radios have a larger power output and so offer increased range and coverage. Licensed radios are generally more robust, with clearer audio quality and the conversation more secure. Licensed radios also offer much more functionality than license-free radios, you can make group calls, send text messages and dial up individual users.
Licence-free radios (also called PMR446 radios) are a cheaper alternative to licensed radios and can only have a power output of 0.5 watts giving them a fairly small range. They can be used in the work place and for personal use, ideally where minimal coverage is needed, within small buildings where users are communicating in a close range. Licence-free radios operate on the PMR446 radio frequency, they can be used by anyone within the UK and EU and as the title suggests they need no radio licence.