Are Walkie Talkies Illegal? Find Out Here
Are walkie talkies illegal? It is perfectly legal to use two way radios in the UK, and in most parts of the world. However, there are some things you need to be aware of before you make the decision to use two way radios for your business. For example, certain types of walkie talkie require a licence from Ofcom before they can be used legally in the UK.
In this article, we’ll talk you through some of the legal considerations that you need to be aware of when using walkie talkies.
Are Walkie Talkies Legal In UK?
The good news is that it’s legal to use two way radios in the UK, both for personal use and for business. In fact, two way radios have many benefits, including being able to operate in remote areas where mobile phone coverage may not always be reliable. This makes two way radios a valuable tool for maintaining a constant channel of communication when you need it the most.
But what are the laws around walkie talkies in the UK, and when do you need a licence to operate a two way radio? Read on to find out.
Do You Need A Licence For A Walkie Talkie?
If you’re thinking of using a two way radio system for your communication needs, you might be wondering whether you need a licence to operate your system. Unfortunately, the answer here is not straightforward, as it depends on the frequency on which your two way radio system operates.
In the UK, there are two types of walkie talkie: licence-free and licensed. Licence-free walkie talkies are short range and can be purchased by anyone from many high street retailers. There are eight licence-free radio channels in the UK, which can be used by these walkie talkies. This means that anyone can tune into your conversation when you use a licence-free channel.
If you need a long distance two way radio, or one that operates on a private channel, you will need to obtain a licence from Ofcom. This will enable you to use more powerful radios, which provide an increased range, as well as improved signal penetration in buildings.
Are Walkie Talkies Private?
Whether or not your two way radio system will be private will depend on the type of two way radio that you choose and the channel on which it operates.
If you choose a licence-free two way radio, it will not be private. This is because licence-free radios are limited to eight set channels, meaning that anyone can tune into the channels and listen to your conversation. This also means that you could face interference and accidentally overhear others’ conversations, if the channel is particularly busy in your area.
However, if you choose to purchase a licensed two way radio system, you can opt to pay for a private channel. This means that no one else will have access to your channel within your geographical location, so you won’t have to worry about sharing the frequency with other two way radio users.
Additionally, we’d recommend looking for a two way radio system that offers digital encryption. This can help to ensure that your two way radio cannot be intercepted, enhancing your security and protecting your privacy.
Is It Legal To Use A Two Way Radio Whilst Driving?
Two way radios are ideal for use in the transport sector, where drivers are required to remain in constant contact with controllers and other drivers. This can also enhance their safety, thanks to the GPS tracking feature that is available on many two way radio systems. However, you might be left wondering whether it is legal to use a two way radio whilst driving.
The good news is that it is not illegal to use a walkie talkie whilst driving. However, you will need to ensure that using the device does not compromise your driving in any way. The best way to do this is to invest in a two way radio that can be used with a headset, enabling hands free operation. This allows you to focus on the important task of driving, whilst remaining in constant communication with both HQ and other drivers.
Can A Handheld Radio Be Tracked?
We know how important security is, so there’s no wonder that many people wonder whether two way radios can be tracked. The good news is that licensed radios utilise closed communication networks, which are extremely difficult for hackers to access.
However, many two way radio systems offer a GPS tracking facility. This can help to enhance the safety of your workers, especially for those who are working alone.
Can You Use Walkie Talkies Anywhere?
Two way radios operate through radio frequencies. This means that they are not reliant on the mobile phone network to operate, so you won’t need to have a mobile phone signal to remain in communication. This makes walkie talkies ideal for use in remote areas, where mobile phones cannot be relied upon.
There are some limitations to the coverage of two way radios that you should be aware of. Depending on the frequency, your two way radio system may be impacted by buildings or distance. This is because these systems rely on radio waves being able to travel between the walkie talkies.
Opting for a licensed two way radio system is the best way to ensure that you receive the best possible coverage. There are a range of frequencies to choose from when you purchase a licensed two way radio, as well as the option to combine radio communication with cellular data coverage, so there’s always a solution that will meet your requirements.
Many people ask ‘are walkies talkies illegal?’. The good news is that two way radios are perfectly legal in the UK, as well as in the majority of countries across the globe. However, it’s important that you are aware of the licensing requirements from Ofcom.
If you’re looking for a two way radio system to enhance your communication and protect the safety of your workers, we have a range of solutions to choose from. Contact us today to discuss your requirements and discover your perfect two way radio solution.