Hiring or buying radios for your business is not as simple as you think, you might need to become an authorised user, with a business radio licence.
Ultimately this will depend on the kind of radio and your individual circumstances at the time, so here’s a quick guide to simplify things: what licence you need, where to get it and how much.
To use two-way radio for business purposes in accordance with the law, you need to have a business radio licence. Licensing is the remit of the government agency Ofcom. A licence gives you license to a frequency, allocated on an individual basis, and programmed by a licensed radio supplier.
Applying for the licence itself is a reasonably direct process, a choice between a Simple UK license, an area-defined licence, or a suppliers license, a technically assigned one.
SIMPLE UK LICENCES
Simple UK licences allow you to use portable radio equipment anywhere in the UK. And a choice of frequency from 15 different options across 4 frequency bands. The simple UK licence costs £75 and is valid for five years.
A Supplier’s licenses, on the other hand, allows you to hire, sell, service and repair, marine or radio equipment. This is the kind that NRC has to have in order to conduct business.
TECHNICALLY ASSIGNED LICENCES
Technically assigned licences to permit the holder to use a variety of radio equipment, across a larger range of frequencies, allowing greater coverage of both remote and crowded areas. These licences are better if the nature of your business is dependent on reliable communication.
They are usually more expensive ranging from £75 – £1480 for a single channel designation.
AREA DEFINED LICENCE
Area defined licences can delineate a number of things, either a specific 50km2 grid square, a county or the whole of the UK. Fees will obviously depend on the defined area and the frequency required for any given specified operation.
The initial application process is simple and easy, although acceptance times may vary. However, you may conduct business during this time as NRC is allowed to allocate radios to you for up to three months; this practice is called, ‘parking’.