When operating fully licensed radios, a licence is required to operate the equipment legally whilst the licence is valid. These licenses are acquired, monitored, and regulated by the Office of Communications (Ofcom). There are various types available depending upon the complexity or simplicity of your radio system.
The Ofcom radio licence application is very simple and can be done through spectrum licencing or through your two-way radio provider. Both will be on hand to discuss all and any specific requirements to do with your new radio system.
Currently Operating Without a Licence?
If you are caught by Ofcom, operating a radio without a valid Ofcom Licence, you could receive a large fine or even jail time.
According to the Ofcom Notice of Licence Revocation, it is an offence under Section 8 of the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006 to establish, install or use wireless telegraphy stations or apparatus without a valid licence. On conviction, the maximum penalties for an offence under that section are two years’ imprisonment and an unlimited fine.
Not sure which Licence you need? Or not sure what each licence is for?
See the most popular options below:
Ofcom Simple UK Licence
More commonly known as a UK General Licence, the Simple UK Licence is used widely throughout the UK due to how cost-effective and versatile they are. Simple UK Licences are typically used for basic two-way radio communication as it allows full powered, back to back transmission across all handportable devices without the use of a Repeater Base Station.
After applying for this Licence, you will be given a selection of frequencies and signalling toned. This will allow you to allocate the radio channels. If you have multiple sites where Repeaters are not required, this would be the perfect solution as one Licence can be used across multiple sites.
Although the Licence is the most popular option, the frequencies provided are shared. This means any users within your area operating on the same frequencies could pick up your transmissions and vice versa.
Licence Validity: 5 Years
Licence Cost: £75.00
Ofcom Simple Site Licence
Although these Licences are used, they are not a common as the Simple UK Licence. Mostly used for paging systems that include the use of a Repeater Base Station and Antenna. This Licence is area defined and require specific location coordinates to pinpoint your location.
Licence Validity: 5 Years
Licence Cost: £75.00
Technically Assigned Licence
Technically Assigned Ofcom licenses are for those who wish to have an individual frequency assigned to them to lower the risk of interference. These Licences are mostly used in conjunction with Repeater and Antenna systems but can be used for back to back communication if the user wishes to have a private frequency.
Best suited for larger sites or larger companies who can’t risk interference from other users outside of their business.
For Technically Assigned Licences, the fees are calculated based on several factors including the size of the coverage area and popularity of the frequency band. Once applied for these Licences can take 6 – 8 weeks to be released from Ofcom, so are not the perfect solution if you are in a hurry to have a licence in place.
Licence Validity: 1 Year
Licence Cost: £75.00 to £1,480.00 based on location and number of frequencies required
Once you have a valid licence, Ofcom or your radio provider will contact you when your Licence is due for renewal and when it is in its renewal period.
See below for more information on Validation Notices and Renewals:
Ofcom Licence Validation Notices
A Licence Validation Notice will be sent 3 months before your Licence is due for renewal as a reminder to when it needs paid.
This will also give you the chance to amend any information that may have changed. This could be the contact name or address. If your information has changed, you’ll need to complete the form attached to the Validation Notice and send it to Ofcom within the same month it was received.
Ofcom Licence Renewals
If your radio equipment is a vital part of your business, you must ensure your Licence is renewed annually or every 5 years, depending on which Licence was applied for.
Ofcom will release a Licence Renewal Invoice which will outline the amount of money required and also the different ways your licence can be paid. This can be done by Cheque, Bank Transfer or Card (under £5000 only).
You will have exactly 30 days to pay the Invoice before your Licence is surrendered by Ofcom.
If you require any further information on Two Way Radio Licences, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We’re more than happy to help!