Ofcom is the UK regulator of broadcast services, including licence management , in the UK.

Licences are required for most business two-way radio equipment.

Ofcom Business Radio Licences

We can apply for an Ofcom business radio licence on your behalf.

Three main types of Ofcom business radio licence are available.

The four types of licence are:

Area Defined

Site Licence

UK Light Licence

Technically asigned

The area defined licence gives you a specific radio frequency to use, within a defined geographic area. This can be on either shared or exclusive basis.

Sharing a frequency with other users within the geographic area, is cheaper than having an exclusive frequency in that geographic area.

A geographic area is defined by map grid references.

Another factor that determines cost, is popularity of the area.

For example , central London and similar densely populated areas, will be more expensive than rural Lincolnshire.

Ofcom divides the Uk into areas based on demand for licences. Some areas are cheaper, and some expensive.

Knowing the cost of a geographically based Ofcom business radio licence, is not possible until it has been applied for.

Whilst we can estimate the cost, based on previous experience, the licence cost is given after a business radio licence application, has been made.

You are able to choose not to accept the licence, after you have been told the price by Ofcom. You are not yet committed!

Site Licence

Another type of business radio licence available from Ofcom, is the Site Licence.

The Ofcom Site licence allocates you a number of frequencies you can operate on, and is designed for businesses operating on a single geographic site.

You would chose from the list of frequencies allowed.

Your radio dealer would most likely do this for you, as you need to select a frequency, that is not being used by another business in the near locality.

Failure to choose a frequency that is not also being used by another local user, could cause interference, and poor radio performance.

Examples of users of Ofcom Site Licences, are industrial factory sites.

A disadvantage of an Ofcom Site Licence, is that operation of your radios is restricted to your site.

This could be a problem, if your business expanded to a second site, and you wanted to use some of the radios at the new site.

Although you could apply for a second site licence, to cover your new second address, its more expense and hassle.

You may also find that another local user is using the same frequency, near the second site, despite being clear at site one.

UK Light Licence.

The UK Light Licence used to be called the UK General Licence, and you may still hear it referred to as this.

The UK Light Licence, allows you to choose from a range of listed licence frequencies.

The key advantage of the UK Light Licence, is that the frequencies can be used UK wide.

This therefore means that the radios can be moved between site locations, and also temporary locations that the business may be working.

This is a great advantage for businesses, such as construction companies, that work in multiple temporary locations.

The disadvantage of the UK Light Licence, is that due to its popularity, you may encounter other radio users on the same frequency.

This will be more of an issue for urban radio users, than for rural Lincolnshire Farmers.

You are unlikely to actually hear the other radio users though.

The reason you are unlikely to hear the other radio users, is due to technologies such as CTCSS (analogue radios), and ‘Colour Codes’ (digital radios).

Basically these technologies are like special keys, that only unlock the channel audio, when the correct ‘key’ is received alongside the transmission.

Having other users transmitting on the same channel as you, at the same time, is not however good for radio performance.

Other Alternatives

There are alternatives to traditional two-way-radios, and Ofcom licensing.

PTT Over Cellular, or POC, is a hybrid radio technology that has recently emerged on to the market.

POC radios don’t require an Ofcom licence, but look and operate in a similar way, to traditional two-way radios.

POC radios use the mobile phone network, and have a data SIM card inside.

You get the advantage of the instant communication of a two-way radio, with the national, or even international coverage of a cellular phone.

The disadvantages of POC, are the ongoing data usage charges.

Ofcom Internet Of Things Licences

New licences have recently introduced licenced frequency bands for the Internet Of things, or IOT.

We are happy to apply for your radio licence to save you the hassle of answering technical questions.

The charge for this is £25 plus the cost of the OFCOM licence. The licence fee starts at £75 for a two-way radio licence..

Internet Of Things Licence

The definition of the Internet Of Things, is ‘the interconnection via the Internet of computing devices embedded in everyday objects, enabling them to send and receive data’.

Access to radio frequency spectrum for IOT in the UK, consists of two options:-

Firstly is licence exempt radio frequencies in the ISM (Industrial Scientific & Medical) bands.

An example of a popular ISM in europe is the 868Mhz frequency. This is used by LoraWAN & Sigfox IOT wireless technologies.

For users requiring their own frequency, licences are available in radio spectrum, under the Wireless Telegraphy Act.

We are experienced in dealing with Ofcom licence applications, on clients behalf.

Previous clients include SME’s, large multinational corporates, and many other types of organisation.

For help and advice call Craig on 01522 740818, or use the contact form.