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So, you know that a digital two-way radio system is right for your company.

But should you choose a licensed system or go down the unlicensed route? Do you even know the difference?

Licensed radios

A radio licence essentially provides your network with its own unique frequency through which you can legally and securely communicate.

Obtained from Ofcom, the licenses help to ensure that no-one can “hi-jack” your network by listening in to the conversations taking place over the radios – at least not legally.

If the conversations or information shared over your network are sensitive then it might be worth considering investing in a licensed system.

But licensed radios don’t just offer a more secure communication network.

They can also help you cover a much larger area (up to 2.5 miles more) – which is ideal if your organisation operates across multiple locations near each other, or a single very large area.

There is however a legal consideration to keep in mind if you do decide to choose a licensed option as these need to be specially programmed – although your digital two-way radio supplier can help you with this.

Unlicensed radios

As the name suggests, an unlicensed radio does not have a license from Ofcom, nor does it come with a unique frequency and is more limited in coverage than a licensed radio.

With that in mind it is worth noting that this comes with a reduced level of security as it is more possible for a third party to listen in to your company’s conversations, or disrupt them by using the same frequency.

These kinds of radios are far more suited to company’s or organisations dealing with areas like event management or hotels – where employees are likely communicating over a shorter distance and without the security needs of a secure frequency.

Because they don’t require special set up like a licensed radio, this option can also be cheaper and won’t experience interference from nearby licensed radios due to the use of pre-programmed channels.

Which should you choose?

Whether your business chooses a licensed or unlicensed radio system depends entirely on the individual needs of the company but the information in this blog should at least give some useful pointers on which might be the best option.

The size of the area your business needs to cover with a digital two-way radio system, or if the information shared via radio needs to be secure can help guide the decision over which way will work best for you.

If you’re still not sure then just get in touch for more advice on which kind of digital two-way system would work best in your business.