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Blog: What Type Of Ofcom Radio License Does Your Business Need?         Published: 22/03/2023

What Type Of Ofcom Radio License Does Your Business Need?

Many types of two way radio handset require an Ofcom license before you can use them on your business premises. This gives the radio access to a dedicated frequency band for communication and prevents disturbance from other operators attempting to use the frequency. There are four types of Ofcom licence available, each suited to different usage requirements. Each licence category varies according to the type of equipment being used, the handset’s communications setup, and geographical usage considerations.

In this article, we’ll look at each type of licensing and in which scenarios they’re recommended, so you can make the right decision.



1) Simple UK License

With this license, your business can use two-way radio equipment anywhere in the UK, across multiple sites. This option suits multi-site businesses or remote companies that require nationwide radio communications, as long as their setup doesn’t include a ‘base station’. With a Simple UK license, your communications will run through shared frequencies, so there may be some occasional interference from other Simple UK licensees.

This license has a fixed cost of £75 and is renewed every five years.

2) Simple Site License

A Simple Site license covers business radio communications that take place on a single site, or within a small area of approximately 1-3 kilometres. The setup can include a ‘base station’ as well as mobile units.

Like Simple UK licenses, Simple Site licenses operate on a shared frequency allocation, and their cost is the same (£75 for five years). Typical users include small factories, construction sites, retail venues, hospitality businesses, care homes, etc.

These two licenses are recommended for business radio users with standard requirements. If your organisation has additional geographical or technical needs, or if you require a dedicated secure communication frequency, you’ll want to consider the following two license types.

3) Technically Assigned License

This license is suited to businesses that use more powerful radio equipment or whose technical setup is more complex. With a Technically Assigned license, you can choose from a range of dedicated frequencies and operate in a variety of locations, from a single building to an area covering a 100-kilometre radius. This license can be granted whether you have a base station or not.

Because of the different factors involved, there’s no set license price and the fees will be calculated when you apply. Validity is usually 1 year, after which Ofcom will check that you still meet the license criteria. Typical users are taxi firms, large construction contractors, and public transport companies.

4) Area Defined License

This license allows you to be the exclusive user of a frequency in a specific area. The area can be anything from a 20-square kilometre radius, to a county, a city, etc. The requirement is that you only use the allocated frequency in the specified area, to avoid causing interference to radio users who are on the same frequency but on a different area.

The cost varies depending on the area where you want to operate your radios and the demand in that area. This means that area defined licenses can be very costly in large cities. The choice of frequency also affects the total cost.

The main case use would be businesses that want to operate their radio communications across the UK, but who don’t want to share frequencies (due to security / privacy concerns or for other reasons).

Next steps

At DTS Solutions, we’re here to help you choose the right Ofcom license that suits your requirements, and then help with the application process. If you need help with Ofcom licensing services, please book a consultation with one of our experts.