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Who are OFCOM  – and Does My Business Radio Need a Licence?

Regardless of the type of business you run, if you use a two-way radio in the UK, you may need to obtain a licence.  Licensing generally applies to most UK firms and businesses – from taxi firms to retail stores, hospitals to care homes.  The body you will need to get in touch with for a licence is OFCOM.  But what is it that OFCOM actually do?

All About OFCOM

You may have heard of OFCOM before when it comes to TV and radio broadcasts.  This is because they have a fairly broad remit!  They are known formally as the Office of Communications, and it is their job to make sure that the following sectors are fully-regulated and licensed at all times:

  • TV and radio broadcasting
  • Postal services
  • Mobile phone communications
  • Fixed line communications
  • Wireless airwaves

This means that anyone communicating via two-way radio will be governed by OFCOM’s coverage of wireless airwaves.  It’s OFCOM’s job to make sure that everyone gets a fair share of quality service.  Getting a licence for your business doesn’t have to be scary!  If you don’t, however, you may face penalties and enforcement notices.

Which Licence Do I Need?

There are three different types of radio licence which cover the business use of wireless airwaves.  These are known as Simple UK Light, Simple Site Light, and Technically Assigned.

Simple UK Light

These licences allow you to use radio systems for business use anywhere in the UK.  This means, however, that you won’t be able to use a base station (more on that below).  These licences give you access to up to four business frequency bands and 19 separate frequencies, and you’ll only have to pay £75 for a five-year coverage.

Simple Site Light

These licences will allow you to operate radios from a base station and separate mobile stations within the UK.  You will generally be allowed coverage up to one kilometre from your base station.  Again, you will need to pay £75 for a five-year licence, and you’ll have access to a range of frequencies.  As with the Simple UK Light licensing, you’ll need to co-ordinate communication with other licence holders.

Technically Assigned Licences

These licences are much more flexible.  You can use frequencies across all business bands and you can even designate your own coverage area.  However, the wider the area and the more popular the frequency band, the more your licence is likely to cost.  You can expect to pay a minimum of £75 and an upper limit of £1480 for an annual channel assignment.

Getting Licensed

It’s essential that you make sure your business holds a valid licence if you are using radio equipment.  OFCOM will give you access to the radio spectrum once you are fully licensed, though do remember that Technically Assigned licences will require specific, provable information on application.  Otherwise, you may risk enforcement action!

Unsure how to apply for a radio licence?  Let DTS.Solutions (U.K) Ltd help you.  Hundreds of businesses across the UK trust our team with the full licensing process.  This way, we can liaise with OFCOM on their behalf, and you can continue to use radio communications safe in the knowledge that you are legally allowed to do so.  We make sure your licence is always kept in your name, and we will only ever act as your nominated representative to correspond with OFCOM on your behalf.

This means that we will be able to renew licences and record licence histories for you, too.  We will be able to arrange for renewal payments with you and can offer you all the certification you need.

Contact Us

Are you in need of a new OFCOM radio licence?  Do you already have radios in use, and need to add more to your fleet?  We will only be too happy to help.

Contact us at DTS.Solutions (U.K) Ltd today on 01480 407740 or email us at licensing@dts.solutions at your convenience.  If you need to amend your licence or add radios, please email a copy of your existing licence or advise us if you have existing radio equipment in use.