What is the difference between licensed and non licensed radios?

What is the difference between licensed and non licensed radios?

Non licensed radios are usually cheaper low cost radios and would normally be used for personal and light industrial use. For example, some license free radios are suitable for communication between friends and family at ski resorts. Similarly, these radios might be suitable for light business use such as primary schools and very small building and warehouses.

Where there is minimal coverage required or very small buildings and communication between users is within a close range, these radios could be considered. Non licensed radios come pre-programmed with set transmitting frequencies. No specialist programming is necessary and once charged up the radios are ready for use.
eg: TID TD-V2 & TD-777


In a high radio usage environment, for example, London, there will be lots of users of license free radios. It is important to clarify whether you need your conversations to be secure. If secure conversations are important then a licensed radio should be considered.

Licensed Radios are slightly more powerful radios and more robust than license free radios. These radios are generally more expensive. Importantly these radios require a dedicated frequency (by law), which is available from OFCOM. A dedicated frequency is a frequency which the radios are programmed to which ensures that only those on the frequency can hear the transmissions.
eg: Baofeng UV-5R & F8GP

Apart from being more robust and the conversation more secure, licensed radios offer much more functionality than their license free counterparts. You can now dial up individual users or make group calls and send text messages for example.

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