PMR446 (Licence Exempt) Radios

PMR 446 is a handportable short range voice only communication system, which provides a basic radio service for both business and non-business users.  It is for providing communication over short distances.  Only speech transmissions can be made. The PMR 446 service is licence exempt; users do not require a licence to use PMR 446 radios, provided the equipment complies with ETS 300 296. I.e. the radio equipment must be handportable, have an integral antenna, and have a maximum ERP (transmitted power) of 500 mW. There are eight 12.5 kHz simplex frequencies which can be used anywhere in the United Kingdom. The frequencies have been harmonised (but not necessarily authorised) for use across Europe. Before using PMR 446 radios outside the United Kingdom, users should check that the relevant administration, details of the progress made by CEPT member countries in implementing PMR 446 can be obtained from the European Radiocommunications Office (ERO). Users who fail to do this and use their radios overseas, may break the laws of the country concerned, run the risk of prosecution and the confiscation of equipment. PMR446 frequencies are all shared and users may, under local heavy use conditions, experience interference and channel sharing problems. This may be reduced by changing frequency and/or CTCSS tone and/or DCS code.  As a licence exempt service, PMR 446 is unprotected and Ofcom will not become involved in interference or channel sharing disputes between users.  PMR 446 radio equipment must use only the dedicated frequencies. Radio equipment which can operate on any other frequency must not be used for the PMR 446 service.  - Ofcom (RA357, Nov 1999).

"PMR 446 is not suitable for safety of life use or for users who need to have guaranteed access to frequencies at particular locations and times."Ofcom PMR446 Info