Posted on Apr 06, 2018

One of our FAQs

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What is the difference between Licensed and license free Two Way Radios?

At Zycomm we have many experts ready and waiting to give customers and potential customers’ advice on everything Two-Way Radio related. Some questions get asked more frequently than others, so we have decided to begin a blog series covering the most popular questions we get asked.

We can supply both license-free and licensed Two-Way Radios to our customers and we try our best to cater to all of their specific requirements and needs. We are commonly asked about the difference between licensed and licence-free handsets so, here it is:

License Free:

Licence free radios can be used straight out of the box, as the name suggests, no Ofcom licence is required. Licence free radios are for basic radio to radio communications in an environment where long range / wide coverage is not required and the location is not in a built-up area.

With licence free radios there is always a possibility that other licence free radio users are operating within your vicinity, if this is the case then it would be likely that you experience interference from other radio users, this can result in them being able to hear your communications and you being able to hear theirs. Should you experience interference then the only option you would have would be to switch channel and hope no one is operating on that alternative channel.

Licence free radios cannot work with any licensed radios, it is illegal. The features and functions available with licensed radios are not available with a licence free radio either.

Should you require additional coverage and are using licence free radios then the only way to look to improve this would be to switch to a licensed radio.


A Licensed radio does as the name describes require a licence from Ofcom. All licensed radios have to be programmed to the customer licence before it will work.

A licensed radio operates at a higher power output of 5w meaning that coverage can be greatly improved (compared to the licence free radios) even without infrastructure.

There are many features and functions available with licensed radios which help with health & safety, security, and staff efficiencies. It is much easier to future your radio system if you are using licensed radios.

If you experience interference from other radio users then there is much more that can be done, depending on your type of licence.


If you want to find out more about our Licensed and License-Free handsets then give our expert team a call today on 01773 570 123.