How to buy PMR446 two-way radios

The licence-exempt service PMR446 continues to prove its worth to a wide range of end-users, as Vaughan O’Grady discovers

Radio equipment designed to use PMR446, a licence-exempt service in the UHF radio frequency band available in most of the European Union, has – surprisingly perhaps given the alternatives – survived and thrived for more than 20 years.

What sort of customers make up the market for PMR446? Ian Lockyer, marketing manager at Icom, answers: “Across the board, from schools to retail to catering to construction to high-end users with specific limited applications.” Limited is no understatement. It includes, as Peter Bearryman, RadioTrade’s sales and marketing director, suggests, “such short-term applications as a garden fete or charity event”.

The list offered by Matthew Napier, sales director at Hytera UK, includes consumers, organisations with minimal security concerns, organisations with too few administrative staff to justify obtaining and maintaining a licence, customers with a limited budget, and customers who cannot obtain an Ofcom licence.

Sean Fitzgerald, solutions marketing manager at Motorola Solutions, also cites “customers employing a relatively low number of users operating over small areas”, and adds: “They are especially popular in the retail and hospitality sectors.”

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