PMR446 is a licence free radio frequency for use by two-way radio users in the UK and most of Europe.
The letters PMR stand for Private Mobile Radio, and the number 446 relates to the frequency band 446Mhz (UHF) which these radios and devices use to communicate. Radios of this type can be used for business or leisure use without licence.
All PMR446 Radios available on the PMC website conform to PMR446 standards.
In which countries can I use my PMR446 Radio?
- All countries within the European Union
- United Kingdom & Northern Ireland.
What sort of range will I get from a PMR446 radio?
In the open countryside with good line-of sight a few kilometers can easily be achieved however, in urban areas or areas where there is a lot of metal, a range of a few hundred meters or more is about average. The range of a PMR446 should easily cover facilities such as office blocks, building sites, pubs/bars, restaraunts, schools, caravan/camping sites, small farms, small ports or harbour areas, museums, outdoor events, festivals, park run etc
The power output of PMR446 devices is fixed as per the specifications of the standard, so it’s not possible to pay more or buy radios with better range than others (although better radios can sometimes offer better clarity and signal reception with better aerials). As with all radio communication devices, the environment they are used in will always determine the range you can achieve.
For extra range – needed for Taxi ranks, forrestry work, very large sites etc, PMR446 may not be the correct radio standard for you, in these cases you would need to look at dedicated UHF or VHF two-way-radios. In the UK these radios require you to purchase a licence from Ofcom to use the frequency in a given area and can be boosted by larger antenae, repeaters etc to cover a larger area. Information outside the scope of this article, but worth mentioning if you’re new to this:
- UHF = Ultra high frequency (For great signal where walls/doors/floors can cause issues with other types of radio)
- VHF = Very High Frequency (For great signal across long distances, also great for underwater communication)
What can I use a PMR446 radio for?
PMR446 radios are versatile and there’s models out there for a wide range of uses; there are some very cost-effective radios for children to use and keep in touch with whilst camping or playing, whilst moving up the scale there are some more robust & featured radios perfect for the weekend outdoor enthusiast, to keep in touch whilst camping, hiking, mountain biking, kayaking etc. At the higher end of the scale, there’s more robust PMR446 radios available for profesional use such as security or event staff, schools, or outdoor events and even full-featured, robust, fully submersible, waterproof radios for profesional marine use such as port management, sailing etc.
How much should I pay for a PMR 446 Radio?
The scale is quite broad in terms of cost, there are radios for pretty much all use cases available – you can pay anything from £30 upwards for a pair of radios for children and or personal use, but for the high end radios for profesional usage with extra features such as digital displays, pre-sets, high-end materials to make them robust and water sealed to IP68 standards, you can pay up to and beyond £500 for a single radio. The main thing is to budget for your own use case, it stands to reason you should buy the best you can afford if you want your radio to function as necessary and be durable enough for the task at hand.