PMR446 is a European standard licence-free radio service...
... utilising 8 12.5khz spaced channels in the 446mhz band.
Due to the considerable uptake of the service, PMR446 radio sets can now be bought from as little as £20 (about 30 Euros) a pair. The Radio Agency requires that radios have a maximum of 500mw (1/2 watt) ERP (Effective Radiated Power) to an internal antenna. This limites range to, realistically 1/2 to 1 mile around town and up to 2 miles in open country. In line of sight conditions and at altitude ranges of over a hundred miles have been obtained.
CTSS (continuous tone squelch system) is incorporated in most radio sets as a means to prevent interference - the radio ignores all incoming signals except those that are also transmitting this sub-audible tone.
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. The channel centre frequencies are as follows:
446.00625 MHz446.03125 MHz446.05625 MHz446.08125 MHz446.01875 MHz446.04375 MHz446.06875 MHz446.09375 MHz
The frequencies are shared and users may, under local heavy use conditions, experience interference and channel sharing problems. These may be reduced by changing frequency and/or CTCSS tone and/or DCS code. PMR 446 is not suitable for safety of life use or for users who need to have access to frequencies at particular locations and times.
As a licence exempt service, PMR 446 is unprotected and the Agency will not become involved in interference or channel sharing disputes between users.
Before speaking you should check that a frequency is free by either listening or using the channel busy indicator. When you speak you should identify yourself and the person you are calling. The radios allow communication in only one direction at a time so you will find it helpful to identify when you have finished speaking. It is expected that the frequencies will become particularly busy in cities or where large numbers of people gather such as large sporting events. All users will benefit if messages are kept short.
PMR 446 radio equipment can be used in CEPT member countries that have implemented the ERC Decisions listed above.
Before using PMR 446 radios outside the United Kingdom, users should check that the relevant administration has implemented the Decisions. 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.
Details of the progress made by CEPT member countries in implementing PMR 446 can be obtained from the European Radiocommunications Office (ERO) website http://www.ero.dk