Each country has its own rules for frequency usage of transceivers. The below information is to help clarify the increasingly frequent questions regarding this matter.
Licence-free radios (PMR446 radios, walkie talkies)
Unlicenced radios (transceivers that can be used without a licence) transmit in the 446.0 - 446.2 MHz frequency band, that is why they are also called PMR446 radios. These digital or analogue PMR radios with an output power of 0.5 Watts can be used in most European countries, more specifically:
Eastern Europe: Belarus, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Ukraine*.
- Northern Europe: Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Iceland, Ireland, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom.
- Southern Europe: Albania, Andorra, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Gibraltar, Greece, Italy, Republic of North Macedonia, Malta, Montenegro, Portugal, San Marino, Serbia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, Vatican City.
- Western Europe: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, Switzerland.
- The countries of Azerbaijan and Georgia are among the 48 countries covered by CEPT and the Electronic Communications Committee (ECC), so the use of PMR446 radios is also allowed in these countries.
* Note: Russia and Ukraine only allow the 446.0-446.1 MHz frequencies (channels 1-8); therefore, newer radios using channels 9-16 (frequencies 446.1-446.2) will not be suitable for usage in these countries.
For all other countries, please contact the relevant government or legislative authorities for information.
Be sure to take the user manual of your radio with you when you travel! It can be helpful, for example, if you are stopped at a roadside checkpoint and the authorities ask you about the type and licence of your radio.
Licensed radios (professional radios)
Radios with an output power of 1-2 Watts or more (typically 4-5 W) are subject to the regulation of each country in which they are to be operated. To use them, you will need to obtain a licence from the competent authority in the country, which process can be expensive and permission is not always granted.
It is therefore advisable to first check whether a quality licence-free transceiver will provide the range you need.