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PMR446 – An Opportunity for Warehouse Staff

PMR446 is a new licence exempt, short-range radio service that is revolutionising the two-way radio market in the UK. This service, which is intended for use by consumers and business users alike, is replacing the popular and successful Short-Range Business Radio (SRBR) service, which was restricted to business users. The SRBR service will be phased out in 2003 and from September this year, no new licences will be granted.

PMR446 radios are an effective and low cost communication solution. They provide general-purpose radio communications over a range of up to 3kms . Affordability is the main benefit, with radios ranging from £80, for consumer market models, to £180 for a commercial quality products. This gives a wide choice for any manager wishing to equip his staff with an economical form of on-site communication.

The main selling point of PMR446 is that there is no need for a licence and no previous knowledge or experience of radio equipment is necessary. Simplicity is also ‘built-in’, as many PMR446 radios have only a few buttons and are very easy to use. Some PMR446 transceivers are also quite small and most fit comfortably into a trouser pocket.

The power source of PMR446 equipment can vary. Commercial market models are usually supplied with a Ni-Cd rechargeable pack and charger. However, at the cheaper end of the market ‘AA’ batteries are usually required to operate the product. Accessories are also readily available, with most manufacturers offering a wide range. This allows operators to tailor the equipment to meet specific, individual needs.

Whether you use PMR446 to improve communications for your business or to just keep in touch with your family and friends the benefits are enormous. These include no call charges, no licence fee, no age restriction, almost no running costs (you only have to recharge the batteries) and easy and immediate use. PMR446 can be used by anyone, anytime and anywhere. There is no need to pass a test and there is no airtime contract. The service may also be used in many other EU countries, without restriction .

Because PMR446 is ‘open-to-all’ the system is not secure. If your communications must remain secure then you should consider an alternative solution, such as PMR.

However, if privacy is desirable but not essential there are other alternatives. The Icom IC-F4SR(446), for example, allows you to select from over 400 different channel/code combinations. In addition, its auto channel function locates the first available channel, minimising interference with other users.

The Icom IC-F4SR(446) is based on its successful SRBR predecessor, renowned as one of the most reliable models available. It is a commercial model rather than a consumer product and therefore inherits solid construction and a range of useful ‘business’ functions such as auto channel selection, paging and group call facilities. It is a durable and reliable radio that has been built to last in tough commercial envionments, whilst retaining smart, modern styling. It is supplied with a long-life rechargeable battery, able to deliver 8 hours operation, a mains charger, belt-clip, antenna and comprehensive handbook. It also carries a three-year warranty and, at £169.99 + VAT, represents excellent value for money. A comprehensive range of accessories is also available.

Icom UK Marketing -


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