Interference to hobby radio

10 November 2017

The use of wireless telegraphy apparatus is regulated by the Wireless Telegraphy Act 2006. Radio apparatus can only be used under the terms, provisions and limitations of a licence or a licence exemption regulation.

The following hobby radio services operate on a licence exempt basis:

Ofcom will not normally investigate problems caused by congestion. We may be able to help in exceptional circumstances, where the problem is widespread.

Causes of interference

Like other radio applications, hobby radio users may experience interference. It is normally caused by:

  • unlicensed use of wireless telegraphy apparatus
  • electromagnetic disturbance from apparatus or installations
  • poor immunity or receiver selectivity.

The spectrum for CB and PMR 446 apparatus is available to anyone using compliant equipment. If multiple users are using the same channel at the same time in close proximity, the channel can become congested. Accordingly, Ofcom will not investigate or protect individual users from the effects of congestion.

See our guidance on troubleshooting interference.