We plan to use em on cycling trips or roadtrips/tours with our band. Do we need a licence in the UK? What happens if we use em without a licence for no more than a few hours per month at most?
Officially you need a licence - it costs £75 for 5 years. Available online - BUT - frequencies are limited and you need somebody to programme them if you don’t have the cable and software. Mind you, you could discover they already have the right frequencies in them if they work with each other?
If you don’t have a licence then almost certainly nothing will happen at all, IF, and only if the frequencies programmed in are not in use wherever you go. If you go somewhere where they are in use and blot out the ground frequencies the local airport are using, or interfere with the small radios the Fire Service use for radios on the ground in a fire, then the implications are pretty obvious. OFCOM prioritise interference to essential services, but if they are on the frequency being used by some groups of people who legitimately should be there, expect at the least interference and at worst a posse of people turning up, having enlisted Facebook to mobilise people to find you. In practice of course, if you are somewhere like a small city or town, little will happen - if anything. Doesn’t;t make it right though. If your band play venues or events run by Councils (as mine does) occasionally you’ll get an officious caretaker or technical manager ask to see your licence - rare, but we’ve had it happen twice, but we are legally OK. However - Motorolas are normally treated because of their price, as something only licensed people have, so it’s unlikely you will go to prison - nobody cares IF and only if, they’re on safe channels. Do you know what they are operating on?