Radio Telemetry Receiver Station at Weather Station

Licensed Radio Telemetry vs Cellular

Licenced Radio Telemetry has been around for 50-years and in spite of cellular network evolution has experiencing its largest growth for decades.

We have customers, including a number of Utilities, the EA and Industry, that our Licenced Radio Telemetry systems send and deliver approaching 250-million messages per annum for and on behalf of, with current growth exceeding 30-million messages per year.

Applications include river level monitoring (EA, Industry and Utilities), Sewer Levels (Utilities and NHS), Sewer Overflow Monitoring (Utilities), Sludge Blanket Monitoring (Utilities), Pollution Monitoring (Industrial), Pump Control / Inhibit (Utilities), Borehole Monitoring (EA), Remote Condition Monitoring (NRW) just to mention a few examples.

Aside from plugging holes in the cellular networks customers are adopting our networks for less obvious reasons and saving as they do considerable amounts of money, plus enjoying the added advantages of enhanced levels of resilience, testability and serviceability.

The single most important advantage of Licenced telemetry is that of being protected in law by Ofcom against both eavesdropping and interference. Further, we and our customers are in total control of deployments ensuring that through careful management networks / installations do not conflict. Simply there is no 3rd party network operator who can pull the plug or take a mast offline for service without notice.

Normally Ofcom issues local PMR operating licences.  We uniquely hold National exclusive Licences that eliminates the risk totally of interference/ bleed-over from adjacent users. Hence we are free to deploy systems across the whole of the UK from the Channel Islands, SE to Northern Ireland with the absolute minimal risk of interference.

Using licenced radio  opens up the opportunity for significant power savings in comparison to cellular. On a like for like installation the savings can be very significant as much as 98% permitting data to be delivered far more frequently and battery lives of decades to be a reality. The savings come about due to the fact that telemetry use lean short message burst protocols where a unit can wake up and send a message in a fraction of a second. Whereas cellular from power up it can take several minutes to register/connect to the networks before sending a message.

Cellular no longer in many countries supports CSD data. That is where one device cans directly call another in the field to pass data. This means that simple point-to-point links are no longer achievable without resorting to risky methods such as SMS texts or complex IP routing over the internet using GPRS and remote data servers. Licenced telemetry supports all sorts of useful configurations such as point-to-point, master-to-slave and star-hub reporting. Further it can support one-way, two-way and broadcast messaging (one transmitter to multiple receivers).

Licenced telemetry does not require SIM cards. The elimination of a SIM card permits where required systems to be fully encapsulated for ingress protection and also prevents units from being stolen or vandalised for their SIM cards.

Then there is the question of obsolescence and unforeseen upgrades and patches to the cellular networks as they evolve. Countless stories exist across the utility and environmental sectors of equipment being orphaned / made obsolete due to network upgrades. Long term assurance is key to TOTEX. Therefore it is right that the uncertainty factor of cellular needs to be factored into the a TOTEX equation for whole of life cost calculations.

In conclusion, we believe that for those that need data or to control irrespective of the location , Licenced Radio Telemetry is a valid and economic option when compared against cellular.

Suggested Use Areas

 Licenced Radio Telemetry:

  • Point to point direct links 100m to 25km span
  • Star connected links 100m to 25km radius to central hub
  • 2-Way real-time control/remote control
  • Systems within works/on confined sites
  • City Wide Area Networks – AMR – Smart City Networks
  • Systems that need to communicate directly with telemetry / SCADA Gateways on Site
  • Systems that require frequent real-time data (Seconds to Hours)
  • Systems that require real-time control
  • Dual and Triple Redundant Systems (High SIL rated)


Sales & orders

Please call your local distributor for prices on products, systems and solutions. Spares and accessories may also be purchased through our online web portal