0800 294 7766
Platinum Motorola

VHF or UHF Two Way Radio?

Builder with walkie talkie communicating with crane operator

We supply both UHF and VHF two way radios, but if you're confused about which to ask for, don't panic. Our experts are here to guide you. Call 0800 294 7766 or send an enquiry.

We all want as little disruption to the signal as possible when we receive or transmit messages from our two way radio. One factor that may influence your choice then, depending on your environment, is whether your radio uses a VHF or UHF signal.

The best one for you will depend on your particular circumstances, as both UHF and VHF frequencies have their own unique benefits and drawbacks.

The differences between UHF and VHF Radios  


UHF (ultra high frequency) signals operate at the higher end of the radio frequency spectrum.  They can more easily penetrate metal and concrete structures, which makes UHF radios a good choice in built-up areas like towns and cities, or for densely wooded or hilly areas. It also makes them popular for indoor use. In these environments, the radio signal is more easily transmitted through and around dense objects.

If compactness is a consideration for you, it’s worth mentioning that UHF radios generally have shorter (stubby) antennas, which makes them slightly less cumbersome to carry around. You can, however, boost the range of a UHF radio a little if you fit a longer whip antenna. The longer antennas are more commonly found on VHF radios - they can be uncomfortable for users (e.g. security guards) who wear their radio on a belt under their jacket.

UHF radios are commonly used for communication in warehouses, schools and retail stores, indoor security environments etc.


VHF (very high frequency) signals occupy the lower end of the radio frequency spectrum. The longer wavelength of VHF enable it to travel further than UHF, so VHF radios could be right for you if you are primarily looking for two way radios for outdoor use. VHF radios are used exclusively in aviation and marine communication, and are great for grounds maintenance workers, use in open fields, golf courses, and for outdoor security environments.

VHF signals don’t penetrate metal and concrete structure very well though, so VHF radios may not be right for you in very built-up locations, or if you need a radio that will be used primarily indoors.

Can I convert a VHF radio to a UHF radio and vice versa?

Unfortunately it's not possible to convert VHF to UHF etc, as each type of radio contains hardware that enable it to operate on a specific frequency range. If you're buying or hiring more radios to work alongside ones you already use, they need to be of the same type.

If you’re hiring two way radios and aren’t sure if UHF or VHF is best, contact our experts on 0800 294 7766 for advice. 

Released On 30th Jul 2015

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