Have you ever been in a place where you can’t use your wireless telephone—like skiing at higher altitudes, camping in a remote area, or even shopping at the mall? There are other wireless services that allow you to keep in touch—personal radio services.
A personal radio service is a short-range, low-power radio transmission using a device or devices that operate much like walkie-talkies. Personal radio services include one and two-way voice services, data transmission, and transmissions that operate equipment by remote control. The most popular types of personal radio services are Citizens Band Radio Service (CB), Family Radio Service (FRS), General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), Low-Power Radio Service (LPRS) and Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS). Of these types of personal radio services, only GMRS requires an FCC license to operate.
Personal radio services offer several benefits over other services. Devices generally are not very expensive, usually can be hand-held, and work without the need for transmission towers or other equipment. Some types of personal radio services, generally those that are authorized in the very high frequency (VHF) and ultra high frequency (UHF) portions of the radio spectrum, do not suffer from the static, noise, and fading that you may encounter using CB service or walkie-talkies. In addition, using a personal radio service requires no service contract or monthly fee.
Click here to go directly to the FCC website for more information about personal radio services.
Click here to download FCC pdf document on personal radio services.
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) started the Narrowbanding proceedings, also known as Refarming, almost twenty years ago in an effort to promote more efficient spectrum use in the 150-174 MHz (VHF) and 421-512 MHz (UHF) Part 90 radio frequency bands (which include Business, Industrial, Education, Transportation, Public Safety, and State, Local, and Provincial Government two-way radio system licensees). The FCC has released numerous rulings during this time defining the requirements and mandating specific deadlines which you may need to take action on.
As of January 1, 2013, the Commission's rules will prohibit Industrial/Business and Public Safety Radio Pool licensees in the 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz bands from operating with wideband channels (unless their equipment meets the narrowband efficiency standard), even if the license still lists a wideband emission designator. Licensees operating in wideband mode after January 1, 2013 that have not received a waiver from the Commission extending the deadline will be in violation of these rules.
Operation in violation of the Commission's rules may subject licensees to appropriate enforcement action, including admonishments, license revocation, and/or monetary forfeitures of up to $16,000 for each such violation or each day of a continuing violation and up to $112,500 for any single act or failure to act.
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