You may not be aware that there are TWO services approved by the FCC for unlicensed communications in the UHF and VHF bands. Most HT and mobile ham rigs can receive these channels, but transmissions require FCC approved equipment even if your equipment is capable of actually transmitting on these bands. The following is my understanding of these services. You should consult the appropriate FCC rules and regs for the real poop.


FRS Frequencies

Family Radio Service

Note that FRS channels 1 to 7 are also GMRS channels operating at 5 watts and 5 KHz deviation by licensed services (business band equipment), but unlicensed FRS operations are allowed. Note the limitations in the FRS band of 3 Khz deviation and 500 milliwatts into the rubber ducky antenna of a hand held radio only. You may have noticed the silly yellow radios used by increasing numbers of civilians in shopping malls, cruise ships (where they violate local countries' laws since FRS only exists in the US), and on ski slopes. 



New MURS Service

Multi-Use Radio Service

This is a brand new service was announced on July 12, 2000 and becomes effective when published in the Federal Register and objections are overcome.

The MURS Rules were scheduled to go into effect on November 13, 2000. CAUTION: Because of dissatisfaction within the communications industry about the way in which the FCC has conducted this docket, we expect one or more parties to file petitions for reconsideration (and possibly also petitions for stay) that could delay, and perhaps even halt altogether, the FCC's planned implementation of MURS. Click here for more information. (This is an external link--so it may be gone when you look. Let me know if you have updated information, so I can put it up on this site).

There are no restrictions on using external antennas, mobile rigs, or even on the antenna height as long as ERP is restricted to 2 watts. As with the FRS, there are no restrictions on personal use, and the MURS service specifically allows business uses as well. There are no license requirements of any kind on this new service as with FRS, but ham rigs should not be used to transmit as they are not "approved" for this service and don't meet the reduced deviation requirements. Note that the commercial "color dot" channels use some of these frequencies, but these users are expected to move to new commercial assignments in the future. Deviation must be no more than 2.5 kHz on MURS.

MHzAuthorized Bandwidth
151.820 MHz11.25 kHz
151.880 MHz11.25 kHz
151.940 MHz11.25 kHz
154.570 MHz12.50 kHz
154.600 MHz12.50 kHz


Posted 11/4/00