Flags of some US Overseas TerritoriesU.S. Overseas Territories Amateur Radio License Data

US Territorial Amateur Radio License Statistics Inside and Outside the 48 Continental United States

by Dr. Carol F. Milazzo, KP4MD (posted 07 August 2015)
E-mail: [email protected]

CONTENTS
  • Introduction
  • Territory License Count
  • Reserved US Territorial Prefixes
  • Territorial Callsigns Within the Continental US
  • References
  • Return to KP4MD home page
  • INTRODUCTION

    The issue of amateur radio callsigns that do not correspond with geographic location exists with some United States overseas territorial callsigns and also on a larger scale within the United States since March 24, 1978 when the Federal Communications Commission through Docket 21135 deleted Part 97.53 permitting licensees to retain their callsign regardless of wherever they move within the U.S., and since 1996 when the FCC adopted PR Docket 93-305 permitting vanity callsigns1 with any requested call district number.  In fact approximately 12% of all United States amateur radio operators have call signs that do not reflect the district in which they reside.2  This situation requires diligence in confirming the actual location of a station for contests and operating awards such as Worked All States and DX Century Club.3

    AMATEUR RADIO LICENSES IN ALASKA, HAWAII AND US OVERSEAS TERRITORIES (FCC ULS Data from 31 July 2015)4

    Amateur Radio Licenses in Alaska, Hawaii and US Overseas Territories
    State or Territory Prefixes Geo Amateur Advanced General Technician Technician Novice Club Total
    Region Extra Plus
    AK - Alaska [AKNW]L US/11 595 236 935 0 2042 41 64 3913
    AS - American Samoa [AKNW]H8 US/13 16 1 5 0 10 0 4 36
    GU - Guam [AKNW]H2 US/13 95 17 74 0 315 3 11 515
    HI - Hawaii [AKNW]H(6|7[^K]) US/13 697 242 849 0 2101 66 134 4089
    MP - Northern Mariana Islands [AKNW]H0 US/13 164 4 51 0 236 1 15 471
    PR - Puerto Rico [KNW]P[34] US/12 564 308 965 0 2383 367 79 4666
    VI - US Virgin Islands [KNW]P2 US/12 53 16 79 0 94 3 26 271
    Alaska, Hawaii and Overseas Territory Totals 2184 824 2958 0 7181 481 333 13961
    USA including Territory Totals 143030
    54630
    182424
    1
    387489
    13170
    12316
    793060

    AMATEUR RADIO CALLSIGN PREFIXES RESERVED FOR US OVERSEAS TERRITORIES

    The Federal Communications Commission assigns amateur radio callsigns with the following prefixes exclusively to amateur radio stations with a mailing address in the corresponding overseas territory pursuant to FCC Part 97.19(d)(4) which states:

    "(4) A call sign designated under the sequential call sign system for Alaska, Hawaii, Caribbean Insular Areas, and Pacific Insular areas will be assigned only to a primary or club station whose licensee's mailing address is in the corresponding state, commonwealth, or island..."

    US Overseas Territories Prefixes Locations of the insular areas of the
                        United States
    Prefix Territory
    [AKNW]H0 Mariana Is
    [AKNW]H1 Baker Howland*
    [AKNW]H2 Guam
    [AKNW]H3 Johnston Is*
    [AKNW]H4 Midway Is*
    [AKNW]H5 Palmyra Is*
    [AKNW]H5K Kingman Reef*
    [AKNW]H6&7 Hawaii
    [AKNW]H7K Kure Is*
    [AKNW]H8 American Samoa
    [AKNW]H9 Wake Is*
    [AKNW]L Alaska
    [KNW]P1 Navassa Is*
    [KNW]P2 US Virgin Is
    [KNW]P3&4 Puerto Rico
    [KNW]P5 Desecheo Is*

     *Uninhabited

    These overseas territories count as DX entities separate from the continental United States for many operating awards and contests.  Amateur radio operators in these territories may retain their callsigns when relocating to the continental United States or to any of its other overseas territories. In addition, a few amateur radio stations have established a temporary mail drop in an overseas territory solely for the purpose of obtaining such a callsign with no intent of ever operating a station in that territory, such as the case of the Alaskan callsign ALHA currently held by the Coconut Island DX Association in Hilo, Hawaii.  Amateur radio operators who seek contact with these territories for award or contest credit may experience some confusion when hearing these stations' callsigns on the air.

    TERRITORIAL CALLSIGNS REGISTERED WITHIN TEN POPULOUS CONTINENTAL UNITED STATES (FCC ULS Data from 31 July 2015)4

    This is a count of Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico "expatriate" callsigns with current addresses registered within ten of the most populous continental United States.
    This sample shows there are 1,527 KH6, KL7 and KP4 type callsigns among the 361,388 licenses in these states.  In comparison, there are 12,668 radio amateurs residing in the corresponding territories.

    Prefix CA TX FL WA OH NY PA MI IL NJ Total in 10 states Total in territory
    AH6 21 7 10 8 1 1 1 1 2 1 53
    KH6 59 17 19 33 3 1 0 3 4 1 140
    NH6 17 10 8 12 1 0 0 0 1 0 49
    WH6 72 17 24 24 6 2 4 5 4 3 161
    AH7 5 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 6
    KH7 19 3 7 11 0 0 0 2 0 4 46
    NH7 16 6 5 5 1 3 0 1 1 0 38
    WH7 11 3 1 2 0 0 2 0 1 0 20
    Hawaii 220 64 74 95 12 7 7 12 13 9 513 4089
    AL 14 16 12 36 3 4 4 4 3 1 97
    KL 42 47 24 130 10 11 4 15 10 1 294
    NL 7 13 5 31 3 2 5 0 0 1 67
    WL 28 22 10 46 6 1 4 3 4 3 127
    Alaska 91 98 51 243 22 18 17 22 17 6 585 3913
    KP3 1 0 1 0 0 2 2 0 0 1 7
    NP3 0 5 22 0 2 3 2 0 0 0 34
    WP3 1 3 15 0 2 2 1 0 1 5 30
    KP4 9 13 88 2 3 3 5 2 1 1 127
    NP4 4 5 19 0 2 3 1 0 1 6 41
    WP4 10 24 106 2 4 14 12 0 7 11 190
    Puerto Rico
    25 50 251 4 13 27 23 2 10 24 429 4666
    Total Territorials 336 212 376 342 47 52 47 36 40 39 1527 12668
    All Amateurs 103273 51321 40896 30846 28229 27653 23799 20885 20444 14042 361388

    REFERENCES

    1. United States Amateur Radio Vanity Callsigns, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_call_signs#Vanity_call_signs
    2. Amateur Radio Licensing in the United States: Call signs, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_radio_licensing_in_the_United_States#Call_signs
    3. "KL7, KH6, KP2 - What State Are You In?", http://www.eham.net/articles/13493
    4. Federal Communications Commission Universal Licensing System Amateur License Search, http://wireless2.fcc.gov/UlsApp/UlsSearch/searchAmateur.jsp
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