Licensed amateurs have access to a large range of frequencies.
Amateur radio enthusiasts are allowed to build or modify their transmitting equipment, and are not required to obtain any industry or governmental approvals before using it.
Radio operators are not allocated fixed frequencies or channels as such but once licensed, they can use any frequency within their allotted bands, and can transmit using medium to high powered equipment.
Frequencies are allocated to amateurs throughout the RF spectrum, thus providing them with a wide choice, depending upon their target city, region or country. Shortwave bands (HF), will allow the amateur to transmit worldwide, and the Very High Frequency and Ultra High Frequency (VHF and UHF) bands are suitable for regional communication. Broad microwave bands have sufficient bandwidth for television and high speed data networks. (Perhaps more commonly know to us for home wifi connections).
Power levels granted to amateurs are sufficient for global communication. However the levels vary from country to country, and when travelling overseas, amateur operators are required to comply with the local limits and licensing conditions. The upper limits can vary from around 2.25 kilowatts in Canada, to 1.5 kilowatts in the United States to 400 watts in countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom.
The allocation of communications frequencies worldwide is governed by the International telecommunications Union (ITU), and each country participates via their national communications regulatory authority. Each country has some leeway in restricting access to certain frequencies, and also may allocate additional frequencies provided they do not interfere with radio services in other countries. The International Amateur Radio Union (IARU) members ensure the most effective use of the allocated frequencies.
LEARN ABOUT COMMUNICATION METHODS > MORE