Frequency Band Pro’s and Con’s

Licensing, encryption, type acceptance and frequency bands.

I get asked all the time,  “What band is the best?”  Wow, what a loaded question!  When it comes to radio communications,  I can only answer that question with about 20 more question to develop the correct answer.

Under the present FCC laws there are 5 radio services and rule sets that apply to most business and personal communications.  Here I outline each Radio Service and highlight the pros and cons of each.


Licensed as an individual, not a group or company.  License requires a test and some technical knowledge.  Multiple communications frequencies and formats available.  Encryption is strictly FORBIDDEN.  No type acceptance needed to transmit within the allotted HAM bands. Repeaters O.K. above 30 MHZ. Rule set known as Part 97. Part 90 Equipment can be used on these frequencies.

MURS (Multi-Use Radio Service)

5 frequencies in the 150 MHz band.  Power is limited to two watts.  No License required.  No repeaters.  Rule set known as Part 95.  While encryption is allowed, digital modulation is NOT. a radio that is Part 95 accepted that contains strong encryption does not exist.  Part 90 type accepted equipment can NOT be used on the MURS channels.

FRS (Family Radio Service)

14 channels in the 450 MHz band with a maximum power output of 500 milliwatts (1/2 watt).  No License required.  No repeaters. Analog only.   Encryption is permitted but no equipment is offered with a strong encryption format. Only radios type accepted for FRS can be used on the FRS frequencies.  Part 90 equipment can NOT be used on FRS frequencies.

GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service)

Multiple channels in the 460 MHz band.  System license required.  Encryption is forbidden.  High power commercial radio equipment part 90 type accepted O.K.  Repeaters O.K.


Part 90 contains the rule set for Commercial, Business Band and Public Safety and Itinerant frequencies.

Multiple channels in multiple bands.  Repeaters used in the 30,150,450 and 800 MHz bands.  Requires a System License and frequency coordination.  Encryption is a GO.   Licensees must make an eligibility statement to receive a license.  Only Part 90 type accepted equipment can be used on licensed frequencies.


The team at can assist you in your licensing and frequency coordination needs, please contact us and we can discuss the options that are available to you.  We have licensed Public Safety, Search and Rescue, Business, GMRS, and Itinerant users.  If it is Ham you are interested in, contact your local Ham radio club and see when they are hosting a testing session in our area, then talk to us about a tactical repeater.