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PMR446 Frequencies and Channels

- summary of the channel and frequencuy allocations for PMR446 the licence free system operating at 446 MHz.


There PMR446 frequencies allocated to enable communications under the PMR446 licence exempt scheme. Before using a PMR 446 walkie talkie, it is necessary to ensure that the scheme has been adopted in the country of intended use, otherwise use of the PMR446 frequencies could cause interference to other users and break the law.

To check on the latest position regarding the use of PMR446 and see the progress made by CEPT member countries in implementing the Decisions, visit the European Radiocommunications Office (ERO) website at www.ero.dk.


PMR446 frequencies

There is a total of eight PMR466 channels or PMR466 frequencies that can be used. These are spaced 12.5kHz apart from each other. As the name of the system suggests, the PMR446 frequencies are in the UHF portion of the radio spectrum and located around 446 MHz.

The PMR446 frequencies have been harmonised (but not necessarily authorised) for use across Europe. The channel centre frequencies are as follows:

PMR466 Channel Frequency (MHz)
1 446.00625
2 446.01875
3 446.03125
4 446.04375
5 446.05625
6 446.06875
7 446.08125
8 446.09375

PMR446 frequencies and channels


Use of PMR446 frequencies and interference

The PMR446 frequencies are shared and users may experience interference and channel sharing problems in areas such as densely populated areas in cities, etc where usage is high.

The problems associated with the high levels of use of the PMR446 frequencies may be reduced by changing frequency. Other systems such as CTCSS tone and DCS codes may also help in alleviating problems.

In view of the unlicensed nature of PMR446 and the possible high usage of the frequencies, the schem is not suitable for safety of life use or for users who need to have access to frequencies at particular locations and times.


Worldwide use of PMR 446 frequencies

PMR446 is primarily a European system. Frequencies are harmonised across Europe and even within the EU, not all member states have authorised the system. Outside the European Union, the frequencies are most likely to be allocated to other users. For example within the USA, the PMR446 frequencies are allocated to amateur radio. Accordingly, PMR446 radios can only be used in the United States under FCC amateur radio regulations by licensed radio amateurs. The use of PMR446 within the USA has been an annoyance to U.S. amateur operators due to use of the equipment by European tourists in the USA.

A similar service exists within the USA and Canada. Called the FRS system, it provides a similar service on slightly different frequencies. However it should be remembered that FRS frequencies are allocated to the emergency services within Europe - the fire brigade in the UK and may be subject to criminal action.

By Ian Poole

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