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Purchasing a frequency license

iversm24

Member
Joined
Sep 5, 2018
Messages
34
Location
Boyertown, PA
Does anybody know how difficult it is to get a license for private use of radio frequencies? I will need at least 4 frequencies to use.
 

N5XPM

Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2011
Messages
64
Location
Marble Falls, Texas
To expand a little, you need to work through a frequency coordinator. Can you elaborate if it is for base, repeater, mobile usage and whether it is for your business or a public safety / governmental organization or your family (GMRS)? Also, do you know what frequency band you want to operate in?
 

mmckenna

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Jul 27, 2005
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11,156
Location
SNCZCA01DS0
You would need to tell us more about what you want to do with them. It's not as simple as just picking a couple of frequencies and licensing them. Frequency coordination may be required.
 

mmckenna

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UHF and it would be for a private EMS business
You will need to work with a frequency coordinator to pick suitable frequencies for that service. The frequency coordinator will help find you 4 frequencies that are available in your area. They can also help you fill out and file the FCC paperwork, which will save you a lot of headaches.
Here's a list of frequency coordinators:
Public Safety Frequency Coordinators
Personally, I'd recommend IMSA over APCO. IMSA can be much easier to work with.

Don't purchase any radios until you have that done. I've seen people buy radios first only to find out no frequencies were available in the band.
 

GrumpyGuard

Member
Joined
Oct 6, 2003
Messages
614
Location
Oregon
When we needed frequencies for our church, we used a frequency coordinator and after we talked we ended up with five frequencies. One for use while traveling and four that can later be used with a repeater if needed. I found them to be helpful and easy to work with.
 

JeffDS3

Member
Premium Subscriber
Joined
Jun 5, 2016
Messages
576
Location
Kings County, CA
what’s your use case? Are you an IFT service? 911? Will you be interacting with other agencies on the radios? It may be easier to just rent services from a radio company.
 

chief21

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Mar 2, 2004
Messages
1,019
Location
Summer - western NC; Winter - Tampa Bay FL
Another concern... If you're providing EMS, you might be operating over a large area. If so, you'll need to think about proper wide-area radio coverage for those 4 frequencies. Simplex coverage would be fairly limited without repeaters. Would mobile coverage be adequate, or will handheld radios be required? If so, this further complicates the coverage issues. Depending on the circumstances, the cost for wide-area coverage for a 4-channel private radio system could easily run into six or seven figures. +1 for the rental option.
 

cmpsa

Member
Joined
Aug 21, 2011
Messages
126
Location
Massachusetts
short answer for FCC licensing is:
* private for-profit ambulance service: Apply for frequencies under "business/industrial" pool.
* private for-profit ambulance service, dispatched under a E911 contract: you would be eligible to apply for frequencies under "public safety pool", but I would stay away from public safety freqs, more of a hassle. Just get "business/industrial" frequencies, and you can get VHF or UHF, and if you want direct/simplex or a repeater pair.

WRBK832
here is our FCC license, as an example, which includes a for-profit ambulance service like yours:

We exclusively use VHF which has worked out the best for us. So it includes some VHF repeaters and VHF direct/simplex tactical frequencies. For radios we use a mixture of Kenwood TK-5710H which are VHF 110-watts high-powered mobiles, some Kenwood NX-5700 VHF 50-watts, and Motorola XPR5550e VHF 50-watt mobiles. The Kenwoods we use analog & P25 modes and the Motorola is analog & DMR (i.e. Motorola MotoTRBO) digital. With the digital VHF repeaters we get about 50-80 miles of coverage. VHF works best if you are out in the country, and not in a city.
 
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