GMRS, or the General Mobile Radio Service band is part of the PRS, or Personal Radio Service bands, as outlined by the FCC (Federal Communications Commission), which regulates and makes rules for the use of all RF (Radio Frequency) radio spectrum in the United States. The band is usable for personal or business two-way radio communications, and is used by individual preppers, families, Neighborhood Watch groups, CERT and other organizations.
The GMRS band consists of 23 frequencies, which overlap on 7 channels with the FRS (Family Radio Service) band. Transmitting on GMRS channels does require a license, which can be easily obtained online by any US citizen 18 years of age or older. Although there’s a proposed rule making to remove licensing from the GMRS band, no action has been taken by the FCC on the matter for several years.
A GMRS license is currently $65, lasts for 5 years, is shared by you and your immediate family, and with a simple online user registration (do this first to get an FRN (FCC Registration Number, then log in) and license application, is usually granted within just a few days (or less).
|Channel||Rx Freq.||Tx Freq.||Std. Tx PL||Mode||Power|
|GMRS/FRS 1 CALL||462.5625||462.5625||67.0||NFM||5 W|
|GMRS/FRS 2||462.5875||462.5875||67.0||NFM||5 W|
|GMRS/FRS 3 EM||462.6125||462.6125||67.0||NFM||5 W|
|GMRS/FRS 4||462.6375||462.6375||67.0||NFM||5 W|
|GMRS/FRS 5||462.6625||462.6625||67.0||NFM||5 W|
|GMRS/FRS 6||462.6875||462.6875||67.0||NFM||5 W|
|GMRS/FRS 7||462.7125||462.7125||67.0||NFM||5 W|
|GMRS 15||462.5500||467.5500||67.0||FM||5 W|
|GMRS 16||462.5750||467.5750||67.0||FM||5 W|
|GMRS 17 EM||462.6000||467.6000||67.0||FM||5 W|
|GMRS 18||462.6250||467.6250||67.0||FM||5 W|
|GMRS 19||462.6500||467.6500||67.0||FM||5 W|
|GMRS 20 EM/TRAVEL||462.6750||467.6750||141.3||FM||5 W|
|GMRS 21||462.7000||467.7000||67.0||FM||5 W|
|GMRS 22||462.7250||467.7250||67.0||FM||5 W|
Being in the UHF band between 462 & 467 MHz (megahertz), GMRS is particularly useful for indoor and urban settings, because these higher frequencies have a tendency to reflect and bounce around between obstructions, and thus reach their destination when lower VHF frequencies would otherwise be absorbed and fall off. On the same token, GMRS usually doesn’t do as well in rural, outdoor settings because the UHF waves tend to be absorbed more by trees and foliage, and don’t “bend” over hills as well as lower frequencies. This is why we recommend an EmComm radio that can do both UHF GMRS and VHF MURS at the same time, keeping you safe and in contact in just about any setting.
Unlike the FRS (Family Radio Service) Band, which most people use with cheap, throw-away blister-pack radios with fixed antennas and very low power limits (0.5 Watts), GMRS allows external antennas and up 5 Watts of power for handheld “HT” or “Walkie-Talkie” radios, and up to 50 Watts for mobile and base station radios, greatly increasing your potential operating range and making GMRS a great choice for serious recreational, prepper or SHTF emergency communications.
We’ll be providing much more information about this band soon as it’s one of the most popular services used for EmComms (Emergency Communications)!