What Frequencies Do Walkie-Talkies Use
Two-way communications become possible in walkie-talkies because signals are transmitted and received via a specific radio frequency or channel.
While there is a wide bandwidth of radio frequencies that communication devices are allowed to transmit and receive signals, private walkie-talkie users have limited channels or radio frequencies to operate in since most of the other frequencies are either being used by the military, police, a private entity or the government.
There are also frequency variations from country to country so it is important for walkie-talkie users to know first which radio frequencies or channels they can operate in without getting persecuted by the government or private entities for the intrusion.
Radio Frequencies and Bandwidths
Radio frequencies are measured in units of cycles per second or Hertz. Greek prefixes are added to the unit to denote increments – KiloHertz or KHz for thousands and MegaHertz or MHz for millions.
The two major bands where walkie-talkies operate are called the VHF (very high frequency) and the UHF (ultra high frequency).
VHF radio signals are those on frequencies from 30MHz to 300MHz while the UHF radio signals are those on frequencies from 300MHz to 3,000MHz.
The UHF radio signal has a shorter wavelength enabling it to find a way through rugged terrain or the inside of a building. The longer VHF means it can transmit further under ideal conditions.
Each country allocates radio frequencies to the various two-way radios including walkie-talkies by international agreements.
In the US for example, these two-way frequency services include the Citizen’s Band (CB), the Family Radio Service (FRS), the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), the Multiple Use Radio System (MURS), and the Broadband Radio Services (BRS).
Amateur walkie-talkie users in the US typically use the channels or frequencies on the CB and the FRS. The government usually has control of the GMRS and the MURS, while businesses operate on the BRS.