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Friday, December 26, 2014

What Is MURS Radios?

MURS - 2-Way Handheld Radio

Well we talked about FRS, and GMRS Radios. The last question I have been asked is what is the MURS radio. Do I need a license to operate it? How far does it reach, and do you have any recommendation on what might be a good radio. Please LIKE and SHARE this with your family and friends. Next will be more focused on Amateur/ Ham Radio and some history of it.

In the United States, the Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) is an unlicensed two-way radio service similar to Citizens Band (CB). Established by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in the fall of 2000, MURS created a radio service allowing for unlicensed (Part 95) operation, with a power limit of 2 watts. The FCC formally defines MURS as “a private, two-way, short-distance voice or data communications service for personal or business activities of the general public.” MURS stations may not be connected to the public telephone network, may not be used for store and forward operations, and radio repeaters are not permitted.
In 2009 Industry Canada (IC) established a five-year transition plan which would have permitted the use of MURS in Canada starting June 2014.[1] In August of 2014 IC announced a deferral of MURS introduction, as “the Department does not feel that the introduction of MURS devices in Canada is warranted at this time, and has decided to defer the introduction of MURS devices in Canada until a clearer indication of actual need is provided by Canadian MURS advocates and/or stakeholders..”. [2]


No licenses are required or issued for MURS within the United States.
Any person is authorized to use the MURS frequencies given that it:[3]
  • Is not a foreign government or a representative of a foreign government.
  • Uses the transmitter in accordance with 47 CFR. 95.1309.
  • Operates in accordance with the rules contained in Sections 95.1301-95.1309.
  • Operates only legal, type accepted MURS equipment.


MURS comprises the following five frequencies:
Channel Frequency Authorized bandwidth Channel Name
1 151.820 MHz 11.25 kHz N/A
2 151.880 MHz 11.25 kHz N/A
3 151.940 MHz 11.25 kHz N/A
4 154.570 MHz 20.00 kHz Blue Dot
5 154.600 MHz 20.00 kHz Green Dot
MURS Dakota Base StationChannels 1-3 use “narrowband” Frequency Modulation (2.5 kHz deviation). Channels 4 and 5 use “wideband” FM (5 kHz deviation). MURS falls under part 95 and is not mandated for narrow banding such as those of part 90 in the public service bands by January 2013.
Because previous business band licensees who have maintained their active license remain grandfathered with their existing operating privileges, it is possible to find repeaters or other operations not authorized by Part 95 taking place. These are not necessarily illegal. If legal, such operations may enjoy primary status on their licensed frequency and as such are legally protected from harmful interference by MURS users.


MURS range will vary depending on antenna size and placement. With an external antenna, ranges of 10 miles or more can be expected.[4] Full line-of-sight propagation is usually not possible due to the relatively low power restriction of 2 watts.

Authorized modes

Designator Common Name
A1D Amplitude modulation; on off keyed or quantized; no modulation; Data, telemetry, telecommand
A2B Amplitude modulation; Digital, with modulation; Telegraphy for machine copy (RTTY, fast Morse)
A2D Amplitude modulation; Digital, with modulation; Data, telemetry, telecommand
A3E Amplitude modulation; Single analog channel; Telephony, voice, sound broadcasting
F2B Angle modulation, straight FM; Digital, with modulation; Telegraphy for machine copy (RTTY, fast Morse)
F1D Angle modulation, straight FM; on off keyed or quantized; Data, telemetry, telecommand
F2D Angle modulation, straight FM; Digital, with modulation; Data, telemetry, telecommand
F3E Angle modulation, straight FM; Single analog channel; Telephony, voice, sound broadcasting
G3E Angle modulation, phase modulation; Single analog channel; Telephony, voice, sound broadcasting

Permitted areas of operation

MURS operation is authorized anywhere a CB station is authorized and within or over any area of the world where radio services are regulated by the FCC. Those areas are within the territorial limits of:
  • The fifty United States
  • The District of Columbia
  • Caribbean Insular areas
  • Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
  • Navassa Island
  • United States Virgin Islands (50 islets and cays)
  • Pacific Insular areas
  • American Samoa (seven islands)
  • Baker Island
  • Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands
  • Guam Island
  • Howland Island
  • Jarvis Island
  • Johnston Island (Islets East, Johnston, North and Sand)
  • Kingman Reef
  • Midway Island (Islets Eastern and Sand)
  • Palmyra Island (more than 50 islets)
  • Wake Island
  • Aboard any vessel of the United States, with the permission of the captain, while the vessel is traveling either domestically or in international waters.


  • Transmitter power output is limited to 2 watts.
  • The highest point of any MURS antenna must not be more than 18.3 meters (60 feet) above the ground or 6.10 meters (20.0 feet) above the highest point of the structure to which it is mounted, whichever is higher.[5]
  • Transmitting on MURS frequencies is not allowed while aboard aircraft in flight.[5]
  • When transmitting in Puerto Rico, Desecheo, Mona, Vieques, and Culebra, care must be taken to not interfere with the Arecibo Observatory
  • Devices that use MURS must be specially labeled and certified.[4]


There are a wide variety of radio products that use MURS frequencies. MURS devices consist of wireless base station intercoms, handheld two-way radios, wireless public address units, customer service callboxes, wireless remote switches, and wireless call-boxes with or without gate opening ability. Since MURS uses standard frequencies, all devices that use MURS are compatible with each other.