Business band

The business band is the name used by US radio users and scanner hobbyists who use the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Industrial/Business pool frequencies. The regulations listing frequencies in this pool are contained in Subpart C of Part 90, Title 47 of the CFR.


The pool describes a series of frequencies on the VHF and UHF two-way radio bands. They are reserved for use by companies and individuals operating commercial activities; educational, philanthropic, or ecclesiastical institutions; clergy activities or hospitals, clinics, or medical associations.[1] In the United States, use of these frequencies requires a license issued by the U.S. FCC. The exceptions to this are five specific frequencies that are also part of the Multi-Use Radio Service, which permits unlicensed operation on these frequencies, provided the output power does not exceed 2 watts. There are also other frequencies such as citizen's band and Family Radio Service that may be used without a license.

Channels are available in several frequency ranges to suit the users' requirements for propagation and protection from interference. The electromagnetic spectrum between approximately 450 and 470 MHz is used largely for UHF business communications, although this spectrum is not exclusively for business use. In some large metropolitan areas, such as New York, the UHF-T band (between 470 and 512 MHz) is also used, due to congestion on the standard VHF or UHF bands. There are also a number of specific frequencies, in both the VHF and UHF spectrum, that are for business use; some of these have color-coded names, such as Blue Dot or Red Star.

In 2004, the FCC required all CFR 47 Part 90 VHF (150–174 MHz) and UHF (421–470 MHz) PLMR (Private Land Mobile Radio) licensees operating legacy wideband (25 kHz bandwidth) voice or data/SCADA systems to migrate to narrowband (12.5 kHz bandwidth or equivalent) systems] by January 1, 2013.[2]


The Private Land Mobile Radio Service (47CFR90, or Part 90 of the FCC Rules) was established in the US in 1927 [3] to permit commercial and public safety uses of two-way radio by commercial entities and non-Federal government agencies. Similar allocations are available in other countries. The available frequencies in the US have traditionally been separated into two pools. One is for industrial and business users, including some special categories such as petroleum, manufacturing and forestry; the other is for public safety[4] including medical, police, fire and others. The industrial and business frequencies, sometimes also known as "business band radio" and the eligibility requirements are listed in 47CFR90.35.[1] Frequencies are licensed on a non-exclusive basis, although fixed stations and mobiles operating in a defined area are issued licenses only following frequency coordination [5] to assure equitable sharing of bandwidth. Anyone conducting commercial business or a number of other activities is eligible for a license.

Other general-purpose two-way radio services with simplified licensing requirements have also been established over the years in the US including GMRS and citizen's band, the latter now being licensed by rule, so that users don't need individual licenses. FRS and MURS are similar pools of frequencies that do not require individual licenses in the USA. There is a similar group of low power, unlicensed two-way frequencies in other countries, such as PMR in Europe and UHF CB in Australia.

Frequency charts

Although the term "business band" refers to several discrete frequencies that are not grouped into a single band, examples of some of the frequencies are grouped by band and listed below. These charts also list other frequencies not specifically part of the "business band" but commonly used by businesses. An individual license is still required under GMRS rules. A few manufacturers added these DOT frequencies to Business radios in the 1990s to have more "channels" and aid in selling radios.


Low-band frequencies

Name Frequency Notes
27.490 MHz Low power, itinerant[lower-alpha 1]
27.510 MHz Low power
27.555 MHz Low power
30.840 MHz Low power
33.120 MHz Low power
33.140 MHz Low power
33.400 MHz Low power
35.020 MHz Low power
35.040 MHz Low power, itinerant
42.980 MHz Low power
43.040 MHz Low power, itinerant
  1. An itinerant frequency is normally used for mobile commercial activity, such as construction work or event planning. This comes in contrast to a license issued for a fixed location.

VHF frequencies

Name Frequency Notes
151.505 MHz Itinerant
151.5125 MHz Itinerant (narrow band)
Red Dot 151.625 MHz Itinerant
151.700 MHz Itinerant
151.760 MHz Itinerant
151.820 MHz Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS); 2 watts, 11.25 kHz bandwidth
151.880 MHz Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS); 2 watts, 11.25 kHz bandwidth
151.940 MHz Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS); 2 watts, 11.25 kHz bandwidth
Purple Dot 151.955 MHz
154.515 MHz
154.540 MHz
Blue Dot 154.570 MHz Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS); 2 watts, 20 kHz bandwidth
Green Dot 154.600 MHz Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS); 2 watts, 20 kHz bandwidth
158.400 MHz Itinerant
158.4075 MHz Itinerant (narrow band)

UHF and GMRS frequencies

Name Frequency Notes
White Dot 462.575 MHz GMRS
Black Dot 462.625 MHz GMRS
Orange Dot 462.675 MHz GMRS
Brown Dot 464.500 MHz Itinerant
Yellow Dot 464.550 MHz Itinerant
Silver Star 467.850 MHz
Gold Star 467.875 MHz
Red Star 467.900 MHz
Blue Star 467.925 MHz
(Brown dpx) 469.500 MHz Itinerant
(Yellow dpx) 469.550 MHz Itinerant


External links

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