The Family Radio Service
(FRS) is an improved walkie talkie
radio system authorized in the United States
since 1996. This personal radio service uses channelized frequencies in the ultra high frequency
(UHF) band. It does not suffer the interference effects found on citizens' band
(CB) at 27 MHz
, or the 49 MHz band also used by cordless phones
, toys, and baby monitors
. FRS uses frequency modulation
(FM) instead of amplitude modulation
(AM). Since the UHF band has different radio propagation
characteristics, short-range use of FRS may be more predictable than license-free radios operating in the HF
Hybrid FRS/GMRS consumer radios have been introduced that have 22 channels. Many of these radios have been certified for unlicensed operation (on the 14 FRS frequencies, channels 1-14) under FRS rules.
***FCC License requirements for GMRS radios can be found HERE.
The FCC rules and statements regarding the use of hybrid radios on channels 1-7 stipulate the need for a GMRS license when operating under the rules that apply to the GMRS. Many hybrid radios have an ERP that is lower than 0.5 watts on channels 1-7, or can be set by the user to operate at low power on these channels. This allows hybrid radios to be used under the license-free FRS rules if the ERP is less than 0.5 watts and the unit is certified for FRS operation on these frequencies.
In the United States of America operation on channels 15-22 require an FCC GMRS license. Interference to licensed services may be investigated by the FCC.
Channels 8-14 are exclusively for FRS. Accordingly, GMRS operation is not allowed on these channels. Channels 15-22 are reserved exclusively for GMRS. As noted, FRS operation is not allowed on these channels