What Are Commercial Two Way Radio Regulations?

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) licensing standards can be tough to understand. Anyone can get two or more two way radios of a certain type, but the FCC requires two way radio users to be licensed if the devices they intend to use are over a certain wattage, and if their use is intended for professional, commercial, or other use determined by the FCC.

What Are Commercial Two Way Radio Regulations?

There are six criteria by which the FCC determines whether or not it will require users of two way radios to be licensed. They are:

  • Purpose of use
  • Location of use
  • License Type
  • Emissions & Frequency Band
  • License Filing
  • Rules & Regulations

Those who intend to use two way radios for private, recreational use may not need to obtain an FCC license. However, if you’re using a public radio without a license you could be fined. Fines have been handed out to major hotel chain operators as high as $25,000 to $50,000. But as we will see, the cost of the license is always cheaper than the fines and penalties imposed by the federal government.

What is an FCC Two Way Radio License?

Every major company in the United States uses a two way radio system. Radio repeaters in the United States need to have their own FCC license. These can be obtained in one of two ways; the applicant can go to the FCC and apply for a license via a third-party representing the FCC, or the applicant can go to their local radio shop for help obtaining a license. The license demonstrates that the holder is registered as a professional or enterprise-grade user of two way radios and is compliant with commercial regulations for two way radios and other two way radio regulations. 

Do I Need an FCC License?

If you already own a two way radio system, chances are you already have an FCC license, in which case the seller will use the existing license. If not, some radios have predesignated licenses that come with them. These are called call license-free radios. Owners of license-free radios do not need to apply for a license. License-free radios are not as powerful as radios that are subject to FCC two way radio regulations as the capabilities of the two system types are not comparable.

The big question is, are you buying a commercial grade two way radio? If so, you need an FCC license. 

Most radios have a default frequency in them. However, if you buy a radio that utilizes a commercial-strength frequency you are breaking the law if you do not obtain the requisite license. So, just because a radio comes with a certain frequency does not mean you aren’t required to get a license for it. As a customer, a good rule of thumb is to ask whether or not you need a license anytime you buy a radio from a dealer other than a retail store. Retail stores tend to sell license-free radios because they’re cheaper, and are low-wattage.

Man talking in front of Building on a walkie talkie

How Much Does an FCC License Cost?

The average license costs approximately $600. With a repeater, it could cost as much as $750 to $800. These licenses are good for 10 years.

In the final analysis, buying the license is much cheaper than paying the fine. That’s all most people need to hear to realize that they need a license.

Takeaways

  • Fines are much more expensive than a License
  • Department stores sell license free radios most of the time
  • Your best bet is to ask the retailer if you need a license

In the end, it comes down to whether or not you are operating a corporation or a public company. For any organization that expects to be in business for a long time, your best bet is to and follow the rules. The way the FCC would put it, “If you have a two-way radio for commercial use, you should have a license for it.” Otherwise, you risk getting fined, and as we have already established- it’s not worth it.

To learn more about two way radios for private and commercial use, contact the professionals at Altech Radio.

Do I Need Professional Portable Radio Repair?

Many, if not most, major corporations, public utilities, and public safety organizations use portable two-way radios. Whether these are mounted in a vehicle or handheld radios that are carried by personnel– two-way radio repairs are important to the mission-critical functions of everyday business. This makes handheld radio repair from factory-trained repair technicians necessary when repairing new or original parts of a two-way radio. 

motorola radio repair

What’s great about most two way radio systems is, the technology has been around for a long time and the function and durability of these devices are the driving factors when it comes to quality assurance. That means they are durable, have long-lasting batteries, and can take a lot of abuse. The downside to their durability is, we tend to take for granted that they will keep working forever. These important pieces of communications equipment can potentially take us by surprise when they suddenly stop working. A professional radio mechanic , Motorola radio repair center will take care of these situations when they arise. Handling these repairs is what a two way radio mechanic does. 

So what do we do when we find ourselves in need of portable radio repair? More importantly, how can we prevent our portable radios from breaking down unexpectedly, leaving our teams in the lurch?

The Difference Between Portable and Mobile Radios

The two types of commercial two way radios; “portable” and “mobile” are often confused. This is because the two words mean the same thing in most contexts. But in the two way radio industry, a portable radio is one that is carried by a person and a mobile radio is mounted and stabilized inside a vehicle.

How Often Should Mobile and Portable Motorola Radios be Repaired?

For the average two way radio system, units should have their batteries replaced every two and a half to three years. In most cases, this is where companies run into trouble with their two way radio systems. More often than not, departments looking to save time and money will go online and buy the first battery they see that looks like the battery they have been tasked to replace.

Knock off batteries tend to be of lower quality and can even be defective and damage the radios they are used in. What’s more, using knock off or no-name batteries can void a warranty. It can also remove any opportunity to obtain professional-grade service and parts replacement by a reputable source, like Altech Electronics.  One of the advantages of today’s best commercial two way radios is that high-quality batteries last long enough to establish a reasonable timeline on which to base your maintenance schedule.

motorola radio repair

What Two Way Radio Components are Replaced Most Often?

As mentioned above, two-way radio technology has come a long way over the years- perhaps owing to its military origins, even though two-way radios are no longer just military portable radios. But the parts of these devices that break most are not the delicate internal components. Rather, it is the external grip surfaces and other protruding elements of the exterior. The most common replacement parts are the clip with the holster, the antenna, and the battery.

When it comes to replacing and servicing your radio, trust the pros at Altech Electronics. 

Altech specializes in Motorola portable radio repair. For example, Benton Dixon called Altech to service their 135 radios, four repeaters and combiner on their New Jersey campus. For years, their radios weren’t working properly. They called the company they ordered from who came out to fix them but didn’t deliver results for some reason. Then they called Altech and as it turned out, their antennas were broken at the base from rough use. Now, their radios are working better than ever.

Mobile Radio Repair Takeaways

  • Portable radios work best with factory-matched batteries
  • External components are far more vulnerable than well-protected internal components
  • Altech repair professionals look at the whole radio, not just the insides

If your organization depends heavily on well-functioning two-way radios, get in touch with the pros at our walke talkie repair shop when it comes time for Motorola two way radio repairs. Our mobile radio repair mechanics can fix your radios at our location or fix them at our our two way radio repair center