The Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS) is a two-way radio service consisting of 5 VHF frequencies. Established by the FCC in 2000, MURS allows for "licensed by use" operation, which means a "blanket license" to use MURS has been issued and no individual license is necessary. The FCC defines MURS as "a private, two-way, short distance voice or data communications service for personal or business activities of the general public."
There are some restrictions when using MURS:
- The radio is limited to 2 watts of power.
- Radios must be certified for MURS use. Currently very few radios sold in the USA are approved for MURS use.
- MURS radios cannot be connected to the public telephone network.
- The use of repeaters is not allowed.
- A MURS antenna must not exceed 60ft above ground, or 20ft above the highest point of the structure on which it's mounted. Although there are limitations on the antenna's height, there are no restrictions on the use of external antennas. Allowing for base radios with a mounted antenna to extend talk ranges.
- There is no age restriction regarding who may operate a MURS radio.
Since MURS uses VHF frequencies it's good for short-range communication, particularly outdoors where VHF frequencies perform best. VHF frequencies are prone to "dead spots" indoors.
There are five MURS channels, and the channel bandwiths are either 11.25 kHz, or 20.00 kHz, for each channel. The channel frequencies and (bandwidth) are:
- 151.820 MHz (11.25 kHz)
- 151.880 MHz (11.25 kHz)
- 151.940 MHz (11.25 kHz)
- 154.570 MHz (20.00 kHz)
- 154.600 MHz (20.00 kHz)
So, the first 3 frequencies are narrowband, and the second 2 frequencies are wideband. Any MURS radio must conform to these frequencies AND these bandwiths.
MURS operation is authorized:
- Anywhere a CB station is authorized.
- Within any area where radio service is regulated by the FCC.
- Aboard any vessel of the United States, with the permission of the captain, while the vessel is traveling either domestically or in international waters.
- MURS operation is not authorized aboard aircraft in flight.
Currently there are very few radios on the market that are specifically approved by the FCC for MURS.