FCC Licensing

The use of radios for commercial or private use is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).  Individuals or entities desiring to operate on frequencies listed in the Industrial/Business Pool are required to obtain a radio station license for these frequencies.  A license is good for a period of 10 years from when it is issued.  

Licensing Process

The following checklist will help you navigate the licensing process through three distinct steps:  

  • Register with the FCC:  An account must be registered with the FCC as the owner, this is best completed by the individual that    
  • Gathering Information: Preparing to License outlines the important information about your radio system that you gather before you contact a frequency coordinator.
  • Frequency Coordination: Frequency coordinators are FCC certified and a required part of the licensing process.  They recommend the most appropriate frequencies for applicants in the designated Part 90 radio services. Applications for new frequency assignments, changes to existing facilities, or operations at temporary locations must include a showing of frequency coordination.  The Frequency Coordinator as part of their service will also file your application for you through the Universal Licensing System (ULS).  

Register with the FCC


Gathering Infomation

Before you begin the licensing process, you must have detailed information about your radio system to provide to the frequency coordinator, such as:

  • Frequency/ Frequency Band
    • What frequency band or specific frequency you want to operate on. Note: Frequencies in the 470-512 MHz band are shared with UHF-TV channels 14-20 and are only available in 11 cities. The Commission's rules require licensees to show that any assigned channels in this band in a particular urbanized area are at full capacity before they will be assigned additional 470-512 MHz channels in that area. See Shared Frequencies for more information.
  • Mobile Radio Count
    • The number of mobile radios that will operate on the system.
  • Output Power/ERP
    • The output power of the system amplifier, as well as the effective radiated power (ERP), which is the system's power at the antenna.
  • Emission Designators
    • Includes several pieces of vital information: modulation, signal, type of information and size of the channel. This determines the channel width your system will occupy.

Note: Operations within 31mi/50km or the Canada/United States or the Mexico/United States Border requires special consideration, make the Frequency Coordinator aware of this detail early in the conversation.  

Frequency Coordination

Bad Elf chose FIT for our own frequency coordination needs and can without reservation recommend their service to you.  

The FCC understands their backlog shouldn't affect your operations.  10 days after your application for licensing has been submitted you may begin operating under a provisional callsign. Your callsign will be the 10-digit phone number associated with your FRN account.