What Frequency Do Walkie Talkies Use?

Walkie talkies, commonly referred to as two-way radios, leverage the power of radio waves to enable communication between devices. The topic of the frequencies utilized by these two-way radios often sparks intrigue among users. So, to shed light on the key question – ‘What frequency do walkie talkies use?’ – we will delve into a detailed exploration of the subject.

The frequencies used by walkie talkies span a broad spectrum, divided into various types, each suited to specific applications. Read on to gain a deeper understanding of the nuances of walkie talkie frequencies.

Understanding the Frequency Utilized by Walkie Talkies for Communication

Two-way radios or walkie talkies harness radio waves for communication, measured in Hertz (Hz), MegaHertz (MHz), or GigaHertz (GHz).

Radio waves traverse a colossal frequency range from as low as 30 Hz to a staggering 300,000 MHz. However, two-way radios tap into a smaller frequency range stretching from 136 MHz up to 900 MHz, as per the guidelines of the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Present-day walkie talkies mainly operate within the Family Radio Service (FRS) range. This is a license-free frequency range that employs 22 channels in the 462 and 467 MHz range of the Ultra High Frequency (UHF) band.

See also  Emergency Survival Guide: How To Get Help When You Have No Cell Signal

The frequency range utilized by walkie talkies can differ based on several variables, such as the country of operation, the specific device used, the intended purpose of the walkie talkie, and the licensing status of the user.

A Deeper Dive Into the Different Frequency Ranges of Walkie Talkies

Now that we have a foundational understanding of the frequency range used by walkie talkies, let’s dissect the different types of frequency ranges and their respective applications:

1. Family Radio Service (FRS)

FRS operates on frequencies ranging from 462.5625 to 467.7250 MHz, divided into 22 channels within the UHF band. This service is intended for personal use without necessitating a license, as per FCC guidelines, making it perfectly suited for leisurely walkie talkie usage as well as family and group activities.

The power output for these frequencies can be either 0.5 watts (for channels 8 to 14) or 2 watts (for channels 1 to 7, 15 to 22).

2. General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS)

GMRS is a widely used radio service for transmitting data and information across short distances, making it a popular choice for walkie talkies. Similar to FRS, this service uses channels ranging from 462 to 467 MHz. However, GMRS can operate at a power output of up to 50 watts across 30 channels, but using these frequencies for walkie talkies requires an FCC license.

Getting this license is straightforward as long as you’re over 18 years of age, and the permit is generally valid for around 10 years. For more information on walkie talkie licenses, click here.

3. PMR446

PMR446 serves as a walkie talkie frequency range in the UK but is not used in North America and Australia, where these frequencies are reserved for military radar systems and amateur radio operators.

See also  The Ultimate Guide to Mounting a CB Radio without Drilling

This service operates for less than 180 seconds per transmission cycle and offers 16 0.5-watt channels ranging from 446.00625 to 446.19375 MHz.

4. Multi-Use Radio Service (MURS)

MURS operates over 5 channels that range from 152.820 MHz to 154.600 MHz with a power output of 2 watts. FCC regulations prohibit using walkie talkies above 2 watts or repeaters with these frequencies.

MURS doesn’t require an FCC license and is typically used for transmitting voice communications and confidential information by businesses within a short range.

5. Very High Frequency (VHF)

VHF frequencies are valued for their capacity to cover long distances with considerably lower power. Operating within a frequency range of approximately 136 to 174 MHz, VHF is notable for its ability to cover a longer distance, making it an excellent choice for outdoor use, such as in wide-open fields. However, these frequencies lack the penetration capabilities of higher frequencies, making them less suitable for environments with numerous obstacles.

6. Ultra-High Frequency (UHF)

UHF offers a wider band, ranging from 400 MHZ all the way to 512 MHz. The superior penetration capabilities of these frequencies make them suitable for walkie talkie operations within buildings. Walkie talkies operating on these frequencies are typically more compact and come with smaller antennas.

7. Extreme Radio Service (EXRS)

EXRS employs the highest range of frequencies, around 900 MHz. These frequencies also possess excellent penetration power and are thus used in buildings, without any restrictions regarding the purpose or age of the user.


This comprehensive guide on ‘What frequency do walkie talkies use?’ reveals that the frequency range of two-way radios fluctuates based on their type, location, and user licensing.

See also  Your Comprehensive Guide to CB Radio Fuse Size: An In-Depth Look

The frequency range spans from 136 to 900 MHz, with the most prevalent frequencies ranging from 462.5625 to 462.7250 MHz within the FRS and GMRS categories. We hope this discussion has offered a better understanding of walkie talkie frequencies and their applications.

Leave a Comment