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How to Become a Radio Amateur

To oper­ate an ama­teur radio sta­tion one first must obtain a license from the telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions reg­u­la­tor of the coun­try where the sta­tion is locat­ed. The ITU Radio Reg­u­la­tions pro­vide a gen­er­al frame­work but every coun­try has its own reg­u­la­tions and requirements.

Rec­om­men­da­tion ITU‑R M.1544 sets out the min­i­mum qual­i­fi­ca­tions of radio amateurs:

  1. that admin­is­tra­tions take such mea­sures as they judge nec­es­sary to ver­i­fy the oper­a­tional and tech­ni­cal qual­i­fi­ca­tions of any per­son wish­ing to oper­ate an ama­teur station; 
  2. that any per­son seek­ing a license to oper­ate an ama­teur sta­tion should demon­strate the­o­ret­i­cal knowl­edge of: 
  • Radio regulations 
    • international 
    • domestic 
  • Meth­ods of radiocommunication 
    • radiotelephony 
    • radiotelegraphy 
    • data and image 
  • Radio sys­tem theory 
    • trans­mit­ters
    • receivers
    • anten­nas and propagation 
    • measurements 
  • Radio emis­sion safety 
  • Oper­at­ing procedures 
  • Elec­tro­mag­net­ic compatibility 
  • Avoid­ance and res­o­lu­tion of radio fre­quen­cy interference 

The abil­i­ty to send and receive texts in Morse code is no longer an inter­na­tion­al requirement.

The best source of spe­cif­ic infor­ma­tion about licens­ing require­ments is the IARU mem­ber-soci­ety in the coun­try concerned.

Print This Page Updated on October 22, 2020

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