600-meter amateur radio band

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This article is about the amateur radio band. For the maritime band, see 500 kHz.

The 600 meter (or 630 meter) amateur radio band is the newest frequency band allocated by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) to amateur radio operators, and it ranges from 472 to 479 kHz. It was formally allocated to amateurs at the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12). The band is available on a secondary basis in all ITU regions with the limitation that amateur stations have maximum radiated power of 1 watt effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP); however, stations more than 800 km from certain countries[1] may be permitted to use 5 watts EIRP.[2][3][4]

The new WRC-12 allocation does not take formal effect until January 1, 2013.[3][4] However, several countries have already allocated the WRC-12 band to amateurs domestically. Previously, several other countries have authorized temporary allocations or experimental operations on nearby frequencies.

The band is in the Medium Frequency (MF) region, within the greater 415–526.5 kHz maritime band.


With maritime traffic largely displaced from 500 kHz band, some countries had taken steps prior to 2012 to allocate frequencies at or near 500 kHz to amateur radio use.

During the 2012 World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-12) of the International Telecommunication Union, a 15 kHz allocation to the amateur radio service was considered on a secondary use basis. The frequencies studied were between 415 kHz and 526.5 kHz.[5] The result was that 472–479 kHz was identified as agreeable for all three ITU Regions, except for some countries such as Russia, China and Arab states. WRC-12 re-allocated the original 500 kHz frequency back to exclusive maritime mobile use for new navigation systems. On February 14, 2012, the delegates at WRC-12 formally approved allocating 472–479 kHz to the amateur radio service; however, this new allocation will not take effect until it is entered into the ITU's Radio Regulations. Following that, individual regulatory authorities need to implement the change nationally in order to make the allocation available to radio amateurs under their jurisdiction.[6]

Recently amateurs have experimented with weak-signal radio communication near 474.2 kHz, utilising WSPR.

Countries in which operation is permitted[edit]

Regions with a 500kHz amateur radio allocation. Blue indicates official allocations based on WRC-12. Light blue indicates official allocations that are outside the WRC-12 frequencies. Green indicates experimental allocations. Operation is prohibited in red regions.

Countries with a known band allocation[edit]

Germany allocated the frequencies to amateur radio based on the WRC-12 conference, effective June 13, 2012.[7]

The Principality of Monaco allocated 472–479 kHz to the amateur service on May 18, 2012.[8]

The Philippines allocated 472–479 kHz to amateur radio, with an effective date of August 30, 2012.[9]

In New Zealand, the band 472 kHz to 479 kHz was allocated to amateur radio, on a secondary basis, with an effective date of December 20, 2012. Amateur transmissions are limited to 25 watts EIRP.[10]

In Australia amateurs now have an allocation from 472 to 479 kHz, known as the 630 metre band. The maximum EIRP is 5 watts.

In Belgium, on August 14, 2013, a new allocation of 472 to 479 kHz has been added to the existing allocation of 501 to 504 kHz for ham-radio operators holding a HAREC-class license. The maximum EIRP is 5 watts. All modes are permitted. [11]

In France (including the French Overseas Departments and Territories) amateurs have access to 472–479 kHz, with 1 watt EIRP.[12]

In Norway, including Svalbard, Jan Mayen, and the Bouvet Island, amateurs have an allocation of 472-479 kHz on a secondary basis. Maximum output power is 100 watts, and maximum EIRP of 1 Watt.[13]

As of December 2012, amateurs in some other countries continue to operate on their pre-WRC-12 permits on other frequencies.

Allocations before WRC-12[edit]

In Belgium, amateurs were allocated 501–504 kHz on a secondary basis on January 15, 2008. Only CW may be used with a maximum ERP of 5 W.[14] On August 14, 2013, an additional allocation for 472 to 479 has been added allowing all modes of transmission.

In Norway, the band 493–510 kHz was allocated to radio amateurs on November 6, 2009. Only radiotelegraphy is permitted.[15] After WRC-12, this allocation was replaced with an allocation of 472 to 479 kHz.

In New Zealand, the band 505–515 kHz was allocated to amateur radio temporarily, "pending an international frequency allocation", on March 1, 2010. Amateur use is on a non-interference basis, and transmissions are limited to 25 watts EIRP, with a bandwidth not exceeding 200 Hz.[16] Now that an international frequency allocation has been made by the ITU and subsequently implemented in New Zealand, this temporarily band is being phased out. A transition period of one year was given for amateurs to move to the new allocation. Use of this band will not be permitted after December 31, 2013.[10]

In the Netherlands 501–505 kHz was allocated to Amateur Radio operators, with a maximum of 100 watts PEP, on January 1, 2012.[17]

Countries with past or current experimental operation[edit]

Other regions have granted experimental uses for selected licensees in advance of any international frequency allocation.

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) granted the American Radio Relay League an experimental license to explore such uses in September 2006.[18]

Subsequently, the UK started to issue Special Research Permits for amateurs to use 501–504 kHz.[19]

Ireland has allowed individuals to apply for Test Licenses in the 501 to 504 kHz frequency range.[14]

Canada has allowed individuals to apply for use in the 504 to 509 kHz frequency range.[14]

Other regions with experimental operations include Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Spain and Slovenia.[14]

Countries in which operation is prohibited[edit]

As part of the compromise to allocate the band, a new footnote[20] was added to the ITU's Table of Frequency Allocations, which prohibits amateur operation between 472 and 479 kHz in many countries:

See also[edit]


  1. ^ §5.80A: The maximum equivalent isotropically radiated power (EIRP) of stations in the Amateur Service using frequencies in the band 472-479 kHz shall not exceed 1 W. Administrations may increase this limit of EIRP to 5 W in portions of their territory which are at a distance of more than 800 km from the borders of Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, China, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, the Russian Federation, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Mauritania, Oman, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Syrian Arab Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine and Yemen. In this frequency band, stations in the amateur service shall not cause harmful interference to, or claim protection from, stations of the aeronautical radionavigation service. (WRC 12)
  2. ^ Sumner, David (April 2012). "A New Band is Born!". In Ford, Steve. QST (Newington, CT: American Radio Relay League) 96 (4): 9. ISSN 0033-4812. 
  3. ^ a b Keane, S Khrystyne (April 2012). "Happenings". In Ford, Steve. QST (Newington, CT: American Radio Relay League) 96 (4): 77. ISSN 0033-4812. 
  4. ^ a b Sumner, David (May 2012). "WRC-12 Results in New Amateur MF Allocation". In Ford, Steve. QST (Newington, CT: American Radio Relay League) 96 (5): 62–66. ISSN 0033-4812. 
  5. ^ "Amateur MF Allocation Moves a Step Closer". ARRL. 2011-02-24. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  6. ^ "Amateur Radio Gets Secondary MF Allocation at WRC-12". 2012-02-14. Retrieved 2012-02-14. 
  7. ^ "German radio hams gain access to 472-479 kHz". Southgate Amateur Radio Club. June 14, 2012. Retrieved 2012-08-22. 
  8. ^ "472-479 kHz in Monaco". International Amateur Radio Union - Region 1. May 29, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-04. 
  9. ^ "Philippine Radio Hams get 7200-7300 kHz". Southgate Amateur Radio Club. September 1, 2012. Retrieved 2012-09-02. 
  10. ^ a b "Radiocommunications Regulations (General User Radio Licence for Amateur Radio Operators) Notice 2012.". New Zealand Government Website. December 7, 2012. Retrieved December 12, 2012. 
  11. ^ "BIPT - Besluit van de Raad van het BIPT van 13 augustus 2013 betreffende de toegang van de radioamateurs tot de frequentiebanden 472,000-479,000 kHz en 70,1900-70,4125 MHz" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  12. ^ "Décision no 2013-1515" [Decision No. 2013-1515] (PDF) (Press release) (in French). Autorité de Régulation des Communications Électroniques et des Postes. Réseau des Émetteurs Français. 17 December 2013. pp. 4–5. Archived from the original on 17 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014. 
  13. ^ "Forskrift om radioamatørlisens" (in Norwegian). Lovdata. Retrieved 2014-04-16. 
  14. ^ a b c d Colin Thomas, G3PSM and Hans Timmerman, PB2T (2010-08-15). "500 kHz". IARU Region 1. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  15. ^ "Forskrift om radioamatørlisens (Amateur Radio Regulations)" (in Norwegian). Lovdata. Retrieved 2009-11-08. 
  16. ^ Roy Symon, ZL2KH (2010-02-24). "2010 NZ Amateurs Granted Access to 600 metre Band". NZART. Retrieved 2012-04-15. 
  17. ^ "Regeling van de Minister van Economische Zaken, Landbouw en Innovatie van 20 december 2011, nr. AT-EL&I/6621235, tot wijziging van de Regeling gebruik van frequentieruimte zonder vergunning 2008 in verband met de implementatie van twee besluiten van de Commissie van de Europese Gemeenschappen en het vergunningvrij maken van het gebruik van grond- en muur penetrerende radar". overheid.nl. 2012-12-30. Retrieved 2012-01-03. 
  18. ^ QST (ARRL): p. 62. December 2006. 
  19. ^ "Special Research Permits in the region of 501 kHz". RSGB. Retrieved 2011-02-25. 
  20. ^ §5.80B: The use of the frequency band 472-479 kHz in Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belarus, China, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, the Russian Federation, Iraq, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Mauritania, Oman, Uzbekistan, Qatar, Syrian Arab Republic, Kyrgyzstan, Somalia, Sudan, Tunisia and Yemen is limited to the maritime mobile and aeronautical radionavigation services. The Amateur Service shall not be used in the above-mentioned countries in this frequency band, and this should be taken into account by the countries authorizing such use. (WRC-12)

External links[edit]