Submillimeter amateur radio

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Submillimeter amateur radio refers to Amateur radio in the sub-millimeter band. In the ITU Table of Frequency Allocations, no formal allocation to any radio service is present above 275 GHz, although the regulations themselves cover up to 3000 GHz (3 THz) and include footnote RR5.565 concerning this range. However, a number of administrations permit amateur radio experimentation within the 275–3000 GHz range on a national basis, under licence conditions that are usually based on RR5.565.

ITU Radio Regulations[edit]

In ITU Radio Regulations, the range 275 – 3000 GHz whilst not formally allocated, is subject to footnote 5.565; this was last revised by WRC-12 and the current version is below:

5.565 The following frequency bands in the range 275-1 000 GHz are identified for use by administrations for passive service applications:

275–323 GHz, 327–371 GHz, 388–424 GHz, 426–442 GHz,
453–510 GHz, 623–711 GHz, 795–909 GHz and 926–945 GHz;
275–286 GHz, 296–306 GHz, 313–356 GHz, 361–365 GHz, 369–392 GHz, 397–399 GHz, 409–411 GHz,
416–434 GHz, 439–467 GHz, 477–502 GHz, 523–527 GHz, 538–581 GHz, 611–630 GHz,
634–654 GHz, 657–692 GHz, 713–718 GHz, 729–733 GHz, 750–754 GHz, 771–776 GHz,
823–846 GHz, 850–854 GHz, 857–862 GHz, 866–882 GHz, 905–928 GHz, 951–956 GHz,
968–973 GHz and 985–990 GHz.

The use of the range 275–1000 GHz by the passive services does not preclude use of this range by active services. Administrations wishing to make frequencies in the 275–1000 GHz range available for active service applications are urged to take all practicable steps to protect these passive services from harmful interference until the date when the Table of Frequency Allocations is established in the above-mentioned 275–1000 GHz frequency range.

All frequencies in the range 1000–3000 GHz may be used by both active and passive services (WRC-12)


The current frequency plan [1] for German amateurs includes that frequency ranges 444 – 453 GHz, 510 – 546 GHz, 711 – 730 GHz, 909 – 926 GHz, 945 – 951 GHz and frequencies above 956 GHz can be used by the amateur radio service.

United Kingdom[edit]

In October 2016, the UK regulator Ofcom made available a licence variation available to Full licensees for a series of bands within the 275–3000 GHz range. Applications for this can be obtained online via the RSGB website,[2] which also provides guidance on its use and the 20 km protective radii around UK radio telescope sites.

United States[edit]

FCC rule [3] §97.301 permits amateurs use of frequencies above 275 GHz, subject to rule §97.303 Clause-f which requires:-

Not causing harmful interference to radio astronomy stations: 275–323 GHz, 327–371 GHz, 388–424 GHz, 426–442 GHz, 453–510 GHz, 623–711 GHz, 795–909 GHz, or 926–945 GHz.

In addition, amateur stations transmitting in the following segments must not cause harmful interference to stations in the Earth exploration-satellite service (passive) or the space research service (passive): 275–277 GHz, 294–306 GHz, 316–334 GHz, 342–349 GHz, 363–365 GHz, 371–389 GHz, 416–434 GHz, 442–444 GHz, 496–506 GHz, 546–568 GHz, 624–629 GHz, 634–654 GHz, 659–661 GHz, 684–692 GHz, 730–732 GHz, 851–853 GHz, or 951–956 GHz.