Cuba Provides its Hams a Slice of 60 Meters


Cuba’s Ministry of Communications is reported to have made available to its radio amateurs a 12 kHz segment of 60 meter spectrum, as opposed to a channelized plan as the US and other countries have done. Access is not immediate. Hams in Cuba must obtain approval and a license modification. Access to 5418 to 5430 kHz will be on a secondary basis, with emphasis on its use during emergencies.

“Cuba is in the path of the Caribbean hurricanes every year, and this band allows a steady communication path for all the island,” said Pavel Milanes Costa, CO7WT, in Camagüey, who posted the news on the Internet.

Cuban hams will be allowed to use SSB, CW, and PSK31 and PSK63 in the new mini-band. Once an official emergency is declared in Cuba, band usage will be restricted to emergency traffic only. Hams there may run 50 W (10 W for Novice licensees), although 100 W would be permitted in an emergency if needed to provide a reliable link.

At World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC) 2007 it was Cuba that suggested establishing an allocation to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis within the band 5250 to 5450 kHz. The item failed at WRC-2012 but will be on the agenda of WRC-2015 as Agenda Item 1.4.

The band 5250 to 5450 kHz is allocated to the fixed and mobile services, except aeronautical mobile, on a primary basis. The FCC authorized five channels for US radio amateurs after consulting with the National Telecommunications & Information Administration (NTIA) regarding ongoing government use of that region of the spectrum. The US channels were specifically chosen to avoid Amateur Radio interference to government operations.