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Romania Puts Toe in the 5 MHz Waters with Scheduled Amateur Radio Testing


Romania has tentatively joined the list of countries making a band at 5 MHz available to Amateur Radio. Romanian telecommunications regulator ANCOM has granted radio amateurs access to 5 MHz on a scheduled testing basis for approximately 1 year. For the time being, the band is just 3 kHz wide — 5363.5 to 5366.5 kHz. Permissible modes are CW, PSK, RTTY, and WSJT, at a maximum EIRP of 15 W. Access is granted only to Romanian hams who register for the testing program. Initial testing in the sliver allocation will take place Thursdays at around 1600 UTC. According to Romania’s IARU member society Federatia Romana de Radioamatorism (FRR), the program is aimed as ascertaining whether propagation offer the possibility of carrying out emergency communication in the band.

Belgium recently made a 60 meter band available to radio amateurs. Belgian hams may operate from 5351.5 to 5366.5 kHz (15 kHz) with isotropic radiated power (EIRP) maximum of 15 W on a secondary basis. All modes of transmission are allowed.

Just days after delegates to World Radiocommunication Conference 2015 (WRC-15) reached consensus on a new global 15 kHz-wide allocation at 5 MHz, the Netherlands last December opened a 100 kHz band for Amateur Radio use. Hams there may use 5350-5450 MHz at up to 100 W PEP. Spain now permits access to 5351.5-5366.5 kHz, at least until December 2016. The band replaces six channels authorized previously.

WRC-15 laid the foundation for a global, secondary Amateur Radio allocation of 5351.5 kHz to 5366.5 kHz at up to 15 W effective isotropic radiated power in the US (some Region 2 countries will be permitted up to 25 W EIRP). Article 4.4 of the ITU Radio Regulations ‎lets countries authorize frequency assignments that are contrary to the international Table of Allocations, only on a non-interference, non-protected basis.

The new worldwide band won’t be available for use in the US until the FCC institutes a rule making proceeding and establishes operating parameters for the band. A set of five dedicated 5 MHz channels remain available to US radio amateurs. Similar channelized regimes are in place in other countries.

Other Countries with 5 MHz Amateur Bands

Other countries have authorized operation on 5 MHz band segments, dating back more than 10 years. Bangladesh allocated 5250-5310 kHz to the amateur service on a secondary basis for propagation experiments in 2005.

Elsewhere, Barbados permits operation on 5250-5400 kHz, Bulgaria allows access to 5250-5450 kHz, and Croatia in 2010 issued special 1 year licenses to operate on 5260-5410 kHz. Cuba in 2014 okayed access to a 15 kHz 60 meter band for domestic communication, 5418-5430 kHz.

In 2012, Denmark granted 5250-5450 kHz to Amateur Radio with up to 1 kW ERP permitted. Greenland is reported to have access to 5250-5450 kHz, an upgrade from an original set of seven channels. Grenada also permits 60 meter operation on 5250-5450 kHz at up to 1 kW PEP, depending upon license class. Hungarian national Amateur Radio society MRASZ has been issuing temporary permits for operation at 5350-5450 kHz. Iceland in 2010 gave radio amateurs in 2010 access to a 150 kHz band, 5260-5410 kHz band, replacing eight channels. Norway in 2009 approved 5260-5410 kHz for Amateur Radio use, replacing eight channels. Contrary to some reports, radio amateurs in Luxembourg have no access to 60 meters at present.

Oman allows temporary permits to operate in the 5319-5349 kHz segment. In Samoa, Atsuo Sakuma, 5W1SA, was granted special permission to operate 5250-5450 kHz. Slovakia granted radio amateurs temporary access to 5258.5-5410 kHz for experimental purposes in 2011. Somalia permits operation at 5060-5450 kHz, reportedly at up to 3 kW. Trinidad & Tobago allows 5250-5450 kHz at a maxim power of 1.5 kW PEP.

All allocations are on a secondary, non-interference basis. Some DXpeditions have experimented with 60 meter operation.