The Low Power Radio Service (LPRS) is in the 216.0 – 217.0 MHz range. The most common use of LPRS spectrum is short-distance, one-way communications for health care, educational, and law enforcement industries.
Similar services include Part 15 unlicensed devices.
The Low Power Radio Service (LPRS) dates back to 1996 when the FCC redesignated the 216.0-217.0 MHz band from Automated Maritime Telecommunications System (AMTS) use to LPRS.
The Low Power Radio Service (LPRS) is licensed by rule, except when an LPRS device is used for AMTS point-to-point network control communications. If an LPRS device is used for AMTS purposes, an AMTS license is required. Licensed by rule means an individual license is not required to operate an LPRS device. You can operate an LPRS device regardless of your age so long as you are not a representative of a foreign government.
The FCC service rules for the Low Power Radio Service (LPRS) are located in 47 C.F.R. Part 95.
There are 260 Low Power Radio Service (LPRS) channels. LPRS channels can have a bandwidth of 25, 50, or 5 kHz.
When the band is divided into 25 kHz channels, the channels are identified as channels 1-40.
When the band is divided into 50 kHz channels, the channels are identified as channels 41-60.
When the band is divided into 5 kHz channels, the channels are identified as channels 61-260.
Channels 19, 20, 50, and 151-160 are reserved for law enforcement tracking.
Low power AMTS point-to-point network control communications are permitted in the 216.75-217.0 MHz band.
Examples of Low Power Radio Service (LPRS) Uses
1) Auditory assistance communications (including, but not limited to, applications such as assistive listening devices, audio description for the blind, and simultaneous language translation) for persons who:
- Have physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the major life activities of such individuals;
- Require language translation; or
- May otherwise benefit from auditory assistance communications in educational settings.
3) Law enforcement tracking signals (for homing or interrogation) including the tracking of persons or stolen goods under authority or agreement with a law enforcement agency (federal, state, or local) having jurisdiction in the area where the transmitters are placed.
4) AMTS point-to-point network control communications.
Operating a Low Power Radio Service (LPRS) Device
You can operate a Low Power Radio Service (LPRS) device in any place where the FCC regulates radio communications. An LPRS device must be certified by the FCC. A certified LPRS device has an identifying label placed on it by the manufacturer.
None of the LPRS channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any entity. You must cooperate in the selection and use of the channels in order to make the most efficient use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference.
Operating an LPRS device is subject to the condition that no harmful interference is caused to:
- The United States Navy’s SPASUR radio system (the system operates on 216.88 – 217.08 MHz);
- TV reception within the Grade B contour of any TV channel 13 station, or within the 68 dBu predicted contour of any low power TV or TV translator station operating on channel 13.