MURS: No FCC License Two-Way Radios for Business and Pleasure


The U.S. Federal Communications Commission, better known as the FCC, created MURS in 2002. Officially, the FCC establishes MURS radio frequency usage as "private, two-way short distance voice or data communications service for personal or business activities of the general public". MURS consists of five set frequencies on the VHF band: 151.820 MHz, 151.880 MHz, 151.940 MHz, 154.570 MHz, 154.600 MHz. The latter two also belong to the BRS (Business Radio Service) business band.

MURS is sort of like the FRS (Family Radio Service) of the VHF band, but with greater two-way radio range outdoors. Just like UHF's FRS, you don't need an FCC license to use the MURS two-way radio frequencies, so it's totally free (after you buy your walkie-talkies, of course).

There are a few very specific FCC rules associated with MURS two-way radio equipment, but we'll get to those in a minute. First! Let's talk about the sweet advantages of using MURS two-way radios. We mentioned the no need to get an FCC license bit. A GMRS (business band) license costs $85, at the time of this writing. So skipping something like that lands at least an extra 85 clams in your pocket. We'll call that a good thing. Of course, like all handheld 2-way radio communication, there are no airtime fees and no contracts. We'll call that sugar on top of the no FCC license paperwork or fees.

Another win for MURS walkie-talkies is the two-way radio range. VHF waves are longer and stick closer to the ground, so they can travel great distances across flat terrain outdoors. They're not the waves of choice in an urban setting where you get a lot of buildings and soft-bodied people, but VHF waves are perfect for penetrating dense foliage and forests. Also, VHF is the preferred radio band for marine communications. So boating enthusiasts and fisherfolk who don't want to fork out the cash for an FCC license: heads up!

Who uses MURS? And what for?

We mentioned our friends the boaters and fishing fanatics. Other lovers of the great outdoors who could get a lot of fresh-aired mileage out of their MURS walkie-talkies are motorcyclists, hikers, campers (especially the serious campers who fan out from a base camp and communicate between satellite camps), car-clubs and automobile buffs, paintballers, hunters and just about any friend of Mother Nature. MURS walkie-talkies have also become quite popular with the traveller community for their range out on the open road. Business users such as small farmers or security monitoring outdoor sites will love the low overhead boost to workflow and productivity adding a no-business license MURS radio brings to your enterprise.

MURS, the FCC's fine print

Naturally, the FCC's got a big job on their hands mediating the radio wave traffic that flows across our finite radio frequency spectrum. There are a lot of two-way radio users out there and only so much room on nature's spectrum. So to bring order to chaos, the FCC divides the radio wave spectrum into chunks and sets conditions on the usage of the frequencies therein. Use of the Multiple Use Radio Service two-way radio frequencies is licensed by rule, which means there's no individual license required to use MURS. There's no age restriction to transmitting and receiving on the MURS two-way radio frequencies and MURS can be used for personal and/or business applications. Your MURS device must be certified by the FCC and must carry a label to that effect placed by the manufacturer.

Of course, with so few restrictions and the potential for excellent, long range two-way radio communication, the MURS frequencies do see a fair amount of action. Though the FCC is relatively hands off with regard to their use, the site states, "None of the MURS channels are assigned for the exclusive use of any system. You must cooperate in the selection and use of channels in order to make the most effective use of them and to reduce the possibility of interference". In other words: be cool and play fair.

MURS frequency enthusiasts may conduct two-way radio communications on MURS channels anywhere the FCC regulates radio frequencies, much like the CB or citizen's band radio frequencies. While you may not use MURS on board an aircraft (not just illegal, but a very bad idea with risk for interfering with the plane's radio signals), you may use MURS radios on a ship or boat sailing in domestic or international waters, with permission of the vessel's captain.

In the United States and her territories, the only entities prohibited from using the MURS two-way radio frequencies are foreign governments and their representatives. MURS units may not be connected to the public telephone network and may not be used for store and forward operations. Use of repeaters is not permitted except under the circumstance where you have maintained an active MURS frequencies business license prior to and since the FCC rules change in 2002 and your license is grandfathered in.

Other restrictions on MURS include limits on transmitter power levels and antenna height. A MURS frequencies two-way radio may transmit at a maximum 2-watts of power: "No MURS unit, under any conditions of modulation, shall exceed 2-watts of transmitter output", As for antennas, use of external antennas are permitted so long as they are not placed more than 60 feet above ground or 20 feet above the highest point on the structure to which they are mounted. The good news on external antenna use is that it can increase the range of your MURS 2-way radio communications as much as 10 miles or more! Perfect for that outdoor base camp that needs to stay connected to other sub-camps out in the wild, wild wherever!

MURS, Terrific offerings from Motorola and!

Built with the stellar quality and rough and tumble durability of Motorola's RDX series two-way radios, Motorola RDM walkie-talkies step up to handle your business on the VHF band. If your business involves temperature extremes as high as 140F or as low as -22F, your RDM radios are ready to rock and roll. All of Motorola's RDM 2-way radios are built to Military Specifications 810 C, D, E, F, G and IP 54/55 that include harsh worlds of dust, shock, vibration, moisture, salt, fog and temperature. The Motorola RDM series 2-way radios come fully certified for the Multiple Use Service Radio band and bear the FCC mandated stamps to prove it. No worries there. offers two flavors of Motorola RDM walkie-talkie: The RDM2020 and the RDM2080d. Each covers up to 220,000 sq. ft and up to 13 floors and arrives pre-set to the 5 MURS frequencies for your convenience and your FCC rules compliance. They both ship standard with an 1100 mAh-Lion rechargeable battery, a 7-hour drop in charging tray and a spring-loaded belt clip. The mAh-Lion is the superior battery chemistry on the market and you can expect up to 12 hours on a single charge (battery save enabled) when operating your walkie-talkies within the parameters of the industry standard 5/5/90 duty cycle. The 5/5/90 two-way radio battery duty cycle assumes 5% transmission, 5% reception and 90% standby. Should you require longer time periods between charges you might consider upgrading to our Ultra High Capacity battery which offers as much as 26 hours per full charge on your 2-watt RDM walkie-talkie!

Both Motorola RDM walkie-talkies feature: a Tri-color LED status indicator, auto scan, voice scramble, battery save, 3 audible call alert tones, channel scan with selectable scan list, a 2-pin accessory plug (compatible with Motorola RDX, CLS, XTN accessories) and VOX capability (hands free voice activation, requires optional accessories) with 3 sensitivity levels. For added privacy protection on the MURS frequencies both the RDM 2020 and the RDM 2080d offer 39 analogue programmable interference elimination codes and 84 digital interference elimination codes. Interference elimination codes allow you to further steps to obscure your communications on crowded two-way radio frequency channels. To hear your 2-way radio transmissions others must have their radios set to the exact same codes you've programmed into your walkie-talkie. With so many privacy codes available, the probability that would be eavesdroppers can find your precise code combination narrows. Programming your radios and cloning settings is a breeze with Motorola's free downloadable CPS (Customer Programming Software). CPS offers manager lock, radio reporting, PL/DL defeat and two additional time-out timers.

So what sets the Motorola RDM2020 and the Motorola RDM2080d apart? Well, there's a small price difference for one thing. The RDM 2020 costs less and features fewer bells and whistles. For a business on a tight budget without a pressing need for the extra features on the RDM 2080d, Motorola's RDM 2020 makes a fine business walkie-talkie. In addition to all of the shared two-way radio features enumerated above, the RDM2020 offers users 2 separate communication channels and two programmable buttons. The RDM 2020 works as the perfect companion for the individual or small business who doesn't need multiple channels and prefers a simplified, more streamlined model.

For a tad more money, Motorola's RDM2080d two-way radio offers broader functionality than its sibling, the RDM2020. With the RDM 2080d you get 8 separate channels for multiple user communication. Groups of recreational users or businesses who wish to separate out their conversations, so as not to distract other users with chatter that doesn't relate to them, love the expanded usability of Motorola's 8 channel walkie-talkie. For added ease in usability, the Motorola RDM 2080d provides the benefits of channel aliasing (up to 8 characters), so you can add easily identifiable names to your channels like 'Foreman' or 'Chris' or 'Houseboat'. Besides the user-friendly Tri-color LED status indicator light, the RDM2080d also employs a front panel display with 5 programmable buttons for additional information at a glance and keypad lock. You also get a battery gauge, signal strength and channel activity indicators and 3 inversion voice scramble settings.

Please let us know how we at Techwholesale can help you in choosing the MURS two-way radio that works for your personal or business communications. We're available via telephone and email, and we're always happy to help with walkie-talkie configuration or any questions you may have.