Bands and frequencies – common designations

Bands and frequencies

Radio waves are electromagnetic oscillations that propagate in space at the speed of light. Electromagnetic radiation is characterized by frequency, wavelength and power of the energy carried. The frequency of electromagnetic waves shows how many times per second the direction of the electric current changes in the emitter and therefore how many times per second the value of the electric and magnetic fields change in each point of space.

Frequency is measured in hertz (Hz). 1 Hz is one oscillation per second, 1 megahertz (MHz) is a million oscillations per second. Knowing that the speed of electromagnetic waves is equal to the speed of light, we can determine the distance between points in space where the electric (or magnetic) field is in the same phase. This distance is called the wavelength. The radio waves (radio frequencies) used in radio engineering occupy a region, or more scientifically, a spectrum from 10,000 m (30 kHz) to 0.1 mm (3,000 GHz). International agreements divide the entire spectrum of radio waves used in radio communications into bands:

 Frequency range Abbreviated name of the range Name of the waveband  Wavelength
 3-30 kHz VLF (Very low frequencies) Myriameter 10-100 km
 30-300 kHz LF (Low frequencies) Kilometer 1-10 km
 300-3000 kHz MF (Mid frequencies) Hectometric 0.1-1 km
 3-30 MHz HF (High frequencies) Decameter 10-100 m
 30-300 MHz VHF (Very High Frequency) Meter 1-10 m
 300-3000 MHz UHF (Ultra High Frequency) decimeter 0.1-1 m
 30-3000 MHz VHF (Ultra Short Wave) Meter 0.1-10 m
 3-30 GHz Microwave (Super High Frequency) centimeter 1-10 cm
 30-300 GHz EHF (Extremely high frequencies) Millimeter 1-10 mm
 300-3000 GHz HHF (Hyper High Frequency) decimillimeter 0.1-1mm

In addition to separating the frequency range on the basis of wavelength, the following designations are used in mobile official and civil communications:

Frequency range, MHzDesignation in RussianDesignation in EnglishNotes
2-30HF (Short waves)SW (Short Wave)It is used for long-distance communications both for official and amateur radio purposes.
25-30cbCB (Citizen Band)Civil and amateur radio band. 40 channels of the section 26.965-27.405 MHz are intended for unlicensed communication.
33-50Low BandLB (Low Band)Range of mobile terrestrial communications and occasional broadcasting.
108-136AviationAir BandRange for aviation radio communication.
136-174VHF (Very High Frequency)VHF (Very High Frequency)Mobile radio range. It is divided into amateur radio, maritime, television and radio broadcasting, service and other sections.
300-337river rangeRiver BandRange of river navigation
400-512UHF (Decimeter waves);
UHF (Ultra High Frequency)
UHF (Ultra Hugh Frequency)Mobile radio range. Sometimes it is also called VHF, meaning the entire 136-512 MHz section, which is also true. Includes both unlicensed areas and areas for official use.

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