– What is the difference between HAM radio and how cel phones work?


– What is the difference between HAM radio and how cel phones work?

How similar are they, and how are they different?


In the US and most countries, amateur radio transmissions have to be public, they cannot be encrypted, anyone can listen in. Cell phones, one the other hand, take great pains to ensure only the intended recipient has access to the information being broadast. Amateur radios can transmit at higher power, up to 1500 W in the US, while cell phones are usually less than 5 watts to limit interference. This also means cell phone signals don’t travel as far and have to be handed off from tower to tower. Amateur radio is usually going to be point to point, although there are various repeaters and gateways available. Finally, many amateur frequencies can skip off the atmosphere and reach hundreds, even thousands of miles. Cell phone frequencies specifically avoid this to limit interference.

Besides that, they have lots in common. They both transmit using radio waves, they both can be analog or digital, and both can be used to transmit voice or data.

Amateur radio is basically a hobby that people use to communicate over the airwaves. The FCC has allocated frequencies for this sole purpose. To be able to talk over these frequencies u need to of course have a license which the fcc grants.