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October 17, 2023

While most FRS and GMRS two-way radios are narrow band only, some like the MXT500 MicroMobile® Two-Way Radio and MXT575 MicroMobile® Two-Way Radio are both narrow and wide band.

Midland Radio breaks down the difference between narrow and wide band below.

TWO-WAY RADIO BANDWITH

The voice signal in two-way radio transmission is put onto a carrier signal.

This signal takes up a certain amount of frenquency space. This is bandwidth.

ABOUT NARROW BAND

Narrowband takes up less frequency space.

Under the Federal Communications Commission, narrow band can only take up a certain amount of frequency space.

The FCC requires some channels to be narrow band.

For instance, FRS two-way radios only operate on the narrow band frequency space. 

Because of its smaller bandwidth, in some cases, narrow band is optimal in areas with a lot of people as it lowers the chance for interference. 

 

ABOUT WIDE BAND 

Wide band two-way radios take up more frequency space. 

Under the FCC, with GMRS two-way radio, users are allowed more bandwidth on some channels. 

In some environments and in some cases, wide band may increase sound quality by providing a fuller sound.

As wide band two-way radio expands the frequency space, there is more potential for interference in some cases.

In some cases, when users have a weaker signal, wide band could increase the sound quality.

Repeaters operate on wide band two-way radio frequency spaces. Because of this, you'll want to ensure you have a repeater capable or wide band two-way radio when using a repeater.

  

NARROW AND WIDE BAND COMPATIBILITY 

It's important to consider your surroundings when determining if you should put your radio on narrow or wide band, if it allows you to do so.

Narrow and wide band radios can communicate with one another. However, experts recommend users are on the same band to bring the clearest transmission possible. 


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