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[liberationtech] Can HAM radio be used for communication between health workers in rural areas with no cell connectivity?

flane at pgm.com flane at pgm.com
Mon Mar 11 14:44:42 PDT 2013


No one seems to have answered the OP's query. Yes, there are varying 
degrees of support within the amateur radio community for doing actual 
public good with the technology but that's a separate problem.

The short answer is no, the various software packages for Android, 
iPhone, Blackberry etc. do nothing on their own. They use separate 
dedicated ham radio hardware for the physical layer, and most of the 
apps are for digital messages, not voice. There are various transceivers 
available for various propagation conditions but all are external to the 
phone.

The legal question can only be answered specifically in the region where 
you are working. Users must always be licensed amateur radio operators. 
In general amateur radio is OK for any use where the radio operator is 
not paid in any way for his or her communication over the radio. A few 
years ago in the US, FCC had to issue a narrow exemption for employees 
of private hospitals, for instance, who may now participate in disaster 
drills etc. so long as the event is government-sponsored.




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