Amateur Radio Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for amateur radio enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Where do you apply for a license to operate on the LTE radio spectrum for amateur radio in the USA? Can this amateur license be used to operate a cell phone independent of a carrier?

share|improve this question
This question appears to be off-topic because it is about commercial cellular phone networks. – Phil Frost Mar 10 '14 at 14:59
up vote 9 down vote accepted

An amateur radio license only grants privileges on the amateur bands. You would need a different type of license to use other bands. The cell companies pay a premium for the license for their spectrum, and they are almost certainly not interested in relicensing it (if they even could).

Moreover, LTE is just a protocol, so there is no dedicated spectrum for LTE in general. Each company that uses LTE uses their own spectrum, which differs per carrier.

So no, an amateur radio license does not let you run your own cell phone independently of carriers. It grants you privileges to use certain modes (voice, Morse code, etc) on well defined spectrum, but does not grant privileges for what you're asking about.

share|improve this answer
thank you I appreciate it – iphoneguy38440 Mar 10 '14 at 3:20
Note that depending on your country, you may apply for a test license. e.g. in Germany you can get a time/geography limited license for test/research/events (usually a fee of 100-200EUR), if you provide enough documentation as to the why and how. (This is often done on hacker congresses which deploy their own gsm network) – user964970 Mar 21 '14 at 9:29

Actually LTE standard could be adapted for Amateur for certain bands Amateur radio has some packet switching radios where you can connect to the internet but like Ham radio it is so slow. If Ham radio wants to survive into the 21st century we need to get it away from these old gray haired men and give it new life. Get the internet working at very high speeds. LTE advanced can go as high as 3GIG Amateur has 1.2GHZ band and 440 we could use those bands and implement LTE. You can't sell the service but provide it for free to other Ham radio operators.

share|improve this answer
Amateur "Ham" radio is not about the Internet, it is not about high-speeds (usually), and ham radio is not about competing with or duplicating commercial communications networks. Indeed, many in ham radio are there to provide communications when those other commercial systems are broken and this can be done because of the comparatively much simpler infrastructure of ham radio. I am one of those gray haired men who loves ham radio using CW (Morse Code) as my main means of comms. If it were not for CW, I would drop this hobby. I know others like other aspects though. – K7PEH Nov 4 '15 at 17:38
@K7PEH- I normally operate VHF/UHF ...mostly because of landlord constraints...I would love to have a 40 meter vertical and DX. I am not yet a grey haired old man yet but I am working on it. 73-OM de VA2 land – resident_heretic Jun 2 at 3:19

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.