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Forgive me if this is not the proper forum, but I am an electrical engineer and a total radio novice.

I am designing a product that may contain off-the-shelf industrial radios that act as repeater devices. I recently spoke with an engineer at an industrial radio manufacturer, and he said that "almost certainly" a license is required if I am planning to use a 900 MHz repeater, even if I had intended for the rest of the system to be 900 ISM/unlicensed.

Can anyone confirm or deny this? I cannot find anything definitive, but I am probably not googling with the right terminology.

(I am in the United States, but I am working on a device that may be sold in the EU and/or Australia.)

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    $\begingroup$ Could you edit your question to clarify whether by "use a 900 MHz repeater" you mean that the system you are designing contains repeater devices, or that you intend it to communicate with an amateur radio repeater operating on 902-928 MHz (33 cm band, US), or something else? We don't generally cover licensing matters of radio services other than the amateur radio service (in which the license of the operator, not anything to do with the equipment manufacturer, is the only thing that usually matters) but it's not clear what situation you're in. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO May 18 at 21:53
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    $\begingroup$ Welcome to ham.stackexchange.com! In the US, and surely in other major industrialized countries, repeaters must be licensed, AFAIK. I'm only aware of amateur radio and land mobile radio repeaters, but I wouldn't be surprised if the military operate repeaters also. But perhaps you should be asking what a repeater is, legally. APRS stations and mesh network nodes re-transmit data from other nodes but aren't considered repeaters, or at least that's my understanding. $\endgroup$ – rclocher3 May 19 at 14:55
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    $\begingroup$ We really need more information to possibly answer this question. What kind of repeater are you planning to use? Can you point to a specific product? An amateur radio repeater is licensed in the amateur radio service (Part 97 of FCC rules) and would require the user to have a license. I would guess that is not the kind of product you are building. Is the ISM radio you are planning to use some kind of data radio, e.g. Zigbee? $\endgroup$ – WA9ZZZ May 19 at 17:35
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    $\begingroup$ @schadjo That is a mesh networking data radio. Numerous manufacturers make them. As the listing states, they are specified for non-licensed operation. It is still not clear what you mean when you say "repeater". Nodes in a mesh network will repeat data from one node to the next as needed to get it to the desired destination node. As long as you use the radios as designed, I can not think of any reason why you would need a license unless you are going to attach them to some other kind of radio. Nothing to do with amateur radio here. [Usual disclaimers, IANAL, etc.] $\endgroup$ – WA9ZZZ May 19 at 23:09
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    $\begingroup$ Since you expect a global market, be sure to check that the radios you use are legal in your market countries. The 902-928 MHz ISM band is not consistent globally. You'll have to look up the details. $\endgroup$ – WA9ZZZ May 19 at 23:18
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the industrial, scientific, medical or ISM for region 2 (the Americas) is 902 to 928 MHz. Power is limited to no more than 1 watt without a license.

Many consumer devices such as cordless phones use this band as well as industrial networks like ZIGBEE.

Amateur radio operators in region 2 are secondary users of this band also know as the 33 CM band. While HAMS could transmit at 1.5 KW, we are not allowed to cause interference to other users which transmitting at that level certainly would. There are HAM radio repeaters that operate on this band, but they are not common.

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