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I've been scouring the internet for the answer and my question is never directly answered, usually there is a bunch of technical jargon. It is not that I am unwilling to learn, because I want to, but I don't want to focus on the wrong subset of radio skills. The only prerequisite I have is distance/range/coverage whichever is the correct terminology.

I want to know which form of radio reliably provides at minimum 10 miles of coverage from base to vehicle and from vehicle to base?

Edits: The terrain is mainly urban though there are tall trees. In fact it's a rural town so the buildings don't get much higher than two stories. The trees are way taller but arent dense. The town is on the water if that also helps!

EDIT: I intend to use this keep in contact with truck drivers to keep in contact with base. I'll be operating in a third world environment so there is increased risk of accident along routes.

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closed as primarily opinion-based by Phil Frost - W8II, PearsonArtPhoto Apr 22 '15 at 13:05

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

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    $\begingroup$ Sounds like what you want is a cell phone. Nearly global coverage, minimal technical jargon. $\endgroup$ – Phil Frost - W8II Mar 17 '15 at 20:54
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    $\begingroup$ In order to help you narrow down the choices, can you tell us a bit more about the terrain conditions and what kind of application you have in mind (voice, data) and what level of 'reliability' you're after. Armed with that information we should be able to give you a much better answer. $\endgroup$ – captcha Mar 17 '15 at 22:31
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    $\begingroup$ Given the way the question is expressed and the assumption that the OP does not know much about either Ham Radio or CB, I ask another question: Who do you expect to communicate with and for what purpose? The answer to this question might very well be dictate the answer of Ham Radio, CB, or Cell Phone (at least in the US). $\endgroup$ – K7PEH Mar 19 '15 at 16:08
  • $\begingroup$ Most countries outside the US use VHF or UHF radios and FM for truckers. Even Canada. Talking to truckers is a very country-specific question. $\endgroup$ – SDsolar May 15 '17 at 1:50
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Another limiting factor: the license conditions.

Amateur radio communication is generally restricted by the licensing authority in each country, to testing, technical evaluation and discussion about the hobby, 'remarks of a personal nature' and safety and emergency messages. It can't be used for commercial purposes, or to pass messages for others. Messages may not be in code. Even a discussion between friends about politics is not strictly according to the rules.

Except for emergency situations, amateur stations may only speak to other licensed amateur stations. Both the operator and the station are licensed, though licensed operators can use each others' stations if they state this and give both callsigns. Only licensed operators may speak into the microphone, except for some exceptions for education, school kids, scouts and so on, and only with permission.

So unless the drivers are all licensed, driving in their personal capacity and communicating only about personal or technical matters, amateur radio isn't the solution.

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I have done both and strongly prefer Amateur (Ham) Radio. More reliable, less noise, wider choice of equipment, antennas, transmission modes, etc... The licences no longer require code although I suggest you learn it and use it. It was the world's first use of digital communications. Great with local, state, national, and international clubs and organized groups. Participate in emergency communications to assist your local community. Storm tracker and watchers everywhere and once trained you can participate too! Do it now!Have fun!

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Which? None! :)

In almost all cases, what you're going to get is going to depend on very large amount of factors and no good general answer can be provided. Is the area urban, is it empty fields, are there going to be other users and so on. That's the reason why you can't find a direct answer.

Instead, I'll try to focus on the main problem I see with your question: To me it seems that you consider the technical parts of CB radio and HAM radio different. They are not.

Radio is radio and it doesn't matter how you call it.
What is different is operating culture in some areas and allowed uses for the bands. Propagation part is going to be the same and it is what you should study, if you're mostly interested in just getting a connection. This should allow you to narrow down the acceptable modes of communication and then you'll be able to make an informed decision if for your purpose ham or CB or maybe some other radio service are the most suitable option.

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    $\begingroup$ I agree with your answer, but it's worth noting that CB has exactly one band (27 MHz / 11 m), whereas amateur radio has bands across the entire spectrum, so it's possible to definitively say “no” about CB for some applications. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Mar 17 '15 at 20:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Kevin Reid AG6YO That's true, but in some cases, there are CB-like services that use different bands and might be interesting. Here in Europe for example, we have PMR446 and LPD in the 70 cm band. USA has FRMS, GMRS, MURS which might be a replacement for CB. As far as I understand, none of those services require a test for license. $\endgroup$ – AndrejaKo Mar 17 '15 at 21:12
  • $\begingroup$ Here in Thailand there are red radio sets sold that operate on the 245MHz CB band, and they are extremely popular since there's no licence required and it would seem that there is little (enforced?) restriction on antennas. This is despite the fact that Thailand has the third-highest number of radio hams in the world (behind Japan and the U.S. in first and second place, respectively) $\endgroup$ – Scott Earle May 4 '15 at 16:11

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