Maritime radio frequencies

The maritime VHF radio telephone is a boater's most important communications device on the water. The importance of the device is emphasised in situations related to safety, in particular, as a maritime radio telephone enables direct radio contact between the boat and the maritime rescue centre or between boats even when there is no signal in the mobile telephone network. Possession of a maritime VHF telephone or radar requires a radio licence.

Currently, there are approximately 13,300 valid radio licences for boats and other vessels. The majority of radio licences for vessels are granted to leisure boaters. The number of licences granted during the past few years has grown, and in 2014, almost 2,900 permits were granted, which represents 24 per cent growth year-on-year.


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Figure: Annually granted maritime radio licences 2012–2014

The user of a maritime radio telephone also has to have a personal maritime radio traffic certificate. Leisure boaters need a Short Range Certificate (SRC) or a Long Range Certificate (LRC). Professional seafarers working on commercial vessels and passenger ships, in turn, need a considerably more extensive radio station operator's certificate, i.e. a General Operator's Certifcate (GOC) or a Restricted Operator's Certificate (ROC).

Valid certificates
SRC (Short Range Certificate) 17,775
LRC (Long Range Certificate) 418
GOC (General Operator's Certificate) 5,236
ROC (Restricted Operator's Certificate) 1,904
Total 25,334

Figure: Valid maritime radio communication certificates

This article is a part of FICORA's Communications Sector Review 2/2015.


Key words: Spectrum, Articles, Reviews, Statistics


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