Mon, May 01, 2017 - Page 3 News List

NCC to drop Morse code for amateur radio buffs

HAM HEAVEN:Amendments to regulations would also extend the validity of amateur radio operating licenses from five years to 10 years

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

A regulation requiring that amateur radio operators take the International Morse Code Test to obtain a license is soon to be abolished, the National Communications Commission (NCC) said yesterday.

The commission has already approved the amendments, frequency and resources department deputy director Chen Chun-mu (陳春木) said.

However, it is obligated to make the amended regulations available for public view for two months and then make any changes deemed necessary before they can take effect, he said.

Many other nations have also removed the need for a Morse code test, he said.

Following requests from amateur radio operators, the amended regulations stipulate that they can use frequencies between 432 megahertz (MHz) and 440MHz, he said.

The amendments also extend the validity of amateur radio operating licenses from five years to 10 years, Chen said.

In addition, the amendments stipulate that amateur radio operators would be able to start renewing their licenses five months before their licenses expire, he said.

Current regulations allow them to do so one month before the expiration date.

The commission has also streamlined application procedures, Chen said, adding that the commission is in the process of amending other rules for amateur radio operators interested in using radio frequencies to conduct experiments.

People interested in operating amateur radios must first obtain a license to operate a radio station.

According to the commission, there are about 3 million amateur radio operators around the world.

Commission data showed that 42,900 licenses for qualified amateur radio operators were issued between 2012 and last year.

Over the same period, the commission issued 1,177 licenses for fixed radio stations and 15,817 licenses for mobile radio stations, the data showed.

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