The Complete Guide to Canada's General Mobile Radio Service - First Chapter - Phillip J. Boucher

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Phillip J. Boucher 


The Complete Guide to Canada's General Mobile Radio Service - First Chapter


Cover of "The Complete Guide to Canada's General Mobile Radio Service" (GMRS) by freelance writer  and author Phillip J. Boucher

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INTRODUCTION (first chapter of the book)

In today’s society we have come to rely on an extremely wide variety of wireless communications devices to help us keep in touch with our friends, family, co-workers, managers and supervisors, and staff. Such equipment may consist of cellular telephones and similar devices, laptops, pagers, or two-way radios. Whether for business or pleasure, we Canadians spend, both on an individual and corporate level, a large amount of money each month and year on wireless devices and services to communicate with people from one end of the country to the other, all around the city, or just across the street. We talk about the most mundane and unimportant things anyone could think of and we talk about matters that are literally of life and death. 

None of this talking occurs free of charge, and we depend on expensive communication infrastructures to ensure that our wireless communications are transmitted and received efficiently and effectively with a minimum amount of interruption or outage. Sometimes our messages need to be conveyed immediately within a very short distance and the use of cellular phone, pager, or commercial radio gear and services can seem quite prohibitive when the distances just aren't that great to justify the costs incurred. 

So with this is mind, would you and your family, your business and your employees, or your group and its members like to keep in wireless contact with each other without the use of pagers or cellular phones, and without renting any two-way radio equipment? Would you like to do this without having to pay for airtime, licences, administrative and access fees, or subscribing to a service? Would you like to save money by not having to pay for any monthly fees or time up front? Well, you can do all that with just the one-time purchase of inexpensive handheld two-way radio devices that give you commercial-quality radio communications at a cost far below commercial prices. 

Approved on April 1, 2000, the Canadian Government authorized FRS, the Family Radio Service (officially known as Family Radio Devices), as a means of providing short-range UHF-FM radio communications to the general public using low power, unlicensed, handheld two-way radios. On September 7, 2004, GMRS, or the General Mobile Radio Service, became an addition and extension of FRS, and they both now effectively operate as one combined service. For the purposes of this book, all references to GMRS include FRS unless otherwise noted. 

GMRS allows users to keep in touch with each other up to a distance of approximately eight to ten kilometres during most types of recreational or business activities. The service uses FM (Frequency Modulation) in the UHF (Ultra High Frequency) band for good clear signals and was initially intended for communications amongst a group of people during recreational activities, though business use of the service has become more common. Some GMRS radios are equipped with features that can enhance the abilities of the service and equipment, such as FM stereo receivers and the Global Positioning System (GPS). 

GMRS authorization resulted from Industry Canada's solicitation from the public and the radio communications industry on the viability of implementing such a system here in Canada that has been in use in the United States for many years. In the States, FRS and GMRS are extremely popular services, and manufacturers of both FRS and GMRS radios have not only seen constant sales increases each year, but the demand for more sophisticated radios has driven them to provide even more features than existed on models manufactured only a year or two earlier. FRS (Family Radio Service) and GMRS (General Mobile Radio Service) are established and popular services in the United States and the same thing will happen with our combined service here in Canada. The general consensus is that Canadian GMRS will gain in popularity over the years, providing better and cheaper radios with more and more features. As a long-term user of two-way radio equipment in both personal and professional applications, I see such a great opportunity for GMRS to connect family, friends, and co-workers in a way that public two-way radio has not been able to do in the past.  

This book is intended to help any current or potential GMRS user get the most from their equipment and the service, from the couple that just wants to keep in touch while out at the mall, to the small business that needs its employees to be able to communicate within a building or on a job site, and almost everyone in between and beyond. In fact, anyone who reads this book should be able to realize a new use for GMRS for their own purposes. It only takes a bit of imagination to discover the possibilities of recreational or business use of this service and to see a significant monetary savings compared to other wireless services. Use this book as both an introduction and reference guide for all your GMRS radio communications needs.

The Complete Guide to Canada's General Mobile Radio Service is the definitive guide to our country's licence-free two-way radio service. From the original Family Radio Service (FRS) to the current General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), this transition has brought extremely low-cost two-way radio communications to the general public, business and industry, and government agencies. Hopefully the above chapter taken from my GMRS book has either started to show you how your current GMRS radios can be used effectively for whatever you need them for, or has guided you towards deciding that GMRS radios may enhance your personal or professional life.

To learn more about Canada's General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS), click here!



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