FCC Considers Allowing GPS Info Transmission by Garmin GMRS Radios

August 25, 2003
The Garmin Rino is a Family Radio Service (FRS) and General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS) handheld that includes a built-in GPS unit capable of transmitting the location of the radio to another Rino and displaying the relative locations on a map. While F2D data transmission is allowed in the FRS spectrum, at this time it is not allowed on GMRS frequencies. Last Monday the FCC released a Public Notice outlining Garmin's request for a waiver of GMRS rules to allow GPS location data using F2D transmission. GMRS rules require a license and allow higher power than the FRS rules for unlicensed devices.

Garmin proposed that its operation would be limited to GMRS mobile units with integrated antennas, transmission would be limited to the 462 MHz GMRS channels for simplex (non-repeater) operators, bandwidth would be limited to no more than 12.5 kHz, and transmission of the GPS data would be subject to the same conditions for transmitting data as in the FRS. Comments are due September 17, 2003 with reply comments due October 2, 2003.

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