4-meter Band - Allocations and Propagation

Allocations and Propagation

Whilst not formally allocated at an ITU or Regional level, in Europe CEPT now recognises the increased access to 70 MHz by radio amateurs with footnote 'EU9' which has helped underpin further growth:

"EU9: In a growing number of CEPT countries, parts of the band 70.0-70.5 MHz is also allocated to the Amateur Service on a secondary basis."

In practice this ranges from 70 MHz to 70.5 MHz in the United Kingdom, with other countries generally having a smaller allocation within this window. The 4-metre band shares many characteristics with the neighbouring 6-metre band. However, as it is somewhat higher in frequency it does not display the same propagation mechanisms via the F2 ionospheric layer normally seen at HF which occasionally appear in 6 metres, leastwise not at temperate latitudes. However, Sporadic E is common on the band in summer, tropospheric propagation is marginally more successful than on the 6-metre band, and propagation via the Aurora Borealis and meteor scatter is highly effective.

While Sporadic E permits Europe wide communication, it can be a mixed blessing as the band is still used for wide bandwidth, high power FM broadcasting on the OIRT FM band in a declining number of Eastern European countries. Although this is has lessened in recent years, it can still cause considerable interference to both local and long distance (DX) operation.

As of 2005, no communication has taken place on the 4-metre band between Europe and Southern Africa, although theoretically this ought to be possible by stations with amateur power and antenna sizes around the equinoxes. It is to be hoped that the increasing availability of the band in Mediterranean countries, where the trans-equatorial path is less difficult than from the bands traditional strongholds in Britain and Ireland, might spur such interest.

First ever TEP qso on 70 MHz took place on 28 March 2011 between SV2DCD Leonidas Fiskas and ZS6WAB Willem Badenhorst

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