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Citizens Band radio in India

Small black mobile radio with hand-held microphone and long, coiled mic cord
Cobra 18 WX ST II mobile CB radio with microphone

Citizens' Band radio (also known as CB radio) is a system of short-distance radio communications between individuals on a selection of channels within the 27-MHz (11 m) band. In India, this frequency band extends from 26.957 MHz to 27.283 MHz. There are several different channel plans in use. Citizens' Band is distinct from the Family Radio Service, GMRS, Multi-Use Radio Service and amateur radio (Ham). In many countries CB operation does not require a license, and (unlike amateur radio) it may be used for business or personal communications. Like many other two-way radio services, any Citizens' Band channel is shared by many users. Only one station may transmit in a channel at a time; other stations must listen and wait for the shared channel to be available. Also, the system works in half-duplex mode, which means we may transmit and receive information, but not both at the same time.


Legislation Guiding Usage of CB Radio EquipmentEdit

The establishment of, maintenance of, working with, possession of or dealing with in wireless equipment operating in Citizen Band (CB) was exempted from licensing under the Indian Telegraph Act, 1933 and the Indian Wireless Telegraphy Act, 1933, by Notification No G.S.R. 533(E) dated 12 August 2005 (published in the Gazette of India Extraordinary dated 12 August 2005).[1]

After the aforesaid legislation, an amendment to the Use of low power equipment in the Citizen band 26.957 – 27.283 MHz (Exemption from Licensing Requirement) Rules, 2005 (hereafter referred to as the "Rules, 2005" for brevity) was made vide Notification No G.S.R. 35(E) dated 10 January 2007 (published in Gazette of India Extraordinary dated 22 January 2007).[2] By the Amendment, amongst other changes, Rule 4 was amended to include an opportunity of the user of the unlicensed equipment to relocate equipment, reduce its power, use special antennae, or discontinue use of such unlicensed radio equipment as exempted under the Rules, 2005. The Amendment also provided for a reasonable opportunity to be given to such user to explain the circumstances of usage which caused harmful interference with use of licensed equipment by a licensed user. The aforesaid amended Rules, 2005 are governing the licensing of CB radio equipment and its usage in India now.

Regulation in IndiaEdit

Typical center-loaded mobile CB antenna. Note the loading coil, which shortens the antenna's overall length.

The channel assignments in India are different from the band plans used elsewhere. The Indian band plan consists of 40 frequencies spaced a relatively tight eight kHz apart, plus a few offset channels used for mountaineering and radio-controlled devices. Many of the channels are reserved for specific purposes such as forestry, disaster relief, and sporting events. The frequency band allocated for this purpose in India is 26.957-27.283 MHz. Nonetheless, the effective radiating power used for Citizens Band is limited within 5 Watt in India.[3]

CB Band PlanEdit

It appears that, as of 2015, several CB manufacturers and distributors are now shipping radios with the India CB band programmed in them. These are generally "multi-norm" radios that provide the user with flexibility in regards to different frequency plans and mode (AM, FM, SSB) regulations. President, AnyTone, CRT and other companies are including the "IN" country as an option now. The channel plan programmed in these radios does not match up with the channel plan listed below (odd offset plan starting at 26.964 MHz for channel 1). Instead, the channel plan used is similar to the European standardized 40 channel CB band (AM and FM mode allowed, 4 watts FM, 1 watt AM carrier power for 4 watts peak power – within compliance of the 5 watt limit for India). However, due to the frequency allocation in India being 26.957 – 27.283 MHz, the band plan is 27 channels. Starting with 26.965 MHz for channel 1 and ending at 27.275 MHz for channel 27. This band plan (26.960 – 27.280 MHz) is within the limits prescribed by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Wireless Planning and Coordination Wing). There does not appear to be an official CB channel-to-frequency table as part of the legislation listed as a reference for the "offset" frequency plan. Only the frequency range and power output limits are specified.

It is therefore likely that the "offset" frequency plan originally listed (44 channels in plan total, 11 R/C remote control channels, no mode (AM or FM) specified, no channel number associated, etc. It is possible that the older 44/33 channel list is obsolete, as no radios are produced that offer the offset frequency plan. However, it is probable that both channel plans are currently in use in India, and this will likely continue into the foreseeable future. The 27-channel plan offers wider channel spacing to reduce interference, compatibility with internationally agreed channel plans, and provision for five dedicated and one shared remote control (R/C) for toys, aircraft, boats, telemetry, paging and other non-voice communications. Channels 1–27 are the same as the channels 1–27 for the USA, Australian, and European Union standard channel plans. Not included are the five dedicated R/C frequencies 26.995 MHz, 27.045 MHz, 27.095 MHz, 27.145 MHz, 27.195 MHz and the shared R/C and CB voice frequency of Channel 23 – 27.255 MHz.

India CB channels [4]
Frequency [MHz] Usage
26.964 Hobbyist comms
26.968 [offset] Mountaineering
26.972 Hobbyist comms
26.976 [offset] Mountaineering
26.980 Highway comms
26.988 spare
26.996 spare
27.004 Radio-controlled model aircraft
27.012 Rural comms
27.020 Radio-controlled devices, ex. garage door openers, alarms
27.028 Rural comms
27.036 Hobbyist comms
27.044 Highway emergency (to contact police)
27.052 Highway emergency (to contact EMS)
27.060 Marine lifesaving comms
27.068 Marine lifesaving comms
27.076 Disaster relief
27.084 Disaster relief
27.092 Forestry
27.100 Forestry
27.108 Radio-controlled devices, ex. garage door openers, alarms
27.116 Radio-controlled model aircraft
27.124 Hobbyist comms
27.132 spare
27.140 Mountaineering
27.148 Radio-controlled model aircraft
27.155 [offset] Radio-controlled models, general
27.156 Radio-controlled model aircraft
27.164 spare
27.172 Rural comms
27.180 spare
27.188 spare
27.196 spare
27.204 Mountaineering
27.212 Rural comms
27.220 Sports events
27.225 [offset] Radio-controlled models, general
27.228 Radio-controlled model aircraft
27.236 Highway comms
27.244 Sports events
27.250 [offset] Radio-controlled toys and gadgets
27.252 spare
27.260 Radio-controlled toys and gadgets
27.268 spare
27.276 spare

Updated 27 channel CB radio channel plan (with 5 R/C frequencies annotated):

India CB channels – updated CB radio band plan – 27 Channels
Frequency [MHz] Channel Number
26.965 Channel 01
26.975 Channel 02
26.985 Channel 03
26.995 Radio-controlled models, general (no voice communications permitted) – "Channel 3A"
27.005 Channel 04
27.015 Channel 05
27.025 Channel 06
27.035 Channel 07
27.045 Radio-controlled models, general (no voice communications permitted) – "Channel 7A"
27.055 Channel 08
27.065 Channel 09
27.075 Channel 10
27.085 Channel 11
27.095 Radio-controlled models, general (no voice communications permitted) – "Channel 11A"
27.105 Channel 12
27.115 Channel 13
27.125 Channel 14
27.135 Channel 15
27.145 Radio-controlled models, general (no voice communications permitted) – "Channel 15A"
27.155 Channel 16
27.165 Channel 17
27.175 Channel 18
27.185 Channel 19
27.195 Radio-controlled models, general (no voice communications permitted) – "Channel 19A"
27.205 Channel 20
27.215 Channel 21
27.225 Channel 22
27.255 Channel 23 – shared with radio-controlled models.
27.235 Channel 24
27.245 Channel 25
27.265 Channel 26
27.275 Channel 27

Popular useEdit

Citizens Band radio is a good option for long-haul truck drivers to communicate directions, traffic problems and other relevant matters.[5]

Unlicensed CommunicationsEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ "WPA Notification on Citizens Band". WPA Coordinating Committee. Wireless Planning Commission of India. 12 August 2005. Retrieved 30 August 2012. 
  4. ^ WPC: Remarks in the National Frequency Allocation Table Archived 17 December 2006 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Alice Adams Trucking:Tractor-Trailer Driver Handbook/Workbook, page 558, the first DB radio