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Physics > Radio Frequencies (RF)

This page shows the most commonly separated bands of radio frequencies and their uses in communication and devices. At the bottom of the page are a list of bands of broadcast frequencies and their common descriptions.

Radio frequency (RF) refers to the part of the electromagnetic spectrum in which electromagnetic waves can be generated by alternating current and fed to an antenna.

Band name Abbr ITU band Frequency
Wavelength
Example uses
      < 3 Hz
> 100,000 km
 
Extremely low frequency ELF 1 3–30 Hz
100,000 km – 10,000 km
Communication with submarines
Super low frequency SLF 2 30–300 Hz
10,000 km – 1000 km
Communication with submarines
Ultra low frequency ULF 3 300–3000 Hz
1000 km – 100 km
Communication within mines
Very low frequency VLF 4 3–30 kHz
100 km – 10 km
Submarine communication, avalanche beacons, wireless heart rate monitors, geophysics
Low frequency LF 5 30–300 kHz
10 km – 1 km
Navigation, time signals, AM long wave broadcasting
Medium frequency MF 6 300–3000 kHz
1 km – 100 m
AM (Medium-wave) broadcasts
High frequency HF 7 3–30 MHz
100 m – 10 m
Shortwave broadcasts, amateur radio
Very high frequency VHF 8 30–300 MHz
10 m – 1 m
FM, television broadcasts and line-of-sight ground-to-aircraft and aircraft-to-aircraft communications
Ultra high frequency UHF 9 300–3000 MHz
1 m – 100 mm
television broadcasts, mobile phones, wireless LAN, Bluetooth, and Two-Way Radios such as FRS and GMRS Radios
Super high frequency SHF 10 3–30 GHz
100 mm – 10 mm
microwave devices, wireless LAN, most modern Radars
Extremely high frequency EHF 11 30–300 GHz
10 mm – 1 mm
Radio astronomy, high-speed microwave radio relay
      Above 300 GHz
< 1 mm
 


The following are example bands of broadcast frequencies:
  • Longwave AM Radio = 150kHz - 280kHz (LF)
  • Mediumwave AM Radio = 530kHz - 1610kHz (MF)
  • TV Band I (Channels 2 - 6) = 54MHz - 88MHz (VHF)
  • FM Radio Band II = 88MHz - 108MHz (VHF)
  • TV Band III (Channels 7 - 13) = 174MHz - 216MHz (VHF)
  • TV Bands IV & V (Channels 14 - 69) = 470MHz - 806MHz (UHF)