I've recently bought a pair of PMR446 walkie-talkies with some 5–10 km range, operating at 446 MHz. We've happily used them in Sareks Nationalpark in Sweden. Now I'm moving to Canada, where this frequency requires a license.
My options are to:
- Buy another pair for use in Canada
- Get a license
- Use them anyway without a license
Suppose that we're hiking in a remote mountain region of British Columbia, Yukon, or Alaska. In all likelihood, nobody is going to be nearby. What are the likely consequences if we use it anyway — for us, and for others? Wikipedia notes:
PMR446 radios use frequencies that in the U.S. and Canada are allocated to amateur radio operators. PMR446 radios can only be used in North America by licensed amateur radio operators. The conflicting allocations have been something of a nuisance to North American amateur operators due to use of the equipment by European tourists in the U.S. and Canada.
Instead, the U.S. and Canada uses the FRS system, which provides a similar service on slightly different frequencies. FRS frequencies are allocated to the emergency services in Europe, notably the fire brigade in the UK, police in Russia. Interference with licenced radio services may result in prosecution.
Will PMR446 usage in North America likely lead to prosecution, and/or endanger anybody?