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Illegal use of GMRS by businesses?


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I've run down the source of traffic on an unidentified repeater, at the time, on the same frequency pair used by a local GMRS repeater, with currently 54 confirmed users. It seems to be used by the housekeeping staff at a local mall which is operating a repeater but with a different PL tone. I verified this by catching a member of the mall's security staff talking on their licensed frequency, WQOX482, then talking on the GMRS unidentified repeater a few seconds later to the mall's housekeeping staff about the same topic. The housekeeping repeater never ID's nor does anybody else I've monitored using it.


From what I can find the repeater appears to be operating illegally since 10/12/2015.




The license has long since expired, KAB1523, and was not renewed thus their is no "grandfather" exception to consider.


The following link clearly shows the repeater frequencies used under the "Special Conditions" section of the now expired license.




Our repeater administrator has decided not to make an issue of it since the "illegal business repeater" is seldom used. It's his choice and machine so the following question is just for general information.


Has anybody else run across a known verifiable illegal use of GMRS frequencies, this does NOT include legal use of FRS radios, by a business and what if anything was done about it? Does the FCC really care to get involved?





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Dang. You still have an open mall? All the ones in my general vicinity have declared bankruptcy. You might not have to do anything but give it a couple more months.

You might be right about that! Many of the shop fronts are closed up and the space is cleaned out. The foot traffic in the mall during the week is almost nonexistent. I think half the people you see are called "Mall Walkers" who are there just for the exorcise. Its is a large mall. It beats freezing your nuts off outside and slipping on the snow and ice.

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Looks like I can't paste the FCC search results link with the search results. 8-(


One would need to go to the link below, FCC's "License Search" page.




Then do a search by FRN number, click on the button to the left of the edit window and select "By FRN". The FRN number to use is this one.




This shows all current and past licenses held by the mall.

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Does that include the repeater channels as some medical facilities are using them and I am sure they do not all have a license?????

If they have a "grandfathered" license then yes it's legal. Otherwise no.


A local mall near me is using repeater channel 16, and yes they do have a repeater. The repeater is used by the mall's house keeping staff only. After some research I found they use to have a license but it's expired, has been since October of 2015! As far as I can tell it's never been renewed. I assume the FCC knows about it but just doesn't care. 


The only reason why I went to the trouble of finding out is the local GMRS repeater, which is only about 6 to 8 miles away, uses the same repeater channel, just a different PL tone. At times I can hear interference from the mall's repeater. I go to the mall frequently just to walk around and I have my HT with me monitoring the mall security and several of the local store's comm's. I don't use a PL tone on any of them so I can hear all the traffic. When I hear some of the GMRS uses complain about some "weird" issue with the repeater it was when the mall's house keeping keyed up their radios. Apparently they use a tone on RX and can't hear other traffic, plus they are not using the Busy Channel Lockout feature that's on just about every commercial radio out there. They have no idea there is anybody else using the frequency. Fortunately they are seldom on the radio.

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