The communication between radioamateurs constitutes a real international "Service"
as formally recognised in 1927 by the conference of the
International Telecommunications Union (ITU) in Washington.
According to the definition in the Radio Regulations established by this conference (art. 1.56) the " Amateur Service" is a radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorised persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest.
Radioamateurs are such, because provided with a license, released by a government
authority, which authorises them to operate transceiver equipment in their own house,
in another residence, on veichles, ships or outdoor. Toghether with the licence, a unique
station callsign is provided which is coded according to few rules recognised all over the
world, allowing the immediate identification of the station nationality.
The licence allows using several frequency bands, allocated to the Amateur Service by international agreements. The communication can take place on these bands in several modes, like the Morse code (telegraphy), direct voice (phone), teletypewriter (RTTY), digitally (packet radio), slow scan television (SSTV) or fast scan television (ATV).
With the beginning of the satellites era, communications can now also take place
via satellites or it is even possible to
communicate with astronauts on-board the International Space Station thanks to the
Therefore, it has been introduced the "Amateur-Satellite Service" (art. 1.57), defined as a radiocommunication service using space stations or earth satellites for the same purposes as those of the amateur service.
In order to become a radioamateur in Italy, you must follow a specific BUREAUCRATIC PROCESS and in particular you must sit an exam of the Telecommunication Ministry, that at the end will allow you to obtain the license and your callsign, that can is valid in all contries belonging to the CEPT agreememt.
It has to be note that often radioamateurs are confused with CB
and vice versa, but there are several differences between these two categories of
peoples using radio equipment. To become CB it is sufficient to request to the
Ministry of Telecommunications an authorisation allowing usign low power equipment
for the Citizen Band (operating at 27 MHz) with the objective to chat with friends
as hobby or for work (e.g. truck driver).
The radioamateur figure, as shown above, is more specialized and its functions and its operative possibilities are much wider.