Cuban Hams can use 60m band
Faithful to their promise of a new universal 60m ham band in the last WRC, the Ministry of Communications of Cuba approved this January the access of Cuban hams to this new band.
The law approved on January 20 of 2014, from the Ministry of Communications of Cuba allows the use of the spectrum between the 5418 to 5430 Khz, a continuous segment of 12 Khz, this unlike other countries that are allowing just channels.
The assignation is as a secondary users as per ITU recommendations for region 2, with the emphasis on its use in emergencies nets, as Cuba is in the path of the Caribbean Hurricanes every year and this band allows a steady communication path for all the island.
The new law sets this band for every day use, but once an official emergency is declared by the Cuban State, then the use of the band will be restricted to emergency traffic exclusively, ceasing all others kinds of use on it.
The new assignation allows SSB, CW and Digital, the former limited to PSK31 and PSK63. All ham categories of the three existent in Cuba can access the band based on a power limitations of 10W for the novices and 50W for the rest; with a note of the relaxation of this power limitation up to 100W tops for all users in emergency conditions as needed for a reliable link establishment.
The access of the hams to this band is not immediate, the process involves the request and approval for individual hams to the related Authority and the modification of the ham's licence (an in-office process of about 1 day), so the band will populate steady, but slowly.
Most Cubans hams use commercial radios with full or partial coverage of HF bands or even homebrew radios, so the "hardware" will not be a major problem, for a significant percent of Cuban hams will be a matter of setting up an antenna for this new band or simply tune in his multi-band antenna.
Pavel Milanes Costa CO7WT