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Ranges and types of electromagnetic waves table
Table shows common classification of electromagnetic waves based on frequency (wavelength). Also, example methods of producing/generating and applications for given wavelengths are presented.

General wave classification

Common nameFrequency rangeWavelength rangeSources and methods of productionExample usage
Low fequency radiation< 10 kHz> 30 kmacoustic transducers, LC and RC generatorselectroacoustics, energy industry, telephony
Radio waves10 kHz - 3 THz100 µm - 30 kmLC, RC generators, masersradio, television, telecommunications, radiolocation, radioastronomy, medicine
Infrared300 GHz - 395 THz759 nm - 1 mmheated bodies, lasers, radiant lamps, the suntelecommunications, medicine, heating, material processing, IR spectroscopy
Visible range395 THz - 790 THz380 nm - 759 nmmercury lamps, heated bodies, lasers, the sun, luminescencetelecommunications, photography, optics, quantitative analysis
Ultraviolet (UV)790 THz - 30 PHz10 nm - 380 nmlasers, mercury lamps, sun, gas discharge, quartz lampstelecommunications, photography, optics, quantitative analysis
X-ray30 PHz - 30 EHz10 pm - 10 nmX-ray tube, decay of radioactive elementstelecommunications, photography, optics
Gamma radiation> 3 EHz< 100 pmcosmic rays, accelerators, X-ray tubes, decay of radioactive elementsmedicine, defectoscopy, nuclear physics

Radio waves

Common nameFrequency rangeWavelength rangeSources and methods of productionExample usage
Radio waves (long)10 kHz - 300 kHz1 km - 30 kmLC, RC generators, masersradio in ITU I region (Europa, Africa)
Radio waves (medium)300 kHz - 3 MHz100 m - 1 kmLC, RC generators, masersradio, non-directional radio beacons, DGPS reference stations, meteorological reports
Radio waves (short)3 MHz - 30 MHz10 m - 100 mLC, RC generators, masersamateur radio (ham radio)
Radio waves (ultra-short, VHF)30 MHz - 300 MHz10 dm - 10 mLC, RC generators, masersterrestrial television, radio broadcasting, pager network
Radio waves (UHF)300 MHz - 3 GHz10 cm - 10 dmLC, RC generators, maserstelevision, mobile telephony, Wi-Fi networks, bluetooth
Micro-waves3 GHz - 3 THz100 µm - 10 cmvacuum tubes, field-effect transistor (FET), tunnel diodes, Gunn diodes, IMPATT diodesmicrowave radars, radar speed measurement, inter-satellite communication, microwave oven

Visible range

ColorFrequency rangeWavelength range
Red389 THz - 491 THz611 nm - 771 nm
Yellow517 THz - 535 THz561 nm - 580 nm
Green535 THz - 612 THz490 nm - 561 nm
Blue612 THz - 625 THz480 nm - 490 nm
Violet652 THz - 789 THz380 nm - 460 nm

Micro-wave bands (IEEE)

Band symbolFrequency rangeWavelength range
1 GHz - 2 GHz1 dm - 3 dm
2 GHz - 4 GHz8 cm - 1 dm
4 GHz - 8 GHz4 cm - 8 cm
8 GHz - 12 GHz3 cm - 4 cm
12 GHz - 18 GHz2 cm - 3 cm
18 GHz - 26 GHz1 cm - 2 cm
26 GHz - 40 GHz8 mm - 1 cm
299.9 GHz - 300 GHz1 mm - 1 mm

Micro-wave bands (NATO)

Band symbolFrequency rangeWavelength range
< 250 MHz> 1 m
250 MHz - 500 MHz6 dm - 1 m
500 MHz - 1 GHz3 dm - 6 dm
1 GHz - 2 GHz1 dm - 3 dm
2 GHz - 3 GHz10 cm - 1 dm
3 GHz - 4 GHz8 cm - 10 cm
4 GHz - 6 GHz5 cm - 8 cm
6 GHz - 8 GHz4 cm - 5 cm
8 GHz - 10 GHz3 cm - 4 cm
10 GHz - 20 GHz2 cm - 3 cm
20 GHz - 40 GHz8 mm - 2 cm
40 GHz - 60 GHz5 mm - 8 mm
60 GHz - 100 GHz3 mm - 5 mm

WiFi standards

Network standardFrequency range
2.412 GHz - 2.484 GHz
3.6575 GHz - 3.6925 GHz
4.94 GHz - 4.99 GHz
5.03 GHz - 4.99 GHz
5.85 GHz - 5.925 GHz
60 GHz - 60 GHz

ISM (Industrial, Scientific, Medical)

Frequency rangeExample usage
6.765 MHz - 6.795 MHzFIXED SERVICE & Mobile service
13.553 MHz - 13.567 MHzFIXED & Mobile services except Aeronautical mobile (R) service
26.957 MHz - 27.283 MHzFIXED & MOBILE SERVICE except Aeronautical mobile service, CB Radio
40.66 MHz - 40.7 MHzFixed, Mobile services & Earth exploration-satellite service
433.05 MHz - 434.79 MHzAMATEUR SERVICE & RADIOLOCATION SERVICE
902 MHz - 928 MHzFIXED, Mobile except aeronautical mobile & Radiolocation service; in Region 2 additional Amateur service
2.4 GHz - 2.5 GHzFIXED, MOBILE, RADIOLOCATION, Amateur & Amateur-satellite service
5.725 GHz - 5.875 GHzFIXED-SATELLITE, RADIOLOCATION, MOBILE, Amateur & Amateur-satellite service
24 GHz - 24.25 GHzAMATEUR, AMATEUR-SATELLITE, RADIOLOCATION & Earth exploration-satellite service (active)
61 GHz - 61.5 GHzFIXED, INTER-SATELLITE, MOBILE & RADIOLOCATION SERVICE
122 GHz - 123 GHzEARTH EXPLORATION-SATELLITE (passive), FIXED, INTER-SATELLITE, MOBILE, SPACE RESEARCH (passive) & Amateur service
244 GHz - 246 GHzRADIOLOCATION, RADIO ASTRONOMY, Amateur & Amateur-satellite service

GSM frequencies defined by 3GPP

SystemFrequency bandUplink frequency [MHz]Downlink frequency [MHz]ARFC channels
GSM 400GSM 450 Band450,4 - 457,7460,4 - 467,6259 - 293
GSM 400GSM 480 Band478,8 - 486,0488,8 - 496,0306 - 340
GSM 700GSM 750 Band747 - 762777 - 792438 - 511
GSM 850GSM 850 Band824 - 849869 - 894128 - 251
GSM 900Primary GSM 900 Band890 - 915935 - 9601 - 124
GSM 900Extended GSM 900 Band880 - 915925 - 9601 - 124
975 - 1023
GSM 1800DSC 1 800 Band1710 - 17851805 - 1880512 - 885
GSM 1900PCS 1 900 Band1850 - 19101930 - 1990512 - 810
R-GSMRailways GSM 900 Band876 - 915921 - 9601 - 124
955 - 1023

GSM channels in Poland

ARFC channelsSystemNumber of channelsGSM operatorUplink frequency [MHz]Downlink frequency [MHz]Notes
975 - 999EGSM 90025P4 (Play)880,1 - 885,1925,1 - 930,1GSM900, UMTS900
1000 -1023EGSM 90025Aero2885,1 - 890,1930,1 - 935,1UMTS900
0 - 0EGSM 90025Aero2885,1 - 890,1930,1 - 935,1UMTS900
1 - 14GSM 90014Polkomtel (Plus)890,1 - 892,9935,1 - 937,9GSM900
15 - 36GSM 90022T-Mobile Polska (T-mobile)892,9 - 897,3937,9 - 942,3GSM900
37 - 67GSM 90031Polkomtel (Plus)897,3 - 903,5942,3 - 948,5GSM900
68 - 90GSM 90023T-Mobile Polska (T-mobile)903,5 - 908,1948,5 - 953,1GSM900, UMTS900 (channels 79 - 90 within Networks!)
91 - 124GSM 90034Orange Polska (Orange)908,1 - 914,9953,1 - 959,9GSM900, UMTS900 (channels 91 - 99 within Networks!)
512 - 560GSM 180049CenterNet1710,1 - 1719,91805,1 - 1814,9LTE1800 / Mobyland
561 - 561GSM 18001CenterNet/Mobyland1719,9 - 1720,11814,9 - 1815,1LTE1800 with CenterNet/Mobyland with the conspect of UKE
562 - 610GSM 180049Mobyland1720,1 - 1729,91815,1 - 1824,9LTE1800 / CenterNet
611 - 685GSM 180075P4 (Play)1729,9 - 1744,91824,9 - 1839,9-
686 - 735GSM 180050T-Mobile Polska (T-mobile)1744,9 - 1754,91839,9 - 1849,9GSM1800 / Orange Polska
736 - 747GSM 180012T-Mobile Polska (T-mobile)1754,9 - 1757,31849,9 - 1852,3GSM1800
748 - 748GSM 18001-1757,3 - 1757,51852,3 - 1852,5-
749 - 760GSM 180012Polkomtel (Plus)1757,5 - 1759,91852,5 - 1854,9GSM1800
761 - 762GSM 18002-1759,9 - 1760,31854,9 - 1855,3-
763 - 810GSM 180048Orange Polska (Orange)?1760,3 - 1769,91855,3 - 1864,9
811 - 811GSM 18001-1769,9 - 1770,11864,9 - 1865,1LTE 1800(channels 772 - 846 within Networks!)
812 - 847GSM 180036T-Mobile Polska (T-mobile)1770,1 - 1777,31865,1 - 1872,3LTE 1800(channels 772 - 846 within Networks!)
848 - 849GSM 18002-1777,3 - 1777,71872,3 - 1872,7-
850 - 885GSM 180036Polkomtel (Plus)1777,7 - 1784,91872,7 - 1879,9GSM1800

LTE bands over the World

LTE band [MHz]Used in region(s)
700North America
800North America, Europe
900Europe
1700North America
1800Europe, Asia, Australia
1900North America
2100North America, Europe
2500South America
2600Europe, Asia
3400Europe
3600Europe

LTE operators in the Poland

LTE band [MHz]LTE operator
800Play, Orange, T-Mobile, Midas
1800Cyfrowy Polsat, Plus, Play, Orange, T-Mobile, Midas
2100T-Mobile
2600Plus, Play, Orange, T-Mobile

Some facts

  • Electromagnetic waves are disturbances of electromagnetic field displaced in space.
  • Electromagnetic waves propagate at the speed of light.
  • One of the most basic parameters describing a wave (not only electromagnetic) is its frequency.
  • Since the frequency of the wave is directly related to its length, we can equally determine the wave by giving its length. The relationship between the length and the frequency of the electromagnetic wave is as follows:
    λ=cν\lambda = \frac{c}{\nu}
    where:
  • The waves classification based on the wavelength or frequency is conventional and has the practical meaning. This means that individual sources may deliver different bands.
  • The classification based on wavelength does not have to be strictly consistent with frequency based one. Often for convenience (i.e. to avoid fractional values), we round speed of light to 300,000 km/s when converting one classification to another.
  • The properties of electromagnetic waves are described by Maxwell's equations:
    ×E=Bt×B=μj+μεEtεE=ρB=0 \begin{aligned} & \nabla \times \vec{E} = -\frac{\partial \vec{B}} {\partial {t}} \\ & \nabla \times \vec{B} = \mu \vec{j} +\mu \varepsilon \frac{\partial \vec{E}} {\partial {t}} \\ & \varepsilon \nabla \cdot \vec{E} = \rho \\ & \nabla \cdot \vec{B} = 0 \end{aligned}
    gdzie:
  • Historically, phenomena related to electricity and magnetism (and therefore the electric and magnetic field and their changes) were two separate branches of science. Maxwell's equations gave a coherent description joining both fields into one. Thanks to this, there is no need to speak separately about the magnetic and electric field anymore. We can simply use the term electromagnetic field instead.
  • Electric and magnetic fields are special cases of the electromagnetic field. Despite a coherent mathematical apparatus, which eliminates the need to distinguish between these two types of fields, sometimes the concepts of magnetic or electric field are used separately if it's handful.

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