Call signs are frequently still used by North American broadcast
stations , in addition to amateur radio and other international radio
stations that continue to identify by call signs around the world.
Each country has a different set of patterns for its own call signs.
Call signs are allocated to ham radio stations in
Many countries have specific conventions for classifying call signs
by transmitter characteristics and location. The call sign format for
radio and television call signs follows a number of conventions. All
call signs begin with a prefix assigned by the International
Telecommunications Union . For example, the
* 1 Bermuda, Bahamas, and the Caribbean
BERMUDA, BAHAMAS, AND THE CARIBBEAN
Pertaining to their status as former or current colonies, all of the British West Indies islands shared the VS, ZB–ZJ, ZN–ZO, and ZQ prefixes. The current, largely post-independence, allocation list is as follows:
Cuba uses the prefixes "CL"–"CM", "CO", and "T4", with district numbers from 0 to 9 to amateur operations.
The Dominican Republic uses the prefixes "HI"–"HJ".
FRENCH WEST INDIES
All of the French possessions share the prefix "F". Further divisions that are used by amateur stations are:
Haiti has been assigned the callsign prefixes "HH" and "4V".
TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO
The island nation of
Trinidad and Tobago
Canadian broadcast stations are assigned a three-, four-, or
five-letter base call sign (not including the "-FM", "-TV" or "-DT"
suffix) beginning with "CB", "CF", "CH", "CI", "CJ", "CK",
"VA"–"VG", "VO", "VX", "VY", or "XJ"–"XO". The "CB" series calls
are assigned to
Several other prefixes, including "CG", "CY", "CZ" and the "XJ" to "XO" range, are available. Conventional radio and television stations almost exclusively use "C" call signs; with a few exceptions noted below, the "V" codes are restricted to specialized uses such as amateur radio .
Mexican broadcast stations are assigned a three-, four-, five-, or
six-letter call signs beginning with "XE" (for mediumwave and
shortwave stations) or "XH" (for FM radio and television stations ).
Some FM and television stations (like XETV ) are grandfathered with
"XE" call signs and a "–FM", "-TDT" or "–TV" suffix. Mexican
stations are required to identify twice an hour and to play the
Mexican national anthem every day at 6a.m. and midnight local time.
Television rebroadcasters are assigned the callsigns of the station
they are licensed to retransmit; for instance,
XEZ-TV , located on
Cerro El Zamorano in
Amateur radio stations in
The earliest identification, used in the 1910s and into the early
1920s, was arbitrary. The U.S. government began requiring stations to
use three-letter call signs around 1912, but they could be chosen at
random. This system was replaced by the basic form of the current
system in the early 1920s. Examples of pre-1920 stations include 8XK
All broadcast call signs in the
In the United States, broadcast stations have call signs of three to seven characters in length, including suffixes for certain types of service, but the minimum length for new stations is four characters, and seven-character call signs result only from rare combinations of suffixes.
Call signs are also used in other parts of the world, particularly
those which have had significant U.S. influence at some point. This