All amateur radio
licenses, by international convention
, have prefix
es, a numerical identifier
, and a suffix
. The prefix identifies nation
, the numerical identifier identifies location
or license class
, and the suffix identifies the individual operator
or highly populated
nations tend to follow sequential
license programs, while less developed
and less populated
nations allow for great leeway
your own call. Coincidentally, the former King of Jordan
had one of the most prestigious calls of all, JY1.
American "hams" use the prefixes WA - WZ, KA - KZ, NA - NZ, and AA - AL. The numerals 0 - 9 indicate geographical
area, with California
as 6 and Alaska
as 7. Higher classes of licenses used to have more prestigious calls as an incentive for upgrading. AT the current time the number of "elite
" calls signs available have dwindled significantly.
The order of call signs by class:
TECHNICIAN AND GENERAL Class
2x3 calls. For example, KD2xxx
2x2 "A" prefix calls. For example, AE2xx.
In the Vanity
conducted by the FCC
, operators can lease
call signs for ten year
terms. Though most of the 1x2 (W1AW
) or 2x1 old Extra calls are almost completely gone, the old Advanced Class call signs are still available (2x2, KA9xx
) as well as 1x3 (N2xxx)
. The cost of the lease varies every year, though it usually costs no more than US $30.