Formerly in the business band, the FCC revised their regulations to add these 5 VHF frequencies to family radio. Since the end of 2000, users of the MURS band are not required to have a license.
However, there are a few restrictions. MURS two-way radios may not transmit above 2 watts and may not be used with a repeater-unless you got your license before they changed the rules, then you are grandfathered in and may continue to use repeaters and higher powered radios on this band. The MURS band comprises 5 frequencies between 151.820- 154.600 MHz, some of which include what are known to old school two-way radio enthusiasts as belonging to the "color-dot Series."
Businesses are permitted to use this license-free range of frequencies. However, the bandwidth is considered inside the VHF range. So, the communication will not be as effective as UHF radios when used indoors.
Narrowbanding: As more two-way radio users crowd the public air waves, the FCC must keep reworking their management strategies to make room for everyone on the frequency spectrum. The size of a channel available for a single voice path has been 25 kHz. To squeeze in more communications, the FCC now mandates that manufacturers must downsize channels to 12.5 kHz. Though there is no official deadline as of yet, the FCC is "strongly urging" business to look ahead and migrate to the very narrow band channel size of 6.25 kHz, which will likely be the future target of all radio bands.
Don't worry. Your gear isn't going to become obsolete overnight. If you bought your walkie-talkies from Motorola after 1997, your two-way radios are narrowbanding capable. You may just need to make some adjustments in programming. However, narrowbanding can be a factor in compatibility with older radios. You'll find lots of good information here: FCC Narrow Band Frequencies.
In short, if you have both older and newer model radios, you will want to make some easy adjustments. Generally, older radios had both narrow and wide band spacing. Change the bandwidth of your older model radios to the narrow band spacing. Next, program your new radios to match their narrow spacings. Doing this will allow older model radios to communicate with newer model radios and still follow current FCC guidelines. If you need assistance adjusting your older and newer model Motorola radios, please call our help desk at 800-448-6686.
If you are currently an FCC license holder, you'll want to check the registration on your license to see if your license covers the 12.5 kHz band. If it doesn't, you'll need to modify your license before the deadline. Narrowbanding applies to VHF and UHF frequencies but not to 900 MHz radios.