What is Amateur Radio?
Amateur radio is a popular technical hobby and volunteer public service that uses designated radio frequencies for non-commercial exchange of messages, wireless experimentation, self-training, and emergency communications.
Here is an excellent video on the hobby by Essex Amateur Radio:
Amateur Radio is the only hobby governed by international treaty.
As a radio amateur you are able to transmit radio signals on a number of frequency bands allocated specifically to the radio amateurs.
Radio amateurs make use of their frequencies in a number of ways:
Contacting people all over the world by radio which often leads to developing international friendships
Competing in international competitions to test how effective your equipment is, and how good you are as an operator
Technical experimentation — many of the leaps forward in radio technology have been initiated by radio amateurs
Communication through amateur space satellites or with the International Space Station (which carries an amateur radio station)
Providing communications at times of emergencies and undertaking exercises to ensure you keep the capability to do so.
There is no better way to explore the fascinating world of radio communications than by becoming a radio amateur.
A 1910 announcement by the then HM Postmaster General licensed “experimental wireless”, which still uniquely gives radio amateurs the ability to innovate without commercial or statutory controls even in the closely regulated environment of the 21st century.