ARFCN, short for absolute radio frequency channel number, is a numbering system that identifies specific radio channels in a cellular mobile radio system. An ARFCN code number is assigned to each radio channel in the Global System for Mobile Communications, or GSM, the wireless telecommunications standard for digital cellular services. Given any ARFCN code, the exact frequency of a radio channel can be calculated. Due to the complexity of the calculation, an online ARFCN calculator provides the best method for determining the frequency of any given ARFCN.
- Skill level:
Navigate to an ARFCN-to-frequency calculator (see Resources).
Enter the start frequency in MHz in the "Start Frequency" menu.
Enter the channel width in kHz in the "Channel Width" menu.
Enter the ARFCN offset (assuming you have one) in the "ARFCN Offset" menu. The offset is the frequency separation of the uplink from the downlink.
Enter the ARFCN in the "ARFCN" menu.
Click "Calculate Frequency." The channel frequency will appear in bold below the menu.
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