A technique for spread-spectrum communication which uses more than one mode and more than one frequency band. Selectable modes include narrowband mode and spread-spectrum mode, or cellular mode and microcellular mode. Selectable frequency bands include both licensed and unlicensed frequency bands, particularly frequency bands including the 902-928 MHz, 1850-1990 MHz, and 2.4-2.4835 GHz frequency bands. Spread-spectrum communication channels are 10 MHz or less in width. The frequency band onto which spread-spectrum signals are encoded may be changed upon a change in environment or other control trigger, such as establishment or de-establishment of communication with a private access network.