We consider frames arising from the action of a unitary representation of a discrete countable abelian group. We show that the range of the analysis operator can be determined by computing which characters appear in the representation. This allows one to compare the ranges of two such frames, which is useful for determining similarity and also for multiplexing schemes. Our results then partially extend to Bessel sequences arising from the action of the group. We apply the results to sampling on bandlimited functions and to wavelet and Weyl-Heisenberg frames. This yields a sufficient condition for two sampling transforms to have orthogonal ranges, and two analysis operators for wavelet and Weyl-Heisenberg frames to have orthogonal ranges. The sufficient condition is easy to compute in terms of the periodization of the Fourier transform of the frame generators.