Strip optical waveguides based on erbium (Er)-doped AlGaN/GaN:Er/AlGaN heterostructures have been fabricated and characterized in the optical communication wavelength window near 1.54 μm. The propagation loss of these waveguide amplifiers have been measured at 1.54 mu;m and found to be 3.5 cm-1. Moreover, the optical amplification properties of the waveguides were measured using a signal input at 1.54 μm and a broadband GaN light-emitting diode at 365 nm as pump source. A relative signal enhancement of ∼8 cm-1 was observed. The implications of such devices in photonic integrated circuits for optical communications are discussed.