LMCC Annual Meeting Provides Updates on Items Pending at FCC, Narrowband Compliance
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 | Comments

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) held its annual meeting April 12 in Washington, D.C.  LMCC is a nonprofit association of organizations that represent the wireless communications interests of public safety, critical infrastructure, business, industrial, transportation, private and common carriers, and manufacturers of wireless communications equipment.

Attendees of the conference were provided updates on a number of regulatory items impacting frequency coordination and FCC applications. Several 800 MHz items are reported nearing completion by the commission.

A petition filed by Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) to add 12.5-kilohertz channels between the 800 kHz 25-kilohertz channels is also approaching completion. A public notice or order on the item is expected. If enacted, the proposal creates spectrum opportunities in the 800 MHz band, particularly for agencies willing to use ultra-narrowband 4-kilohertz emissions.

UHF and VHF licenses that show only wideband, analog emissions (20K0F3E) continue to create difficulties for the coordinators. Operations using these parameters are in violation of FCC rules, and the FCC is not processing any changes to these licenses, even address changes, until the wideband emission designators have been removed.

Frequency coordinators have struggled with how to treat these authorizations in the coordination process. At first the wideband emissions were ignored altogether, but the current direction from the commission is to treat the noncompliant operations as 12.5-kilohertz narrowband compliant. Suggestions to call the licensees were met with doubt that the existing licensees would respond to telephone requests for information.

A number of items remain pending with the FCC, including the following:
• Two firms have requested certification as LMR coordinators. No new action is noted.
• The item addressing conditional license requests for Part 90 bands above 470 MHz is still being considered.
• 900 MHz band requests pending are the petition by EWA and Pacific DataVision (PDV) to re-channelize the band to permit Long Term Evolution (LTE) operations and the M2M Networks request to license business channels directly as SMR systems.
• An item that would allow railroad police officers in the business radio service access to interoperability police channels in the public safety band is near completion. The request promotes public safety and is supported by most entities involved.
• The final order on the public-safety 4.9 GHz band is also expected. The portion of the proposed rules that would allow critical infrastructure industries (CII) access to 10 megahertz of spectrum in the band supposedly has been rewritten.

Separately, FCC application filing statistics for the month of March show 1,964 applications in business radio services and 777 applications in public-safety radio services for a total of 2,741 applications filed. The three largest coordinators submitted nearly 60 percent of the applications. A total of 7,435 applications were submitted for LMR facilities in the first quarter.

As previously reported, LMCC members also elected a new board of directors during the meeting.

Klaus Bender is a principal engineer with Sitesafe, a division of FDH Velocitel. Sitesafe offers the online SpectrumWatch platform that provides tools needed to prepare and file FCC applications for land mobile communications facilities. Sitesafe also provides a variety of regulatory and engineering services. Bender attended the LMCC meeting as a guest of a frequency coordinator. He is a member of the MissionCritical Communications editorial advisory board and can be reached at kbender@sitesafe.com.

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