FCC Denies SNG’s Waiver Request for 900 MHz Channels
Monday, April 13, 2015 | Comments

The FCC dismissed the applications filed by Spectrum Networks Group (SNG) and eight other entities for 896 – 901/935 – 940 MHz business/industrial/land transportation (B/ILT) pool channels at various locations, and denied a request filed by SNG for waiver of the FCC rule that prohibits SMR systems on 900 MHz B/ILT channels.

The 900 MHz band consists of 399 12.5-kilohertz narrowband channels grouped into 10-channel blocks that alternate between SMR blocks licensed geographically and assigned by competitive bidding, and B/ILT blocks in which channels are assigned on a site-by-site basis. Section 90.617(c) provides that SMR systems will not be authorized on 900 MHz B/ILT channels.

Between October 2013 and January 2014, SNG and the other parties filed a total of 47 applications for 900 MHz B/ILT pool channels at various locations in 22 states. Each application indicated that the applicant intended to provide wireless services to Part 90 eligibles on a non-common-carrier basis. In March, SNG filed an additional 99 applications for 900 MHz B/ILT channels at various locations in 43 states and Puerto Rico.

The Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) filed objections, arguing that the applications propose a prohibited SMR service. Several industry groups later filed comments opposing a waiver request for machine-to-machine (M2M) communications service.

“We conclude that because SNG seeks to blur the demarcation between B/ILT and SMR spectrum and obtain spectrum that is set aside for traditional B/ILT operations, grant of the waiver request would undermine the purpose of Section 90.617,” the FCC order said. “Nor has SNG demonstrated any unique or unusual circumstances that render application of the rule inequitable, unduly burdensome or contrary to the public interest, or leave SNG with no reasonable alternative.”

The full order is here.

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