FCC Releases New VHF, UHF Narrowbanding Information
Thursday, January 14, 2016 | Comments

In a public notice, the FCC provided additional guidance to licensees and frequency coordinators regarding licensing procedures for private land mobile radio (PLMR) licensees in the 150 – 174 and 421 – 470 MHz bands.

Since the FCC’s narrowbanding requirement went into effect Jan. 1, 2013, all VHF/UHF industrial/business and public-safety radio pool licensees in the 150 – 174 and 421 – 470 MHz bands are required to operate on channels with a maximum bandwidth of 12.5 kilohertz or equivalent efficiency, unless they are operating under the terms of a waiver. Accordingly, wideband-only operation absent a waiver is no longer permitted.

The commission said applications regarding wideband-only licenses will be dismissed. The FCC dismisses applications that list only wideband emission designators unless the application also proposes to modify the license by replacing the wideband emission designator(s) with narrowband emission designator(s), the applicant certifies that the station equipment meets the narrowband efficiency standard, or the licensee was granted a waiver for that station.

Beginning Feb. 16, the commission will extend this policy to all PLMR applications and assignment of authorization and transfer of control applications in the 150 – 174 and 421 – 470 MHz bands that list only wideband emission designators. Specifically, the FCC will dismiss administrative update and modification applications unless they follow the three criteria above.

The new rules apply to applications that also include licenses that comply with, or are not subject to, the narrowbanding requirement.

The commission will not dismiss VHF and UHF licenses that fall within one of the following categories that permit operations with a channel bandwidth greater than 12.5 kilohertz:

• Narrowband-equivalent licenses for which the licensee previously certified narrowband equivalence. Licensees may file the narrowband equivalence certification as an attachment to an administrative update for their affected licenses.

• Licenses that operate solely on paging frequencies that are exempt from the narrowbanding requirement.

• Licenses for which a waiver of the narrowbanding deadline has been granted and has not expired.

The FCC strongly encouraged licensees whose licenses list both wideband and narrowband emission designators to remove the wideband emission designator either the next time they make any change to their authorization or by filing a “simple” narrowbanding modification.

The public notice also listed several frequently asked questions and answers. The full notice is here.

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On 1/20/16, Larry Shaefer said:
The wideband also applies to the FCC channels previously auctioned on the 150 and 450 MHz bands.


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