FCC Seeks Comment on Metrom Waiver Request for PTC System
Friday, September 21, 2018 | Comments

The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OET) is seeking comment on a request for waiver filed by Metrom Rail to allow it to install and operate an ultrawideband (UWB) positive train control (PTC) system.

Metrom filed its request on Sept. 4, asking for a grant of equipment authorization and for permission to operate and install the system in the 3.272 – 5.014 GHz band. The system would operate above the current radiated power limit as fixed wireless infrastructure under the handheld UWB device rules.

Metrom said that the requested waiver would enable PTC to be deployed in public transit and short rail train systems and promote safety for railway passengers and personnel in a cost-effective manner.

The commission’s rules contain provisions for UWB devices that are relatively small and are primarily handheld while being operated and do not employ a fixed infrastructure. Additionally, the rules prohibit the use of antennas mounted on outdoor infrastructure. Metrom said that its AURA PTC system devices are functionally equivalent to handheld devices and the use of fixed infrastructure would not increase the risks of harmful interference.

FCC rules restrict radiated emissions in the 3.1 – 10.6 GHz band to -41.3 dBm, but Metrom requested a waiver to operate with 6 dB additional gain for limited directional antenna applications. The company said that the higher emission level of -35 dBm effective isotropic radiated power (EIRP) would increase range, reduce deployment costs, and will not increase the potential for causing harmful interference to authorized users.

Comments are due Oct. 22, and reply comments are due Nov. 6. Find the full notice here.

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