AT&T Rejects Pericle’s Suggestion for Solving 800 MHz Cellular Interference
Thursday, January 21, 2016 | Comments

In a Jan. 15 ex parte letter to the FCC, AT&T rejected a proposal from an engineering firm to address public-safety interference at 800 MHz.

Late last year, several FCC filings detailed interference problems between 800 MHz public-safety systems and commercial networks, and the public-safety entities offered suggestions on the best way to address the problems. The AT&T letter specifically took issue with a proposal filed by consulting and engineering firm Pericle Communications and law firm Shulman Rogers.

In 2014, the FCC proposed to supplement its existing effective radiated power (ERP) limits for the cellular service with alternative limits based on power spectral density (PSD). The commission also proposed to increase cellular power levels in rural areas and to potentially incorporate power flux density (PFD) limits near cellular base stations.

In the December filing, Jay Jacobsmeyer, president of Pericle, said the purpose of specifying a PFD limit is to protect public-safety receivers from harmful interference in the 800 MHz bands. This harmful interference is created in the front end of the receiver where there is typically no selectivity over the entire ESMR band and little selectivity over the 800 MHz cellular band. Jacobsmeyer proposed amended regulatory language that he said should satisfy the majority of interference scenarios.

“AT&T opposes Pericle’s proposal because it would extend to base stations operating under current power rules and presenting little to no risk of unacceptable interference to public-safety devices, significantly reduces the benefits of using PSD, and discourages innovation and advancement in public-safety devices and networks,” the letter said.

“Pericle’s proposal seeks protection from risks far beyond those presented by base stations that operate using PSD, covering even existing broadband cellular base stations operating in accordance with current commission rule section 22.913, such as those operating at less than 500 watts ERP and those operating in rural areas between 500 and 1,000 watts ERP. Pericle’s proposal seeks not a modification of the rules to account for cellular licensees’ use of PSD, but to renew arguments made in the rebanding docket and completely eliminate any interference risk, and is thus overreaching.”

The full AT&T letter is here.

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