Wednesday, February 9, 2005

FCC Proposes More Flexible 900 MHz Band

The FCC proposed to eliminate unnecessary regulatory restrictions in the 900 MHz spectrum band. The Commission's proposal would allow more flexible use of "white space" in the 900 MHz band and allow users in the band to respond to evolving market demands.

Specifically, the FCC proposed amendments to Part 90 of its rules to facilitate more flexible use of the 199 channels allocated to the Business and Industrial Land Transportation (B/ILT) Pools in the 896-901/935-940 MHz (900 MHz) bands. The Commission's proposal addresses a number of licensing, operational and technical issues, such as the appropriate band plan, the rights and obligations of incumbent site-based licensees, and competitive bidding procedures for new licenses in the 900 MHz band. The FCC proposes that the available spectrum in the 900 MHz band be licensed using a geographic licensing scheme. The FCC would license the channels in 19 blocks of 10 contiguous channels each, and one block of 9 contiguous channels.

The FCC said its proposal would give new license holders in the 900 MHz band the flexibility to provide any fixed or mobile service pursuant to the allocation for this spectrum, which includes commercial mobile radio services (CMRS). The proposal builds upon the flexibility afforded Private Land Mobile Radio Service license holders in the 900 MHz band when the Commission consolidated the Business and Industrial/Land Transportation (B/ILT) license categories, which allowed more 900 MHz licenses to be used for commercial services.


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