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Blog Posts by Pat Amodio

The 4.9 GHz Band, RF bits and pieces

by Pat Amodio, Chief of Radio Frequency Engineering, ERIC, PSHSB
April 8, 2011

In February, the FCC held a workshop on the 4.9 GHz band, spectrum dedicated to Public Safety for Broadband use. This 50 megahertz of spectrum in the 4.9 GHz band (4940–4990 MHz) is the largest spectrum allocation for public safety broadband services. The workshop consisted of two panels.  The first, which I had the pleasure to moderate, discussed how the 4.9 GHz band is currently used by public safety.   What did we learn from this workshop? Let me offer the perspective for a Radio Frequency (RF) Engineer.

The first panel had excellent state and local representation and included panelists from the Brookline (MA) Police Department; the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT); the Missouri Department of Public Safety; and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, California.

Scott Wilderfrom Brookline Police Department explained that their wireless network allows officers to access all public safety databases from their vehicle mounted laptops. Officers can, among other things, upload reports accessing criminal databases and download video and images of missing and wanted persons. The antenna is installed on the roof of the police cruiser. The network equipment and antennas are mounted on light poles within Brookline – ideal for propagating a signal to and from police vehicles.

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