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800 MHz SMR Band Order

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Released: May 24, 2012

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-55

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)
Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible
)
WT Docket No. 12-64
Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for
)
Economic Area-based 800 MHz Specialized
)
Mobile Radio Licensees
)
)
Request for Declaratory Ruling that the
)
WT Docket No. 11-110
Commission’s Rules Authorize Greater than 25
)
kHz Bandwidth Operations in the 817-824/862-
)
869 MHz Band
)

REPORT AND ORDER

Adopted: May 24, 2012

Released: May 24, 2012
By the Commission: Chairman Genachowski, Commissioners McDowell, Clyburn, Rosenworcel, and
Pai issuing separate statements.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I.
INTRODUCTION ......................................................................................................................... 1
II.
BACKGROUND ........................................................................................................................... 2
III.
DISCUSSION ................................................................................................................................ 8
A.
Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Flexibility for EA-based 800 MHz SMR Licensees.. 11
B.
Protection of 800 MHz Public Safety Licensees............................................................. 13
C.
Applicability and Sufficiency of Existing Part 90 Rules ................................................ 21
D.
Other Issues..................................................................................................................... 29
E.
Conclusion ...................................................................................................................... 30
IV.
PROCEDURAL MATTERS ....................................................................................................... 31
A.
Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis ............................................................................. 31
B.
Final Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis....................................................................... 32
C.
Congressional Review Act.............................................................................................. 33
V.
ORDERING CLAUSES .............................................................................................................. 34
APPENDIX A – List of Commenting Parties
APPENDIX B – Rules
APPENDIX C – Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
As part of our ongoing efforts to reduce barriers to innovation and investment in new
technologies and to promote greater spectrum efficiency, we adopt this Report and Order to amend a
legacy regulatory requirement in Part 90 and provide certain spectrum licensees with increased regulatory
and technical flexibility to deploy advanced wireless services in portions of the 800 MHz band. By
removing a legacy channelization scheme and bandwidth limitation, this Report and Order will allow

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Economic Area (EA)-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) licensees in the 813.5-824/858.5-
869 MHz1 portion of the 800 MHz band to more efficiently utilize their spectrum resources to deploy
competitive wireless services. Consumers will benefit from this flexibility through improved access to
advanced wireless services, including in rural, unserved, and underserved areas.2 We are also mindful of
the need to protect 800 MHz public safety licensees from harmful interference, and take action in this
Report and Order to help ensure that the flexibility provided to EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees does
not cause harmful interference to 800 MHz public safety licensees.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
The Commission revised its Part 90 rules to create a new geographic-licensing
framework for 800 MHz SMR in 1995.3 In doing so, the Commission transitioned the 800 MHz SMR
service from a site-by-site licensing process that required licensees to seek prior authorization to add or
modify individual frequency channels and transmitter sites to a geographic-based licensing mechanism
that provides licensees with the flexibility to add transmitters or modify operations within their licensed
market and licensed spectrum as market conditions dictate.4
3.
The Commission determined that wide-area licensing would “give licensees the
flexibility to use technologies that can operate on either contiguous or non-contiguous spectrum”5 and that
large spectrum blocks were necessary for “broadband technologies such as CDMA and GSM.”6 With
wide-area licenses, the Commission indicated licensees would be able to “compete effectively with other
CMRS providers, such as cellular and broadband PCS systems.”7 Further, the Commission stated its
intent in the Executive Summary of the 800 MHz SMR First Report and Order that EA-based licensees
would have “full discretion over channelization of available spectrum within the block.”8 The
Commission also adopted an out-of-band emission (OOBE) requirement that applies to the outer channels
of the spectrum block and to spectrum adjacent to interior channels used by incumbents.9


1 Licensees may operate 800 MHz high density cellular systems in the band segment 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz
only in the counties listed in Section 90.614(c) of the Commission’s rules. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.7, 90.614(c). In the
rest of the United States and its territories, except the Canada and Mexico border areas, licensees may operate 800
MHz high density cellular systems in the 817-824/862-869 MHz band segment. See id. §§ 90.7, 90.614(a)-(b),
90.619. Accordingly, the discussion and rule adopted herein apply to the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz band segment
in the Southeastern United States as specified in Section 90.614(c), and to the 817-824/862-869 MHz band segment
in other areas of the United States. See id. § 90.614(a)-(c).
2 See SouthernLINC Wireless (SouthernLINC) Comments at 8.
3 Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Facilitate Future Development of SMR Systems in the 800
MHz Frequency Band; Implementation of Sections 3(n) and 322 of the Communications Act; Regulatory Treatment
of Mobile Services; Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act – Competitive Bidding, PR
Docket No. 93-144, RM-8117, RM-8030, RM-8029, GN Docket No. 93-252, PP Docket No. 93-253, First Report
and Order, Eighth Report and Order, and Second Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
, 11 FCC Rcd 1463, 1479,
1483, ¶¶ 1, 13, 23 (1995) (800 MHz SMR First Report and Order). The Commission designated 10 megahertz of
contiguous spectrum in the 800 MHz band for EA-based licensing. Id. at 1479-80, ¶ 14.
4 Id. at 1474-76, 1479-80, ¶¶ 4-7, 13-14.
5 Id. at 1479-80, ¶ 14.
6 Id. at 1489, ¶ 37.
7 Id. at 1479, ¶ 13.
8 Id. at 1469, ¶ 3.
9 Id. at 1519, ¶ 101; 47 C.F.R. § 90.691.
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4.
In 2004, the Commission initiated a process to reconfigure the 800 MHz band to “address
the [then] ongoing and growing problem of interference to public safety communications in the 800 MHz
band.”10 The interference problem was caused “by a fundamentally incompatible mix of two types of
communications systems: cellular-architecture multi-cell systems . . . and high-site non-cellular
systems.”11 To provide immediate relief, the Commission implemented technical standards that defined
unacceptable interference in the 800 MHz band, while also reconfiguring the band to separate commercial
wireless systems from public safety and other high site systems.12 Under the reconfiguration plan, SMR
and other cellular-system operators including Sprint Nextel were required to vacate the 806-817/851-862
MHz band segment and relocate to the 817-824/862-869 MHz band segment.13
5.
In part due to the reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band, Sprint Nextel holds the majority
of EA-based 800 MHz SMR licenses, and reports that it “has or will soon have access to 14 MHz of
spectrum in the ESMR band . . . across much of the nation.”14 In June 2010, Sprint Nextel announced its
Network Vision initiative, under which it will “deploy next-generation base station technology that will
operate across all of Sprint’s licensed spectrum.”15 As part of its Network Vision initiative, Sprint Nextel
reports it will incorporate its 800 MHz SMR spectrum into its CDMA network and forthcoming LTE
deployment.16 However, Sprint Nextel is unable to aggregate its EA-based 800 MHz SMR channels to
deploy CDMA or LTE because of the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in Section 90.209 of the
Commission’s rules.17 Specifically, Section 90.209 limits EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to 25 kHz
channels with a bandwidth of 20 kHz.18 Therefore, in June 2011, Sprint Nextel filed a petition for
declaratory ruling, or rulemaking in the alternative, that would allow EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees
(commonly referred to as Enhanced SMR or ESMR)19 to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth


10 Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band; Consolidating the 800 and 900 MHz
Industrial/Land Transportation and Business Pool Channels; Amendment of Part 2 of the Commission’s Rules to
Allocate Spectrum Below 3 GHz for Mobile and Fixed Services to Support the Introduction of New Advanced
Wireless Services, including Third Generation Wireless Systems; Petition for Rule Making of the Wireless
Information Networks Forum Concerning the Unlicensed Personal Communications Service; Petition for Rule
Making of UT Starcom, Inc., Concerning the Unlicensed Personal Communications Service; Amendment of Section
2.106 of the Commission’s Rules to Allocate Spectrum at 2 GHz for use by the Mobile Satellite Service; WT
Docket No. 02-55, ET Docket No. 00-258, RM-9498, RM-10024, ET Docket No. 95-18, Report and Order, Fifth
Report and Order, Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order, and Order
, 19 FCC Rcd 14969, ¶ 1 (2004) (800 MHz
Reconfiguration Report and Order
).
11 Id. at 14972, ¶ 2.
12 See id. at 14976-78, 15024-80, ¶¶ 8-12, 92-209. High site systems serve a geographical area with one, or a few,
base stations with high antenna elevations, whereas cellular-architecture low site systems use multiple base stations
with low antenna elevations. See id. at 14972, ¶ 2; 47 C.F.R. § 90.7.
13 800 MHz Reconfiguration Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 14984, ¶ 23.
14 Sprint Nextel Comments at 4 n.11.
15 Id. at 3.
16 Id. at 3-4.
17 Sprint Nextel reports that CDMA requires contiguous spectrum and occupies a 1.25 MHz bandwidth, and that
other wireless carriers are deploying LTE using 10 megahertz or 20 megahertz channel pairs. Id. at 2.
18 47 C.F.R. § 90.209(b)(5). The channelization scheme and bandwidth authorization originated from a 1978
decision in which the Commission deemed that analog frequency modulated emissions below 947 MHz had an
authorized bandwidth of 20 kHz with frequency deviation of 5 kHz. Private Land Mobile Radio Services, Report
and Order
, 69 FCC 2d 1612 (1978); 43 Fed. Reg. 54788, 54838-39 (Nov. 22, 1978).
19 Enhanced SMR and ESMR are terms coined by Sprint Nextel to describe SMR systems that use cellular
architecture, i.e., systems that use multiple, interconnected, multi-channel transmit/receive cells and employ
(continued....)
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limitation under Section 90.209.20 The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau released a Public Notice
seeking comment on Sprint Nextel’s petition.21
6.
Based on the record developed in response to the Public Notice and our analysis of the
relevant Part 90 rules and the underlying 800 MHz proceeding, we concluded that while the Commission
may have intended to provide EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees with discretion over channelization
within their channel blocks, the Commission did not amend the applicable channel spacing and bandwidth
limitation in Section 90.209 to allow licensees to exercise such discretion.22 We therefore denied Sprint
Nextel’s request for a declaratory ruling and issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) proposing
to allow EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in
Section 90.209,23 subject to proposed conditions to protect against potential harmful interference with 800
MHz public safety licensees.24
7.
Commenters generally support our proposal to provide flexibility to EA-based 800 MHz
SMR licensees to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in Section 90.209.25 Similarly,


(...continued from previous page)
frequency reuse to serve a larger number of subscribers than is possible using non-cellular technology. See 800
MHz Reconfiguration Report and Order
, 19 FCC Rcd at 14972 n.6.
20 Request for Declaratory Ruling That The Commission’s Rules Authorize Greater Than 25 kHz Bandwidth
Operations In The 817-824/862-869 MHz Band, Petition for Declaratory Ruling, WT Docket No. 11-110, at 1 (filed
June 3, 2011) (Sprint Nextel Petition); 47 C.F.R. § 90.209(b)(5).
21 Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Petition From Sprint Nextel to Allow Wideband
Operations in 800 MHz Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio Service Bands, WT Docket No. 11-110, Public Notice,
26 FCC Rcd 9428 (2011). Prior to Sprint Nextel filing the petition, and subsequently while the petition has been
pending, the Commission has granted waivers and special temporary authorizations to allow Sprint Nextel to deploy
and test CDMA in several markets on its EA-based 800 MHz SMR licenses. See Sprint Nextel Call Signs
WPLM660, WPLM661, WQNX442, WQNX443, WQNX444, WQOQ770, WQOQ771, WQOQ772, and
WQOU823. The Commission imposed several conditions on all of these waivers and special temporary
authorizations to ensure that the wideband operations do not increase the interference potential to 800 MHz public
safety licensees. For example, the waivers and authorizations are conditioned on Sprint Nextel providing notice to
certain 800 MHz public safety licensees prior to activating CDMA sites pursuant to the waiver or STA, and reaffirm
that Sprint Nextel must comply with the Commission’s rules prohibiting unacceptable interference to non-cellular
800 MHz licensees. See Sprint Nextel Call Signs WPLM660, WPLM661, WQNX442, WQNX443, WQNX444,
WQOQ770, WQOQ771, WQOQ772, and WQOU823. Sprint Nextel filed for additional waivers in March 2012,
and the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the request. See Requests
for Waiver of Section 90.209 of the Commission’s Rules to Permit the Operation of Broadband CDMA Technology
in the 817-824/862-869 MHz Band, Request for Rule Waiver, WT Docket No. 12-82 (filed Mar. 27, 2012); Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau Seeks Comment on Request by Sprint Nextel Corporation for Waiver of Section
90.209 of the Commission’s Rules, WT Docket No. 12-82; DA 12-506, Public Notice (rel. Mar. 30, 2012).
22 Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for Economic
Area-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licensees; Request for Declaratory Ruling that the Commission’s
Rules Authorize Greater than 25 kHz Bandwidth Operations in the 817-824/862-869 MHz Band, WT Docket No.
12-64, WT Docket No. 11-110, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 2742, 2743, ¶ 4 (2012) (Notice).
23 See id. at 2746-47, ¶¶ 10-12.
24 Id. ¶¶ 12-14.
25 See Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI) Comments at 1; RCA—The Competitive Carriers Association (RCA)
Comments at 1; Southern Company Services, Inc. (Southern) Comments at 3-4; Southern Reply Comments at 3;
SouthernLINC Comments at 2-3; SouthernLINC Reply Comments at 1-2; Sprint Nextel Comments at 1-2; Sprint
Nextel Reply Comments at 3; Thomas Michael Roskos, Jr. (Roskos) Comments at 2; Telecommunications Industry
Association (TIA) Comments at 2. Several commenters conditionally support the proposals in the Notice or the
general principle of providing licensees with flexibility over channel spacing. See Association of Public-Safety
(continued....)
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many commenters support or do not oppose the proposed conditions to protect 800 MHz public safety
licensees from harmful interference.26 As discussed below, we adopt the proposals from the Notice with a
minor modification.

III.

DISCUSSION

8.
We amend Section 90.209 of the Commission’s rules to allow EA-based 800 MHz SMR
licensees operating in the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz portion of the 800 MHz band to provide wireless
services across aggregated channels, without unnecessary bandwidth or channelization limitations.27 We
conclude that the public interest will be served by allowing EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to exceed
the existing channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in Section 90.209, subject to conditions designed to
protect neighboring public safety operations. We find strong support in the record for this conclusion.28
As MSI asserts, the proposals in the Notice “strike the right balance . . . by allowing EA-based 800 MHz
SMR licensees to introduce more advanced wideband technologies on their licensed spectrum in
situations where there is little risk to public [safety] operations.”29
9.
We also find that the proposals from the Notice will balance the benefits of providing
channel spacing and bandwidth flexibility to EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees with the need to
continue to prevent harmful interference to 800 MHz public safety licensees.30 As described below, the
record shows that with the flexibility we adopt today, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees will be able to
invest in the deployment of new wireless technologies, such as CDMA and LTE, while incurring little
additional compliance costs.31 The record also shows that consumers will benefit from access to these
advanced technologies.32 Further, the record demonstrates little additional costs to 800 MHz public safety
licensees from such operation relative to the status quo, which may be incurred through increased
monitoring for harmful interference for a time following an EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee’s


(...continued from previous page)
Communications Officials-International, Inc. (APCO) Comments at 2; Concepts to Operations, Inc. (CTO) Reply
Comments at 1; Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) Comments at 4; Orleans County, NY, Genesee County, NY,
Oakland County, MI, Orange County, FL, Franklin County, OH, Mobile County, AL, City and County of Denver,
CO, City and County of Durham, NC, City of Apopka, FL (Public Safety Licensees) Comments at 5-8.
26 See APCO Comments at 2; MSI Comments at 3-4; Southern Comments at 4; SouthernLINC Comments at 11-12;
SouthernLINC Reply Comments at 6-7; Sprint Nextel Reply Comments at 3; TIA Comments at 3-4.
27 APCO urges the Commission to clarify that the flexibility we provide in this Report and Order only applies to
SMR licensees in 813.5-817/858.5-862 MHz in the Southeastern United States. APCO Comments at 2. We note
that the band segment 813.5-817/858.5-862 MHz is available for SMR operations only in the Southeastern United
States. 47 C.F.R. § 90.614(c); see also supra note 1.
28 See supra notes 25-26.
29 MSI Comments at 3. SouthernLINC further argues that the proposals will open additional spectrum for mobile
broadband services, “while continuing to protect against interference to public safety licensees in the 800 MHz
band.” SouthernLINC Comments at 8. Sprint Nextel concludes that the flexibility provided “will greatly benefit
consumers without increasing the risk of harmful interference to public safety licensees.” Sprint Nextel Reply
Comments at 1.
30 See, e.g., SouthernLINC Comments 10-12 (describing the benefits of channel spacing and bandwidth flexibility
for EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees, the protections provided by the proposals in the Notice, and the “modest”
burden imposed by the notice requirement proposed in the Notice).
31 See SouthernLINC Comments at 7, 10-12; Sprint Nextel Comments at 3-8.
32 See RCA Comments at 2-3; Sprint Nextel Comments at 7-8; SouthernLINC Comments at 8; Sprint Nextel
Comments at 7-8; Sprint Nextel Reply Comments at 1-3.
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transition to a wideband technology.33 We find that, based on the record, the minimal costs incurred by
EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees or 800 MHz public safety licensees are far outweighed by the benefits
gained through the efficient utilization of spectrum resources and the deployment and availability of
advanced wireless services.
10.
Below we explain the conditions under which EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees may
exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in Section 90.209, take steps to protect 800 MHz
public safety licensees from harmful interference, and discuss the continued applicability and sufficiency
of other Part 90 rules. We also discuss and decline to adopt additional protections proposed by
commenters and decline to take other actions that we find are outside of the scope of this proceeding.

A.

Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Flexibility for EA-based 800 MHz SMR Licensees

11.
We find that there are substantial benefits to revising our Part 90 rule regarding channel
spacing and bandwidth limits. The record demonstrates that providing EA-based 800 MHz SMR
licensees the flexibility to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in Section 90.209
effectively eliminates a barrier to the deployment of advanced wireless technologies, promotes spectrum
efficiency, and improves regulatory parity between commercial wireless licensees, to consumers’
benefit.34 Under this rule change, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees will no longer be forced to comply
with an inefficient channelization scheme that prevents licensees from utilizing multiple contiguous
channels to provide service.35 With flexibility regarding channelization and bandwidth utilization, as
Sprint Nextel and SouthernLINC assert, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees will be able to deploy
CDMA, LTE, and other advanced wireless technologies.36 Licensees will therefore be able to transition
networks deployed using EA-based 800 MHz SMR licenses from legacy narrowband technologies to 3G
as well as other advanced technologies including LTE, in order to better compete in the commercial
wireless marketplace.37 We agree with Sprint Nextel that this will allow EA-based 800 MHz SMR
licensees to “respond to consumer demand for innovative wireless services”38 including, as
SouthernLINC argues, through the deployment of advanced wireless services to “rural, unserved, and
underserved areas.”39
12.
Based on the record, we therefore find that it is in the public interest to amend Section
90.209 to allow EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth


33 See Sprint Nextel Reply Comments at 7; see also SouthernLINC Comments at 10-12; SouthernLINC Reply
Comments at 4-7; Sprint Nextel Comments at 10-12.
34 See RCA Comments at 2-3; SouthernLINC Comments at 8-12; Sprint Nextel Comments at 4-9; TIA Comments at
3.
35 See RCA Comments at 2; Southern Comments at 3-4; SouthernLINC Comments at 9-10; Sprint Nextel Comments
at 7-8; TIA Comments at 3.
36 Sprint Nextel Comments at 3-7; SouthernLINC Comments at 7. SouthernLINC points out that the 3rd Generation
Partnership Project (3GPP), the wireless standards organization, recently approved a standard for LTE in Band 26,
“which includes the 800 MHz ESMR band in the United States.” SouthernLINC Comments at 7. SouthernLINC
also points out that 3GPP has developed UMTS and HSPA specifications for Band 26, which “are currently
awaiting finalization by 3GPP.” Id.
37 See RCA Comments at 3; SouthernLINC Reply Comments at 4; Sprint Nextel Comments at 8-9.
38 Sprint Nextel Comments at 4.
39 SouthernLINC Comments at 8. Southern also argues that when SouthernLINC transitions its network to more
advanced wireless technologies, SouthernLINC will be able to provide innovative services to Southern’s electric
company affiliates. Southern Comments at 3.
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limitation in Section 90.209 in the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz band segment40 in National Public Safety
Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) regions where all 800 MHz public safety licensees in the
region have completed band reconfiguration. In NPSPAC regions where reconfiguration is incomplete,
we amend Section 90.209 to allow EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to exceed the channel spacing and
bandwidth limitation only in the 813.5-821/858.5-866 MHz band segment.41

B.

Protection of 800 MHz Public Safety Licensees

13.
We recognize that the affected portion of the 800 MHz band is currently subject to an
ongoing reconfiguration process to protect 800 MHz public safety users from interference from
incompatible commercial networks. We seek to ensure that the progress made to protect public safety
licensees from interference is not affected by the flexibility we provide today, and adopt additional
protections for 800 MHz public safety licensees.
14.
We find based on the record that the 30-day notification condition we proposed in the
Notice, with a minor modification, will help protect 800 MHz public safety licensees from the risk of
harmful interference.42 We require all EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees that seek to exceed the channel
spacing and bandwidth limitation in Section 90.209 to provide at least 30 days written notice to public
safety licensees with base stations in a NPSPAC region where the EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee
intends to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation, and to public safety licensees with base
stations within 113 kilometers (70 miles) of an affected NPSPAC region border.43 Further, pursuant to a
request by CTO, we modify our original proposal to require that the notice include the estimated date on
which the EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee will begin operations that exceed the channel spacing and
bandwidth limitation.44 We find that by requiring EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to include the
estimated date of operation in the notice, 800 MHz public safety licensees will be better able to monitor
their networks for harmful interference on and around the date of a SMR licensee’s expected transition
from operations within the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation of Section 90.209 to operations that
exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation.
15.
We agree with commenters that the 30-day notice requirement will allow EA-based 800
MHz SMR licensees to use their spectrum more efficiently, while continuing to protect 800 MHz public


40 Licensees are authorized to operate in the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz portion of the 800 MHz band only in the
counties listed in Section 90.614(c). See supra note 1.
41 Consistent with this Report and Order, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees will only be able to exceed the
channel spacing and bandwidth limitation utilizing frequencies in 821-824/866-869 MHz once 800 MHz public
safety licensees have vacated this portion of the 800 MHz band in a given NPSPAC region. Upon all 800 MHz
public safety licensees in a region completing band reconfiguration, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees in the 821-
824/866-869 MHz band would then be allowed to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation.
42 See MSI Comments at 3-4; TIA Comments at 3-4; SouthernLINC Comments at 10-12; Sprint Nextel Reply
Comments at 3.
43 Under conditions imposed on some of its 800 MHz licenses, Sprint Nextel must provide 60 days notice to every
NPSPAC licensee in the affected NPSPAC Region prior to initiating operations in the 821-824/866-869 MHz band.
See Letter from David L. Furth, Associate Bureau Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau, FCC, and
Joel D. Taubenblatt, Acting Deputy Chief, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, FCC, to Lawrence R. Krevor,
Vice President – Spectrum, Sprint Nextel Corp., and James B. Goldstein, Director, Spectrum Reconfiguration,
Sprint Nextel Corp., WT Docket No. 02-55, 23 FCC Rcd 7416, 7419-7421 (PSHSB May 6, 2008).
44 CTO recommends an additional notice requirement, which we decline to adopt, as discussed below. See CTO
Reply Comments at 2. However, we do find that part of CTO’s additional notice requirement – that the notice
include the specific date on which operations will begin – would improve the notice requirement proposed in the
Notice. Id.
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safety licensees.45 Pursuant to this notice requirement, in the event that an 800 MHz public safety
licensee experiences harmful interference subsequent to receiving the required notice from an EA-based
800 MHz SMR licensee, the public safety licensee can more quickly identify or eliminate EA-based 800
MHz SMR operations as the source of interference.46 While this requirement will result in certain costs to
EA-based licensees who must identify and timely notify affected public safety entities, we find that the
resulting benefits – efficient resolution of interference to a public safety entity – offsets such costs. As
SouthernLINC states, this condition “will impose only a modest burden on ESMR licensees and will
ensure that 800 MHz public safety licensees are fully informed, thus making it easier to swiftly resolve
any issues or concerns that may arise.”47
16.
APCO and CTO suggest additional conditions that they argue will help protect 800 MHz
public safety licensees from harmful interference caused by EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees that
exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation.48 APCO urges us to require EA-based 800 MHz
SMR licensees that seek to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in NPSPAC regions
bordering Mexico to provide 30 days prior written notification to all public safety licensees in the border
area, and that such notice should include a 24-hour contact number in case interference occurs.49

17.
We decline to modify the notice requirement as requested by APCO. APCO describes a
scenario in which an EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee exceeds the channel spacing and bandwidth
limitation in a NPSPAC region that includes the Mexico border area, and is operating co-channel with an
800 MHz public safety licensee with a base station in the Mexico border area within the same NPSPAC
region.50 In this scenario, the EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee would be required under this Report and
Order
to transmit the 30-day notification to the public safety licensee in the Mexico border area because
the licensees would be in the same NPSPAC region. We also note that, as described below, EA-based
800 MHz SMR licensees will still be obligated to meet all other technical requirements under Part 90,
including co-channel separation distances, further protecting 800 MHz public safety licensees operating
in the Mexico border area.51 We find that the notice requirement adopted herein is sufficient to provide
additional protection to all 800 MHz public safety licensees from any harmful interference caused by
wideband EA-based 800 MHz SMR operations, and find no reason to modify the notice requirement for
800 MHz public safety operations in the Mexico border area.
18.
Further, with respect to APCO’s request that the notice be accompanied by a 24-hour
contact number, Sprint Nextel notes that the 24-hour reporting capability is currently available on the
CMRS/public safety interference reporting website,52 required by the 800 MHz Reconfiguration Report
and Order
,53 in order to implement the interference resolution procedures set forth in Section 90.674 of


45 See MSI Comments at 4; SouthernLINC Comments at 12; SouthernLINC Reply Comments at 2-6; Sprint Nextel
Reply Comments at 3; TIA Comments at 4; see also APCO Comments at 2.
46 See Sprint Nextel Reply Comments at 7.
47 SouthernLINC Comments at 12.
48 See APCO Comments at 2-3; CTO Reply Comments at 2.
49 APCO Comments at 2-3.
50 APCO Comments at 2. See Letter from James B. Goldstein, Sprint Nextel Corp., to Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary, FCC, at 2 (filed May 1, 2012) (Sprint Nextel May 1, 2012 Ex Parte) (stating that the Commission’s
proposed notice requirement includes the scope of notice recommended by APCO).
51 See infra Part III.C; 47 U.S.C. § 90.621(b).
52 See Sprint Nextel Reply Comments at 4; 800 MHz Interference Notification Site, http://www.publicsafety800mhz
interference.com/CTIAWeb/.
53 800 MHz Reconfiguration Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 15042, ¶ 133.
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the Commission’s rules.54 Under that procedure, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees are required to
respond to any notification of harmful interference reported by public safety licensees to that website
within 24 hours.55 Although the procedure in Section 90.674 is not identical to APCO’s proposal, we find
that it is adequate to address APCO’s concerns, as this website will enable public safety licensees to
report any harmful interference events at any time, 24 hours a day, and licensees are required to respond
to any notification of harmful interference within 24 hours of receipt. Further, we do not anticipate that
permitting EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to operate with wider channel bandwidths than currently
permitted under Section 90.209 will result in an increase in harmful interference to public safety
licensees. Accordingly, we decline to impose additional, largely duplicative requirements on EA-based
800 MHz SMR licensees.
19.
CTO urges us to adopt an additional condition requiring EA-based 800 MHz SMR
licensees to transmit a second notice to affected 800 MHz public safety licensees that would include the
date on which operations will begin, the specific locations of antenna sites, and effective radiated power
(ERP) for each antenna site.56 CTO argues that the additional notice would ensure that public safety
entities continue to be notified of changes near their operations.57 While we find it appropriate to require
licensees to include the approximate date of operation in their notifications, we decline to adopt the
additional notice suggested by CTO. The notice requirement we adopt today is designed to provide
notice to public safety licensees so that they may monitor their networks for any increase in harmful
interference caused by EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees that exceed the standard channel spacing and
bandwidth limitation and take appropriate steps to initiate a process to remedy such interference should it
occur. A notification requirement that includes antenna location or ERP would not further this goal.
Therefore, we find that adopting a second notice requirement would result in little added benefit to public
safety entities while imposing undue costs on EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees.
20.
We conclude that the 30-day notice condition, in combination with the limitation
preventing EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees from exceeding the channel spacing and bandwidth
limitation in NPSPAC regions where reconfiguration is incomplete, adequately protects 800 MHz public
safety licensees from harmful interference.58


54 47 C.F.R. § 90.674. In the 800 MHz Reconfiguration Report and Order, in which the Commission adopted
Section 90.674, it required 800 MHz cellular system licensees (which includes EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees)
to create, within 30 days of the effective date of the rule, “a common electric means of receiving initial notification
of interference complaints from non-cellular 800 MHz licensees.” 800 MHz Reconfiguration Report and Order, 19
FCC Rcd at 15042, ¶ 133. The result of that requirement is the 800 MHz Interference Notification Site. See supra
note 52.
55 47 C.F.R. § 90.674(a)(3); 800 MHz Reconfiguration Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 15043, ¶ 136.
56 CTO Reply Comments at 2.
57 Id.
58 The Notice also sought comment on proposals by the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council
(NPSTC) and APCO seeking to impose a one megahertz separation between public safety operations and EA-based
800 MHz SMR operations that exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation. Notice, 27 FCC Rcd at 2748,
¶ 15. Specifically, NPSTC suggested that the Commission impose a one megahertz guard band at 820-821/865-866
MHz between EA-based 800 MHz SMR operations and public safety operations where band reconfiguration is
incomplete, while APCO proposed that EA-based 800 MHz SMR operations maintain a minimum one megahertz
separation from any public safety operation in the upper portion of the interleaved band (i.e., above 860 MHz) in the
service area of the site. Id. APCO also recommended that EA-based 800 MHz SMR operations near a public safety
system in a NPSPAC region where reconfiguration is incomplete must protect public safety operations “both on-
channel and on the 12.5 kHz offset to the 5 dBu.” Id. In response to the Notice, however, APCO acknowledges that
the one megahertz separation is not warranted as the use of 1.25 MHz CDMA channels will result in a de facto
buffer of one megahertz. See APCO Comments at 3. We therefore decline to adopt these proposed conditions.
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C.

Applicability and Sufficiency of Existing Part 90 Rules

21.
We note that, while we find that the 30-day notice requirement and the continued
application of the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in 821-824/866-869 MHz in NPSPAC
regions where reconfiguration is incomplete will help protect public safety operations from harmful
interference, these measures are supplements to the existing technical rules in Part 90 governing EA-
based 800 MHz SMR operations.59 We continue to believe that our current rules provide appropriate
safeguards against harmful interference, and we emphasize that, in providing greater flexibility with
respect to the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation, we are not removing or revising any other
technical rules that enable licensees to coexist within the 800 MHz band.
22.
To the contrary, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees subject to this Report and Order
must continue to comply with all other applicable rules in Part 90.60 For example, licensees must
continue to meet the OOBE requirement in Section 90.691 on the outer channels of the licensee’s block
and the interior channels of the licensee’s block adjacent to channels occupied by incumbent licensees.61
EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees also must abide by strict protections against unacceptable interference
to non-cellular 800 MHz licensees under Section 90.672.62 As noted, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees
must continue to meet the co-channel separation requirements in Section 90.621.63 Additionally, EA-
based 800 MHz SMR licensees are strictly responsible for abating any unacceptable interference under
Section 90.673, and must comply with the interference resolution procedures under Section 90.674.64
23.
EWA suggests we clarify the applicability of the rule change adopted in this Report and
Order in the Canada border area, because the existing protection from EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees
to adjacent site-based systems “has always been calculated on a frequency-specific, co-channel contour
basis.”65 We reiterate that EA-based 800 MHz licensees that exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth
limitation are required to continue to comply with all other applicable Part 90 rules, including co-channel
separation requirements.66 As Sprint Nextel acknowledges, any action permitting operations on
bandwidths greater than 25 kHz does not change the interference protection requirements applicable to
public safety and other non-ESMR licensees in and adjacent to the U.S.-Canada border areas.67


59 See RCA Comments at 3; SouthernLINC Comments at 11-12; SouthernLINC Reply Comments at 6-7.
60 EWA states its assumption that because the Commission will allow EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to exceed
the channel spacing and bandwidth requirement in 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz, such operation will not “present
interference concerns for future users of the Guard Band spectrum [817-818/861-862 MHz] either.” EWA
Comments at 3. The Notice limited the applicability of the proposals to EA-based 800 MHz SMR operations and
the record demonstrates no specific concern regarding potential interference issues to hypothetical future users of the
guard band. To the extent that the guard band is licensed in the future, the Commission will establish applicable
technical and service rules as necessary at that time.
61 47 C.F.R. § 90.691.
62 Id. § 90.672. SouthernLINC argues this rule effectively establishes an even more stringent out-of-band emission
requirement than Section 90.691. SouthernLINC Reply Comments at 7.
63 47 C.F.R. § 90.621(b).
64 Id. §§ 90.673-90.674.
65 EWA Comments at 3.
66 47 C.F.R. § 90.621(b).
67 Sprint Nextel May 1, 2012 Ex Parte at 1-2. EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees must continue to comply with
Part 90 rules regarding operation in the Canada and Mexico border areas. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.619. Section 90.619
provides that EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees must operate in accordance with international agreements with
Canada and Mexico. 47 C.F.R. § 90.619(a).
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24.
Several commenters agree that, as a general matter, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees’
continued compliance with the Part 90 rules will serve to protect all other 800 MHz licensees from
harmful interference. For example, SouthernLINC argues that “the ongoing obligation of 800 MHz
ESMR licensees to operate in strict compliance with these rules will continue to serve as yet another form
of protection from interference for 800 MHz public safety licensee.”68 RCA notes that the Commission
“has done much to ensure 800 MHz public safety licensees receive ample protection from broadband
operations,” specifically citing EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees’ obligation to abate interference to
public safety systems and other 800 MHz licensees.69
25.
In this regard, Sprint Nextel argues that it has taken steps beyond what the Commission’s
rules require to minimize the risk of interference to public safety licensees.70 Sprint Nextel asserts that it
will incorporate “extremely tight” OOBE requirements into its CDMA equipment to minimize the risk of
harmful interference in areas where reconfiguration is complete,71 as well as provide aggressive OOBE
roll-off protection for public safety systems operating in 821-824/866-869 MHz.72 Sprint Nextel also
asserts that numerous tests confirm that its CDMA deployment “should further reduce the already-low
risk of intermodulation interference to 800 MHz band public safety systems.”73
26.
A group of nine public safety entities (Public Safety Licensees) argues that the technical
analysis provided by Sprint Nextel on the record is an “Intermodulation Interference test,”74 and that
without filtering specifications, the Public Safety Licensees are unable to verify Sprint Nextel’s claimed
OOBE protections.75 The Public Safety Licensees argue that without certainty regarding OOBE levels,
the Commission should require a greater demonstration of non-interference before revising the channel
spacing and bandwidth limitation.76 In response, Sprint Nextel states that it has previously provided
detailed information regarding its OOBE base station emissions mask requirements, as well as statements
from each of its three equipment vendors affirming that Sprint Nextel’s base stations are being designed
to meet that mask.77 Sprint Nextel argues that the risk of interference to public safety or other non-ESMR
800 MHz operators from Sprint Nextel’s planned 800 MHz broadband operations will be the same or less
than its current iDEN deployment.78
27.
We find no basis to conclude that EA-based 800 MHz SMR operations using bandwidths
wider than 25 kHz must be subject to more stringent technical requirements than our rules in Part 90
currently impose. We believe that our existing Part 90 technical rules are sufficient to protect 800 MHz
public safety licensees or other 800 MHz licensees from harmful interference from EA-based 800 MHz
SMR operations that exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in Section 90.209. We believe


68 SouthernLINC Reply Comments at 7.
69 RCA Comments at 3.
70 Sprint Nextel Comments at 10-11; Sprint Nextel Reply Comments at 6-7.
71 Sprint Nextel Comments at 10.
72 Id.
73 Id. at 11.
74 See 800 MHz Reconfiguration Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 15023-24, ¶ 91 (describing intermodulation
interference).
75 Public Safety Licensees Comments at 7.
76 Id. at 7-8.
77 Sprint Nextel May 1, 2012 Ex Parte at 3. See also Sprint Nextel Public Notice Reply Comments at 8-10, Exhibits
A-B.
78 Sprint Nextel May 1, 2012 Ex Parte at 3.
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that revising the Part 90 channel spacing and bandwidth limitation is unlikely to cause 800 MHz public
safety licensees to experience increased harmful intermodulation interference due in part to the fact that,
other things being equal, the use of wider channels generally spreads the available power across a much
wider bandwidth than narrowband technologies, thereby lowering the level of intermodulation
interference that might occur. As Sprint Nextel affirms on the record, its CDMA operations may decrease
intermodulation interference relative to its iDEN operations.79 Accordingly, we believe 800 MHz public
safety licensees will not be subject to increased harmful interference when EA-based 800 MHz SMR
licensees comply with or exceed the protections under existing technical requirements in Part 90.80
28.
The Public Safety Licensees also assert that the Commission should proactively ensure
that interference will not occur, rather than have 800 MHz licensees rely on the interference abatement
process in Section 90.673 if interference occurs.81 They argue that, although the interference may be
resolved, the public safety licensee is stuck with the costs of finding, investigating, and participating in
resolving interference under Section 90.673.82 As a general matter, our Part 90 rules are designed to
proactively limit the possibility of harmful interference. Section 90.673 was created to further protect
public safety licensees in the unforeseen event that harmful interference does occur, and we find no
reason to revisit this rule in this Report and Order.83 Absent information showing that 800 MHz public
safety licensees will experience harmful interference as a result of this rule change, and such interference
will result in significant costs, we find the measures taken in this Report and Order reasonably balance
the interests of EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees and 800 MHz public safety entities.84

D.

Other Issues

29.
Finally, CTO and Roskos suggest we afford additional flexibility to licensees other than
EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees. CTO urges us to “treat all [800 MHz commercial] licensee’s [sic]
equally and to develop plans which allow ‘contiguous use of spectrum’ to licensees to be able to provide
similar and competing services in the Band.”85 Roskos argues that we should find that any licensee under
Part 90 with contiguous spectrum should be able to aggregate the channels and use them on a wideband
basis so long as the operations do not raise OOBE above an unacceptable level.86 We find insufficient
record support for these requests, and we decline to expand the scope of this Report and Order. As


79 Sprint Nextel Public Notice Reply Comments at 9, Exhibits A-B.
80 We note that Sprint Nextel is permitted under waiver or special temporary authority to exceed the channel spacing
and bandwidth limitation prescribed by Section 90.209 in nine different markets covering large population centers.
See supra note 21. Sprint Nextel has been able to exceed the channel spacing or bandwidth limitation in five of the
markets for 11 months. We have not received any complaints of interference from any 800 MHz licensee as a result
of Sprint Nextel’s operations in any of the markets to date.
81 Public Safety Licensees Comments at 8.
82 Id.
83 See 800 MHz Reconfiguration Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 15034-35, 15039-41 ¶ 115, 128-31.
84 As discussed, the relatively small costs to 800 MHz public safety licensees and EA-based 800 MHz SMR
licensees generated by the rule change herein are outweighed by the significant benefits generated from EA-based
800 MHz SMR licensees’ ability to deploy broadband wireless networks. Public safety licensees may experience
some increase in cost relative to the status quo in order to monitor their networks for harmful interference, and EA-
based 800 MHz SMR licensees will incur some cost to comply with the notice requirement adopted in this Report
and Order
. However, we find that the ability of EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to more efficiently utilize their
spectrum to deploy new technologies, and consumers’ subsequent improved access to advanced wireless services,
far outweigh these costs.
85 CTO Reply Comments at 2.
86 Roskos Comments at 2.
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explained herein, this Report and Order is based upon the specific proposals in the Notice and the record
developed in response to the Notice, and applies only to EA-based 800 MHz SMR operations in the
813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz segment of the 800 MHz band.

E.

Conclusion

30.
We find that the record strongly supports our decision to provide channel spacing and
bandwidth flexibility to EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees, and that such flexibility will promote the
deployment of advanced wireless technologies. The record demonstrates that the minimal costs incurred
by EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees and 800 MHz public safety licensees are far outweighed by the
benefits generated through the elimination of this legacy rule, including improving spectrum efficiency
and the availability of wireless broadband. We also find that the existing protections in our rules, coupled
with the new protections added through this Report and Order are sufficient to limit the potential for
harmful interference caused by EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee operations at greater than 25 kHz
channels with greater than 20 kHz bandwidth.

IV.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

31.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980,87 the Commission has prepared a
Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on small entities
of the policies and rules addressed in this document. The FRFA is set forth in Appendix C.

B.

Final Paperwork Reduction Act Analysis

32.
This document adopts new or revised information collection requirements subject to the
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA).88 The requirements were submitted to the Office of
Management and Budget (OMB) for review under Section 3507 of the PRA. The Commission published
notice of the information collection in the Federal Register, and invited comment on the new information
collection that we adopt in this document.89 The requirements will not go into effect until OMB has
approved the requirements and the Commission has published a notice announcing the effective date of
the information collection requirements. In addition, we note that pursuant to the Small Business
Paperwork Relief Act of 2002,90 we previously sought specific comment on how the Commission might
“further reduce the information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25
employees.”

C.

Congressional Review Act

33.
The Commission will send a copy of this Report and Order to Congress and the
Government Accountability Office pursuant to the Congressional Review Act.91


87 5 U.S.C. § 604.
88 Pub. L. No. 104-13; 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3520.
89 Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Limitations for Certain Economic Area (EA)-Based 800 MHz Specialized
Mobile Radio Licensees, 77 Fed. Reg. 18991, 18994-96 (Mar. 29, 2012).
90 Pub. L. No. 107-198; 44 U.S.C. § 3506(c)(4).
91 See 5 U.S.C. § 801(a)(1)(A).
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V.

ORDERING CLAUSES

34.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, that pursuant to the authority contained in Sections 1, 2,
4(i), 4(j), 301, 302, 303, 307, and 308 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§
151, 152, 154(i), 154(j), 301, 302a, 303, 307, and 308, this Report and Order IS ADOPTED and that Part
90 of the Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. Part 90, is amended as set forth in Appendix B.
35.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the rules adopted herein WILL BECOME
EFFECTIVE 30 days after the Commission publishes a summary of the Report and Order in the Federal
Register
.
36.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission’s Consumer & Governmental Affairs
Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Report and Order, including the
Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business
Administration.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary
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APPENDIX A

List of Commenting Parties

List of Commenters

Abbreviation

Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, Inc.

APCO

AT&T Services, Inc.

AT&T

Enterprise Wireless Alliance

EWA

Motorola Solutions, Inc.

MSI

Public Safety Licensees

(Orleans County, NY; Genesee County, NY;
Public Safety Licensees
Oakland County, MI; Orange County, FL; Franklin County, OH;
Mobile County, AL; City and County of Denver, CO;
City and County of Durham, NC; City of Apopka, FL)

RCA—The Competitive Carriers Association

RCA

Thomas Michael Roskos, Jr.

Roskos

Southern Company Services, Inc.

Southern

SouthernLINC Wireless

SouthernLINC

Sprint Nextel, Corp.

Sprint Nextel

Telecommunications Industry Association

TIA

List of Reply Commenters

Abbreviation

Concepts to Operations, Inc.

CTO

Southern Company Services, Inc.

Southern

SouthernLINC Wireless

SouthernLINC

Sprint Nextel, Corp.

Sprint Nextel

List of Commenters in Response to the Public Notice (DA 11-1152)

Abbreviation

Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials-International, Inc.

APCO

AT&T Services, Inc.

AT&T

William Carter

Carter

Enterprise Wireless Alliance

EWA

Mobile Broadband Coalition

(Smartcomm, LLC; License Acquisitions, LLC;
Caribe Spectrum Holdings, Inc.; Preferred Spectrum Investments, LLC;
Concepts to Operations, Inc.)
Mobile Broadband
Coalition

Motorola Solutions, Inc.

MSI

National Public Safety Telecommunications Council

NPSTC

SouthernLINC Wireless

SouthernLINC

List of Reply Commenters in Response to the Public Notice (DA 11-1152)

Abbreviation

Sprint Nextel, Corp.

Sprint Nextel

Southern Company Services, Inc.

Southern

SouthernLINC Wireless

SouthernLINC
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List of Ex Parte Filings (WT Dockets 11-110, 12-64)

Date Filed

Sprint Nextel, Corp.

August 5, 2011

Ericsson

August 8, 2011

Land Mobile Communications Council

August 29, 2011

Sprint Nextel, Corp.

November 22, 2011

Sprint Nextel, Corp.

February 22, 2012

SouthernLINC Wireless

March 7, 2012

Sprint Nextel, Corp.

May 1, 2012

SouthernLINC Wireless

May 4, 2012
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APPENDIX B

Rules

The Federal Communications Commission amends Part 90 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations
(CFR) as set forth below:
PART 90—Private Land Mobile Radio Service
1. The authority citation for Part 90 continues to read as follows:
AUTHORITY: Sections 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 332(c)(7) of the Communications Act of
1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), 332(c)(7).
2. Section 90.209 is amended by adding paragraph (b)(7) as follows:
§ 90.209 Bandwidth limitations.
* * * * *
(b) * * *
(1) * * *
(7) Economic Area (EA)-based licensees in frequencies 817-824/862-869 MHz (813.5-
824/858.5-869 MHz in the counties listed in section 90.614(c)) may exceed the standard channel
spacing and authorized bandwidth listed in paragraph (b)(5) of this section in any National Public
Safety Planning Advisory Committee Region when all 800 MHz public safety licensees in the
Region have completed band reconfiguration consistent with this Part. In any National Public
Safety Planning Advisory Committee Region where the 800 MHz band reconfiguration is
incomplete, EA-based licensees in frequencies 817-821/862-866 MHz (813.5-821/858.5-866
MHz in the counties listed in section 90.614(c)) may exceed the standard channel spacing and
authorized bandwidth listed in paragraph (b)(5) of this section. Upon all 800 MHz public safety
licensees in a National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee Region completing band
reconfiguration, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees in the 821-824/866-869 MHz band may
exceed the channel spacing and authorized bandwidth in paragraph (b)(5) of this section.
Licensees authorized to exceed the standard channel spacing and authorized bandwidth under this
paragraph must provide at least 30 days written notice prior to initiating such service in the bands
listed herein to every 800 MHz public safety licensee with a base station in an affected National
Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee Region, and every 800 MHz public safety licensee
with a base station within 113 kilometers (70 miles) of an affected National Public Safety
Planning Advisory Committee Region. Such notice shall include the estimated date upon which
the EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee intends to begin operations that exceed the channel spacing
and authorized bandwidth in paragraph (b)(5) of this section.
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APPENDIX C

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

1.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),1 an Initial
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) was included in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking in WT
Docket Nos. 11-110, 12-64.2 The Commission sought written public comment on the proposals in these
dockets, including comment on the IRFA. This Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms
to the RFA.3

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Report and Order

2.
The rule adopted in this Report and Order eliminates a legacy channel spacing and
bandwidth limitation governing Economic Area (EA)-based 800 MHz specialized mobile radio (SMR)
licensees. This rule provides the licensees with the flexibility to deploy competitive wireless services,
while also continuing to protect 800 MHz public safety licensees and other 800 MHz licensees from
harmful interference.
3.
The rule allows EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees in the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz
band segment4 to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limits in Section 90.209 of the
Commission’s rules, subject to conditions. EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees may exceed the channel
spacing and bandwidth limitation in the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz band segment of the 800 MHz band in
National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) regions where 800 MHz
reconfiguration is complete. In NPSPAC regions where 800 MHz reconfiguration is incomplete, EA-
based 800 MHz licensees may exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation only in 813.5-
821/858.5-866 MHz. Upon all 800 MHz public safety licensees in a region completing band
reconfiguration, EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees in 821-824/866-869 MHz may also exceed the
channel spacing and bandwidth limitation. We also require EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to
provide 30 days written notice to 800 MHz public safety licensees with base stations in a NPSPAC region
where an EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee intends to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth
limitation, and to public safety licensees with base stations within 113 kilometers (70 miles) of an
affected NPSPAC region border. Finally, we require such notice to include the estimated date the EA-
based 800 MHz SMR licensee’s operations will exceed the channel spacing requirement and bandwidth
limitation.


1 See 5 U.S.C. § 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. § 601-12., has been amended by the Small Business Regulatory
Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA), Pub. L. No. 104-121. Title II, 110 Stat. 857 (1996), and the Small
Business Jobs Act of 2010, Pub. L. No. 111-240, 124 Stat. 2504 (2010).
2 See Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for Economic
Area-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licensees; Request for Declaratory Ruling that the Commission’s
Rules Authorize Greater than 25 kHz Bandwidth Operations in the 817-824/862-869 MHz Band, WT Docket No.
12-64, WT Docket No. 11-110, Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, 27 FCC Rcd 2742 (2012) (Notice).
3 See 47 C.F.R. § 604.
4 Licensees may operate 800 MHz high density cellular systems in the band segment 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz
only in the counties listed in Section 90.614(c) of the Commission’s rules. See 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.7, 90.614(c). In the
rest of the United States and its territories, except the Canada and Mexico border areas, licensees may operate 800
MHz high density cellular systems in the 817-824/862-869 MHz band segment. See id. §§ 90.7, 90.614(a)-(b),
90.619. Accordingly, the discussion and rule adopted herein apply to the 813.5-824/858.5-869 MHz band segment
in the Southeastern United States as specified in Section 90.614(c), and to the 817-824/862-869 MHz band segment
in other areas of the United States. See id. § 90.614(a)-(c).
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4.
We believe this rule will reduce barriers to innovation and investment and allow EA-
based 800 MHz SMR licensees to deploy competitive wireless services, to consumers’ benefit. The
record demonstrates support for the rule change, and demonstrates that it will result in significant benefits
while imposing minimal costs on EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees, 800 MHz public safety licensees,
or other 800 MHz licensees.

B.

Statement of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response to the
IRFA

5.
There were no public comments filed that specifically addressed the rules and policies
proposed in the IRFA.

C.

Response to Comments by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business
Administration

6.
Pursuant to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, the Commission is required to respond
to any comments filed by the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration, and to
provide a detailed statement of any change made to the proposed rules as a result of those comments. The
Chief Counsel did not file any comments in response to the proposed rules in this proceeding.

D.

Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which the Rules Will
Apply

7.
The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and where feasible, an estimate of
the number of small entities that may be affected by the proposed rules, if adopted.5 The RFA generally
defines the term “small entity” as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small
organization,” and “small governmental jurisdiction.”6 In addition, the term “small business” has the
same meaning as the term “small-business concern” under the Small Business Act.7 A small-business
concern” is one which: (1) is independently owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of
operation; and (3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.8
8.
Small Businesses, Small Organizations, and Small Governmental Jurisdictions. Our
action may, over time, affect small entities that are not easily categorized at present. We therefore
describe here, at the outset, three comprehensive, statutory small entity size standards.9 First, nationwide,
there are a total of approximately 27.5 million small businesses, according to the SBA.10 In addition, a
“small organization” is generally “any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and
operated and is not dominant in its field.”11 Nationwide, as of 2007, there were approximately 1,621,315


5 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(b)(3).
6 See id. § 601(6).
7 See id. § 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small-business concern” in the Small Business Act,
15 U.S.C. § 632). Pursuant to 5 U.S.C. § 601(3), the statutory definition of a small business applies “unless an
agency, after consultation with the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and after opportunity
for public comment, establishes one or more definitions of such term which are appropriate to the activities of the
agency and publishes such definition(s) in the Federal Register.”
8 See 15 U.S.C. § 632.
9 See 5 U.S.C. §§ 601(3)–(6).
10 See SBA, Office of Advocacy, “Frequently Asked Questions,” http://web.sba.gov/faqs (last visited May 6, 2011;
figures are from 2009).
11 5 U.S.C. § 601(4).
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small organizations.12 Finally, the term “small governmental jurisdiction” is defined generally as
“governments of cities, towns, townships, villages, school districts, or special districts, with a population
of less than fifty thousand.”13 Census Bureau data for 2011 indicate that there were 89,476 local
governmental jurisdictions in the United States.14 We estimate that, of this total, as many as 88,506
entities may qualify as “small governmental jurisdictions.”15 Thus, we estimate that most governmental
jurisdictions are small.
9.
Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). Since 2007, the SBA has
recognized wireless firms within this new, broad, economic census category.16 Prior to that time, such
firms were within the now-superseded categories of Paging and Cellular and Other Wireless
Telecommunications.17 Under the present and prior categories, the SBA has deemed a wireless business
to be small if it has 1,500 or fewer employees.18 For this category, census data for 2007 show that there
were 1,383 firms that operated for the entire year.19 Of this total, 1,368 firms had 999 or fewer employees,
and 15 had 1,000 employees or more.20 Similarly, according to Commission data, 413 carriers reported
that they were engaged in the provision of wireless telephony, including cellular service, Personal
Communications Service (PCS), and Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Telephony services.21 Of these,
an estimated 261 have 1,500 or fewer employees, and 152 have more than 1,500 employees.22
Consequently, the Commission estimates that approximately half or more of these firms can be
considered small. Thus, using available data, we estimate that the majority of wireless firms can be
considered small.
10.
Specialized Mobile Radio. The Commission awards small business bidding credits in
auctions for Specialized Mobile Radio (“SMR”) geographic area licenses in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz


12 INDEPENDENT SECTOR, THE NEW NONPROFIT ALMANAC & DESK REFERENCE (2010).
13 5 U.S.C. § 601(5).
14 U.S. CENSUS BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES: 2011, Table 427 (2007).
15 The 2007 U.S Census data for small governmental organizations are not presented based on the size of the
population in each such organization. There were 89,476 small governmental organizations in 2007. If we assume
that county, municipal, township and school district organizations are more likely than larger governmental
organizations to have populations of 50,000 or less, the total of these organizations is 52,125. If we make the same
assumption about special districts, and also assume that special districts are different from county, municipal,
township, and school districts, in 2007 there were 37,381 special districts. Therefore, of the 89,476 small
governmental organizations documented in 2007, as many as 89,506 may be considered small under the applicable
standard. This data may overestimate the number of such organizations that has a population of 50,000 or less. U.S.
CENSUS BUREAU, STATISTICAL ABSTRACT OF THE UNITED STATES 2011, Tables 427, 426 (Data cited
therein are from 2007).
16 See 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517210.
17 U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 NAICS Definitions, “517211 Paging”;
http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/def/NDEF517.HTM.; U.S. Census Bureau, 2002 NAICS Definitions, “517212
Cellular and Other Wireless Telecommunications”; http://www.census.gov/epcd/naics02/def/NDEF517.HTM.
18 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517210. The now-superseded, pre-2007 C.F.R. citations were 13 C.F.R. §
121.201, NAICS codes 517211 and 517212 (referring to the 2002 NAICS).
19 U.S. Census Bureau, Subject Series: Information, Table 5, “Establishment and Firm Size: Employment Size of
Firms for the United States: 2007 NAICS Code 517210” (issued Nov. 2010).
20 Id. Available census data do not provide a more precise estimate of the number of firms that have 1,500 or fewer
employees; the largest category provided is for firms with “100 employees or more.”
21 See Trends in Telephone Service at Table 5.3.
22 See id.
20

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FCC 12-55

bands to entities that had revenues of no more than $15 million in each of the three previous calendar
years.23 The Commission awards very small business bidding credits to entities that had revenues of no
more than $3 million in each of the three previous calendar years.24 The SBA has approved these small
business size standards for the 800 MHz and 900 MHz SMR Services.25 The Commission has held
auctions for geographic area licenses in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands. The 900 MHz SMR auction
was completed in 1996.26 Sixty bidders claiming that they qualified as small businesses under the $15
million size standard won 263 geographic area licenses in the 900 MHz SMR band.27 The 800 MHz
SMR auction for the upper 200 channels was conducted in 1997. Ten bidders claiming that they qualified
as small businesses under the $15 million size standard won 38 geographic area licenses for the upper 200
channels in the 800 MHz SMR band.28 A second auction for the 800 MHz band was conducted in 2002
and included 23 BEA licenses. One bidder claiming small business status won five licenses.29
11.
The auction of the 1,053 800 MHz SMR geographic area licenses for the General
Category channels was conducted in 2000. Eleven bidders that won 108 geographic area licenses for the
General Category channels in the 800 MHz SMR band qualified as small businesses under the $15
million size standard.30 In an auction completed in 2000, a total of 2,800 Economic Area licenses in the
lower 80 channels of the 800 MHz SMR service were awarded.31 Of the 22 winning bidders, 19 claimed
small business status and won 129 licenses. Thus, combining all three auctions, 40 winning bidders for
geographic licenses in the 800 MHz SMR band claimed status as small business.
12.
In addition, there are numerous incumbent site-by-site SMR licensees and licensees with
extended implementation authorizations in the 800 and 900 MHz bands. We do not know how many
firms provide 800 MHz or 900 MHz geographic area SMR pursuant to extended implementation
authorizations, nor how many of these providers have annual revenues of no more than $15 million. One
firm has over $15 million in revenues. In addition, we do not know how many of these firms have 1,500
or fewer employees.32 We assume, for purposes of this analysis, that all of the remaining existing
extended implementation authorizations are held by small entities, as that small business size standard is
approved by the SBA.


23 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.810, 90.814(b), 90.912.
24 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.810, 90.814(b), 90.912.
25 See Letter from Aida Alvarez, Administrator, SBA, to Thomas Sugrue, Chief, Wireless Telecommunications
Bureau, FCC (Aug. 10, 1999) (Alvarez Letter 1999).
26 “FCC Announces Winning Bidders in the Auction of 1,020 Licenses to Provide 900 MHz SMR in Major Trading
Areas: Down Payments due April 22, 1996, FCC Form 600s due April 29, 1996,” Public Notice, 11 FCC Rcd 18599
(WTB 1996).
27 Id.
28 See “Correction to Public Notice DA 96-586 ‘FCC Announces Winning Bidders in the Auction of 1020 Licenses
to Provide 900 MHz SMR in Major Trading Areas,’” Public Notice, 11 FCC Rcd 18,637 (WTB 1996).
29 See “Multi-Radio Service Auction Closes,” Public Notice, 17 FCC Rcd 1446 (WTB 2002).
30 See “800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Service General Category (851-854 MHz) and Upper Band
(861-865 MHz) Auction Closes; Winning Bidders Announced,” Public Notice, 15 FCC Rcd 17162 (WTB 2000).
31 See “800 MHz SMR Service Lower 80 Channels Auction Closes; Winning Bidders Announced,” Public Notice,
16 FCC Rcd 1736 (WTB 2000).
32 See generally 13 C.F.R. § 121.201, NAICS code 517210.
21

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FCC 12-55

E.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance
Requirements for Small Entities

13.
The rule provides regulatory flexibility to all EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees. The
rule will impose limited reporting or recordkeeping requirements to the extent an EA-based 800 MHz
SMR licensee seeks to exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation in Section 90.209 of the
Commission’s rules. In such cases, the licensee must provide 30 days advanced written notice to all
public safety licensees with a base station in an affected NPSPAC region and within 113 kilometers (70
miles) of the border of an affected NPSPAC region. This notice must include the estimated date that the
EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensee’s operations will exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation.
Otherwise, the rule will impose only a small compliance burden.

F.

Steps Taken to Minimize the Significant Economic Impact on Small Entities, and
Significant Alternatives Considered

14.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant alternatives that it has
considered in reaching its proposed approach, which may include the following four alternatives (among
others): (1) the establishment of differing compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take
into account the resources available to small entities; (2) the clarification, consolidation, or simplification
of compliance or reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use of performance,
rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for
small entities.33
15.
The Report and Order is deregulatory in nature and imposes only a minor compliance
requirement on all affected entities, including small entities. In recognition of the resources available to
small entities, and in the interest of simplified compliance obligations, the Report and Order does not
mandate any specific form or manner in which entities must comply with the reporting requirement.
Specifically, the Report and Order requires EA-based 800 MHz SMR licensees to provide written notice
to all public safety licensees with a base station in a affected NPSPAC region and within 113 kilometers
(70 miles) of the border of an affected NPSPAC region if the licensee intends to exceed the channel
spacing and bandwidth limitation. This notice must include the estimated date that the EA-based 800
MHz SMR licensee’s operations will exceed the channel spacing and bandwidth limitation. Licensees
have the flexibility to provide written notice through whatever means the licensee chooses. We believe
this notice is necessary to ensure that public safety licensees are aware of the operation and can actively
monitor for any interference issues that may arise. While we strive to provide flexibility to small entities,
because we believe that protection of public safety licensees is essential and in the public interest, we do
not adopt any exemption for small entities.

G.

Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict with the Rules

16.
None.


33 See 5 U.S.C. § 603(c).
22

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-55

STATEMENT OF

CHAIRMAN JULIUS GENACHOWSKI

Re: Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for
Economic Area-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licensees, WT Docket No. 12-64; Request for
Declaratory Ruling that the Commission’s Rules Authorize Greater than 25 kHz Bandwidth Operations in
the 817-824/862-869 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 11-110.

This is another action forward in our work to ensure that mobile broadband is an ongoing, strong
driver of economic growth and opportunity in the United States.
Mobile broadband is changing the world for the better, and the U.S. is leading the way. We have
now regained global leadership in mobile. American-designed apps and services are being adopted faster
than any others, both inside and outside our borders.
After years of seeing countries developing popular mobile applications ahead of us, the U.S.
mobile innovation economy is now the envy of the world. And we are ahead of the world in deploying 4G
mobile broadband at scale – with 64% of the world’s 4G LTE subscribers here in the U.S.
To maintain and to extend our leadership, we have challenges to address, and a major priority of
the Commission remains addressing the challenges to unleashing mobile innovation and making sure
America continues to lead the world in mobile.
To that end, we are pursuing a strong Mobile Action Plan, which focuses on five core elements:
freeing up new spectrum for licensed and unlicensed use; removing barriers to mobile infrastructure
build-out and mobile broadband spectrum use; driving greater efficiency in spectrum, networks, devices;
promoting competition; and empowering consumers.
Already, we’re unleashing at least 25 megahertz of spectrum in the wireless communications
(WCS) band by removing technical rules that had impeded use.
We’re in process to remove regulatory barriers to enable 40 megahertz of satellite spectrum to be used for
land-based mobile broadband. And we became the first country in the world to open up the white spaces
for new and innovative unlicensed uses.
We’ve also become the first country to authorize voluntary incentive auctions, designed to
unleash significant amounts of prime spectrum for mobile broadband.
Today’s order is part of our action plan. We are removing outdated rules that are serving as barriers to
spectrum use for mobile broadband in the 800 MHz band.
Specifically, the order will allow Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio licensees in this band, such
as Sprint and SouthernLINC, to operate across contiguous channels without a rigid channel spacing
requirement or a bandwidth limitation. This will enable the transition of their networks to CDMA and
LTE technologies.
The end result permits flexibility that will enable the use of additional spectrum for mobile
broadband, thus creating more investment, more innovation, and more benefits flowing to the American
people. And we are accomplishing this goal while ensuring that important public safety uses in the 800
MHz band are protected from interference.
This item promotes mobile broadband, and modifies outdated rules to enable efficient and
flexible spectrum use. I want to thank the Wireless Bureau for their work on this item.
23

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-55

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER ROBERT M. McDOWELL

Re: Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for
Economic Area-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licensees, WT Docket No. 12-64; Request for
Declaratory Ruling that the Commission’s Rules Authorize Greater than 25 kHz Bandwidth Operations in
the 817-824/862-869 MHz Band
, WT Docket No.11-110.
I am pleased to vote to approve this order, which modernizes a legacy rule thereby paving the
way for increased spectral efficiency, as well as technical flexibility to invest in, develop and deploy
wideband services in portions of the 800 MHz band. Our new rule strikes a balance between maximizing
efficiency – and therefore allowing consumers to benefit from faster mobile speeds and a greater array of
services on the one hand – while protecting 800 MHz public safety licensees from harmful interference on
the other hand. While we are just beginning to sort through the complex issues associated with freeing up
more spectrum for the longer term, I am pleased that we have taken another small step today to allow
wireless providers to take better advantage of the spectrum already available in the market.
I thank the parties that contributed to our record, as well as the staff of the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau for your work today.
24

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-55

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER MIGNON L. CLYBURN

Re: Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for
Economic Area-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licensees, WT Docket No. 12-64; Request for
Declaratory Ruling that the Commission’s Rules Authorize Greater than 25 kHz Bandwidth Operations in
the 817-824/862-869 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 11-110.

With today’s Order, the Commission takes another important step towards facilitating the use of
more spectrum for mobile broadband service. By removing the channel spacing and bandwidth
limitations in our Part 90 rules, we are enabling mobile service providers with certain 800 MHz licenses
to transition from narrow band operations to networks that can support the most advanced mobile
broadband services. Since some of these providers have SMR licenses that cover the entire country, these
technical rule changes should result in improved service and more innovative offerings for many
consumers. This will enhance the ability of these companies to respond to ever increasing consumer
demand for innovative services. It will also promote deployment of advanced wireless services to rural,
unserved, and underserved areas.
In order to arrive at today’s rule changes, the Commission had to carefully consider any impact
on public safety communications. This is because a number of public safety licensees are still in the
process of transitioning their networks to the frequencies that the Commission adopted in 2004, in order
to address interference, that commercial mobile providers were causing public safety operations. Today’s
Order properly adopts measures, such as a 30-day notice procedure and other technical requirements, to
ensure that these rule changes will not harm public safety communications.
I commend the Wireless Bureau for working so diligently to prepare this Order just two months
after we adopted the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that initiated this proceeding.
25

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-55

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER JESSICA ROSENWORCEL

Re: Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for
Economic Area-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licensees, WT Docket No. 12-64; Request for
Declaratory Ruling that the Commission’s Rules Authorize Greater than 25 kHz Bandwidth perations in
the 817-824/862-869 MHz Band
, WT Docket No. 11-110.
For all of the technical complexity of this Order, it is actually about something very simple. This
is about clearing out old spectrum policies and unlocking the possibilities that come with more efficient
spectrum use. More precisely, by eliminating unnecessary technical restrictions and adding flexibility to
the rules for 800 MHz Enhanced Specialized Mobile Radio operations, we are enabling commercial
licensees in the band to deploy more advanced 3G and 4G services. This means more innovation. It
means more investment. Moreover, it does all of this while recognizing the importance of protecting
public safety operations during the ongoing 800 MHz public safety reconfiguration. I support it.
26

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 12-55

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER AJIT V. PAI

Re:
Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for
Economic Area-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licensees, WT Docket No. 12-64; Request for
Declaratory Ruling that the Commission’s Rules Authorize Greater than 25 kHz Bandwidth Operations in
the 817-824/862-869 MHz Band, WT Docket No. 11-110.

Today’s Report and Order illustrates the need for the Commission to review its rules regularly
and assess whether they continue to be necessary in light of changing technological and/or market
conditions. In this item, we remove certain channel spacing and bandwidth limitations in the 800 MHz
band that may have made sense almost twenty years ago but currently stand in the way of mobile
broadband deployment. I am pleased that we are taking this step in a thoughtful manner that will both
benefit American consumers (including those in rural and underserved areas) and protect public safety
operations.
I commend Sprint for raising this issue with the Commission and encourage others in the private
sector to call our attention to similarly outdated regulatory barriers to investment and broadband
deployment. I pledge to examine such proposals promptly and to work with my colleagues so that we can
remove additional obstacles to broadband deployment at future Commission meetings.
I thank the staff of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau for their swift and skillful work in
crafting this item, thus allowing us to act on Sprint’s proposal in a timely manner.
27

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