Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Emission Mask/Analog Capability Requirements on Public Safety Channels

Download Options

Released: August 27, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Emission Mask Requirements for Digital
) PS Docket No. 13-209
Technologies on 800 MHz NPSPAC Channels;
) RM-11663
Analog FM Capability on Mutual Aid and
)
Interoperability Channels
)

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

Adopted: August 23, 2013

Released: August 27, 2013

Comment Date: [45 days after date of publication in the Federal Register]
Reply Comment Date: [60 days after date of publication in the Federal Register]

By the Commission:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I.
INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................. 1
II. BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................... 2
III. NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING .......................................................................................... 8
A. Emission Mask................................................................................................................................. 9
B. Analog FM Capability ................................................................................................................... 16
C. Limitation on 800 MHz NPSPAC Applications and Equipment Authorizations During the
Pendency of the Proceeding........................................................................................................... 20
IV. PROCEDURAL MATTERS................................................................................................................ 22
A. Ex Parte Rules Permit-But-Disclose........................................................................................... 22
B. Comment Period and Procedures................................................................................................... 23
C. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis........................................................................................... 29
D. Paperwork Reduction Analysis...................................................................................................... 30
E. Further Information........................................................................................................................ 31
V. ORDERING CLAUSES....................................................................................................................... 32
APPENDIX A Proposed Rules
APPENDIX B Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
APPENDIX C List of Commenters

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), initiated in response to a Petition for
Rulemaking filed by Harris Corporation (Harris),1 we propose to require digital technologies, including
but not limited to Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) based technologies, to comply with Emission
Mask H when operated in the 800 MHz National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC)


1 Petition for Rulemaking of Harris Corporation, filed April 30, 2012 (Harris Petition).

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

band (806-809/851-854 MHz).2 We also propose to require equipment to have analog FM capability
when operating on 800 MHz, VHF, and UHF public safety mutual aid and interoperability channels. We
believe that these proposals could help safeguard public safety licensees in the NPSPAC band from
adjacent-channel interference and to preserve interoperability.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
In September 2012, the Commission adopted the TETRA Report and Order in WT
Docket No. 11-69, which modified Part 90 of the Commission's rules to permit the certification and use
of TETRA equipment in certain Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) bands.3 TETRA is a digital trunked
radio technology that operates with Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA) in four time slots within a
25 kilohertz channel.4 TETRA has been widely implemented in countries outside the United States,
including for public safety communications, and is widely recognized as a spectrally efficient
technology.5 However, prior to the TETRA Report and Order, TETRA was not authorized for use in the
United States because: (1) TETRA emissions exceeded certain emission masks specified in Section
90.210 of the Commission's rules,6 and (2) TETRA uses a 22 kilohertz standard channel bandwidth that
exceeded the 20 kilohertz maximum bandwidth for UHF and 800 MHz equipment specified in Section
90.209 of the Commission's rules.7
3.
In the TETRA Report and Order, the Commission modified these rules to allow TETRA
operations in the UHF band and the non-NPSPAC portion of the 800 MHz band, concluding that TETRA
poses minimal risk of causing harmful interference in these bands.8 However, the Commission declined
to allow TETRA operation in the 800 MHz NPSPAC band or the narrowband portion of the 700 MHz


2 The NPSPAC band is allocated for exclusive public safety use on a regional basis. It is referred to as the NPSPAC
band because the Commission's order allocating the band to public safety incorporated many recommendations of
the National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee. See Development and Implementation of a Public Safety
National Plan and Amendment of Part 90 to Establish Service Rules and Technical Standards for Use of the 821
824/866869 MHz Bands by the Public Safety Services, Gen. Docket 87-112, Report and Order, 3 FCC Rcd 905
(1987) (NPSPAC Report and Order).
3 See Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Permit Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) Technology,
WT Docket No. 11-69, ET Docket No. 09-234, Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 11569 (2012) (TETRA Report and
Order
). On July 2, 2013, the Commission clarified that the TETRA Report and Order permits TETRA on all
channels between 809-824/854-869 MHz, including non-NPSPAC public safety category channels. See
Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Permit Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) Technology, WT
Docket No. 11-69, Order on Reconsideration, FCC 13-91 (rel. Jul. 2, 2013).
4 Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission's Rules to Permit Terrestrial Trunked Radio (TETRA) Technology, WT
Docket No. 11-69, ET Docket No. 09-234, Order on Clarification, 26 FCC Rcd 13360, 13361 2 (Clarification
Order
).
5 See http://www.tetrahealth.info/worldCountries.htm (last accessed April 23, 2013).
6 47 C.F.R. 90.210. An emission mask is the technical specification that limits the distribution of power of a radio
transmitter as a function of frequency. See Development of Operational, Technical and Spectrum Requirements for
Meeting Federal, State and Local Public Safety Agency Communication Requirements Through the Year 2010,
First Report and Order and Third Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WT Docket No. 96-86, 14 FCC Rcd 152, 213
n.337 (1998). Emission masks provide an important technical parameter that affects the efficient use of a frequency
band by limiting emissions from one channel into adjacent channels. 1998 Biennial Regulatory Review - 47 C.F.R.
Part 90 - Private Land Mobile Radio Services, WT Docket No. 98-182, Report and Order and Further Notice of
Proposed Rule Making
, 15 FCC Rcd 16673, 16689 33 (2000).
7 47 C.F.R. 90.209.
8 TETRA Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 11572 5.
2

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

public safety band.9 The Commission noted that TETRA equipment is not interoperable with equipment
commonly used in the NPSPAC band and does not conform to the interoperability standard for the 700
MHz narrowband public safety band interoperability channels.10 The Commission also noted that
because the NPSPAC band has 25 kilohertz bandwidth channels that are spaced 12.5 kilohertz apart,
NPSPAC systems are more susceptible to adjacent channel interference than other bands that use 25
kilohertz spacing between 25 kHz channels.11
4.
During the course of the TETRA rulemaking proceeding, several parties submitted filings
disputing whether the Commission's existing rules allowed operation of so-called "low-power" TETRA
equipment in the NPSPAC band.12 "Low-power" TETRA (also sometimes called "reduced power"
TETRA) refers to technology that uses the TETRA waveform but operates at less than the 22 kilohertz
bandwidth associated with the TETRA standard.13 One wireless equipment manufacturer, PowerTrunk,
Inc. (PowerTrunk) developed a low-power TETRA technology that it contended should be permitted to
operate in the NPSPAC band under existing rules. PowerTrunk noted that its technology uses the
TETRA waveform but operates with a 20 kilohertz bandwidth, which complies with the maximum
bandwidth allowed under Section 90.209 of the Commission's rules.14 PowerTrunk also asserted that its
technology complied with one of two emission mask limitations applicable to the NPSPAC band.
Specifically, PowerTrunk contended that, while its technology did not comply with Emission Mask H, the
stricter of the two emission masks, it complied with Emission Mask B, a more relaxed emission mask
applicable to NPSPAC band transmitters equipped with audio low-pass filters.15 PowerTrunk asserted
that its equipment did incorporate low-pass audio filters, and, therefore, that compliance with Emission
Mask B was sufficient to allow operation in the NPSPAC band.16
5.
In its Petition and related ex parte filings, Harris disputed PowerTrunk's assertion that its
low-power TETRA technology should be allowed to operate in the NPSPAC band. Harris asserted that
PowerTrunk's technology would cause interference if used in the NPSPAC band unless it conformed to
the more stringent Emission Mask H, and that PowerTrunk's claim of compliance with Emission Mask B
was an attempt to take advantage of a "loophole" in the Commission's rules.17 Harris also asserted that
PowerTrunk's technology would not support interoperable communications because it lacks analog FM


9 Id. at 11572 5-6.
10 Id. at 11569 4.
11 Id. at 11573-74 9.
12 See, e.g., Letter from Patrick Sullivan, Harris Corp. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WT Docket 11-69,
ET Docket No. 09-234 (March 16, 2012); Letter from Jose Martin, Executive Vice President, PowerTrunk, Inc., to
Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC, WT Docket 11-69, ET Docket No. 09-234, (March 23, 2012) (PowerTrunk
March 23 Ex Parte).
13 The terms "low-power" and "reduced-power" TETRA are not strictly accurate descriptions of the TETRA-based
technology developed by PowerTrunk and others, which uses narrower bandwidth but operates with transmitter
power output comparable to standard TETRA systems. Letter from Kevin Krufky, Alcatel-Lucent Corp. to Marlene
Dortch, Secretary, FCC (March 23, 2012); PowerTrunk March 23 Ex Parte. Nevertheless, because the term "low-
power TETRA" is in common usage, we use it herein to refer to modified TETRA technology such as PowerTrunk's
that operates at 20 kilohertz bandwidth, which PowerTrunk more recently has identified as "TI D-LMR." Power
Trunk Reply to Petition for Reconsideration, FCC ID WT7PTRNKTBSR75800, Mar 21, 2013.
14 PowerTrunk March 23 Ex Parte at 6.
15 Id. at 5-6. Transmitters equipped with an audio low-pass filter are permitted to comply with Emission Mask B
when operating on NPSPAC channels. See 47 C.F.R. 90.210.
16PowerTrunk March 23 Ex Parte at 6.
17 Harris Petition at 1.
3

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

capability, which is widely used to support interoperability in the VHF, UHF and 800 MHz public safety
bands.18 Harris therefore requested that the Commission initiate a rulemaking (1) to require all digital
equipment operating in the NPSPAC band to conform to Emission Mask H rather than Emission Mask B
and (2) to require all digital equipment operating in the VHF, UHF, and 800 MHz bands to include an
analog FM mode.19 Harris also requested that the Commission impose an immediate freeze on
applications to use equipment that did not meet these proposed requirements.20
6.
In May 2012, the Commission issued a Public Notice seeking comment on the Harris
Petition.21 In comments filed in response to the Public Notice, Alcatel-Lucent and PowerTrunk asked the
Commission to dismiss the Harris Petition, claiming that it was filed in retaliation for Alcatel-Lucent's
successful bid against Harris to build a new public safety communications system for New Jersey
Transit.22 Other commenters, however, supported the Harris Petition. MSI stated that Harris had raised
"legitimate concerns,"23 and, along with the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council
(NPSTC), recommended that the Commission "expeditiously clarify the need for the tighter `H-mask' in
the NPSPAC spectrum and continue to apply the existing mutual aid channel requirements for
mobiles/portables that operate in the NPSPAC band."24
7.
Because the low-power TETRA issue raised by the Harris Petition had not previously
been raised in the TETRA NPRM, the Commission concluded that it fell outside the scope of that
proceeding.25 Accordingly, the Commission took no action in the TETRA Report and Order with respect
to low-power TETRA and stated it would treat that issue separately, as we do herein.26

III.

NOTICE OF PROPOSED RULEMAKING

8.
As an initial matter, we agree with Harris that the question of whether low-power
TETRA technology should be permitted in the NPSPAC band should be resolved in a rulemaking
proceeding.27 We also decline to dismiss the Harris Petition, as advocated by PowerTrunk, because we
believe it raises legitimate issues about maintaining a viable interference environment in the NPSPAC
band and ensuring interoperability on the mutual aid and interoperability channels.


18 Id.
19 Id.
20 Id. at 10-11.
21 See Public Notice, Report No. 2952, RM-11663 (May 31, 2012). Comments were received from Alcatel-Lucent,
Harris, PowerTrunk, Motorola Solutions, Inc. (MSI), Nielson Communications, Inc. (Nielson), and New Jersey
Transit. Reply Comments were filed by Harris and the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council.
22 Alcatel Lucent Comments at 1; PowerTrunk Comments at 1.
23 MSI Comments at 1.
24 Id.; NPSTC Comments at 1.
25 TETRA Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 11575 13. TETRA + Critical Communications Association formerly
known as the "TETRA Association," noted that the Harris rulemaking petition "does not concern the original
TETRA standard." Letter from Henry Goldberg, Esq. Counsel for the TETRA + Critical Communications
Association to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC (Aug. 1, 2012).
26 TETRA Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 11575 13.
27 The Commission possesses broad discretion to determine whether it will proceed by rulemaking or adjudication.
See, e.g., SEC v. Chenery Corp., 332 U.S. 194, 203 (1947) ("[T]he choice made between proceeding by general rule
or by individual, ad hoc litigation is one that lies primarily in the informed discretion of the administrative
agency."); see also Committee for Effective Cellular Rules v. FCC, 53 F.3d 1309, 1319-20 (D.C. Cir. 1995).
4

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

A.

Emission Mask

9.
As noted above, Harris and other parties supporting its petition contend that digital low-
power TETRA technology should not be allowed to operate in the NPSPAC band unless it conforms to
Emission Mask H.28 These parties also contend that authorizing digital technologies under any emission
mask less stringent than the H Mask creates a risk of interference and could adversely impact spectrum
efficiency.29 NPSTC, for example, believes that low-power TETRA equipment, if deployed in the
NPSPAC channels under the adjacent channel separations contained in current regional plans, would
"have a high potential to increase adjacent-channel interference and further limit existing licensees'
abilities to change or add locations going forward."30
10.
In light of these concerns, we propose to require all digital technology operating in the
NPSPAC band to conform to Emission Mask H.31 Section 90.210 of the Commission's rules which
established Emission Mask B was adopted in the analog FM era because the width of the emission
waveform of an FM transmitter is a direct function of the modulating frequency, i.e., the higher the
modulating frequency, the wider the spectral waveform, and the greater the potential for adjacent channel
interference.32 The audio low-pass filter in a land mobile FM transmitter limits the modulating frequency,
typically to 3 kilohertz, thus ensuring that the output waveform conforms to the relevant emission mask.33
The same relationship between the modulating frequency and the width of the emission waveform does
not exist in digital systems such as TETRA, i.e., the width of the emission waveform remains constant
and independent of the voice baseband modulating frequency. Accordingly, the presence or absence
of an audio low-pass filter in such digital equipment appears to be meaningless in terms of the width of
the output waveform.
11.
We seek comment on whether manufacturers of digital equipment should continue to be
able to take advantage of an emission mask rule intended to apply to analog FM systems. We believe that
requiring digital systems to comply with Emission Mask H will reduce the potential of those systems to
cause adjacent-channel interference in the NPSPAC band. Moreover, compliance with Emission Mask H
appears to be achievable, as demonstrated by Harris and other manufacturers.34
12.
Our proposal to apply the H Mask to digital technology is limited to equipment that
operates in the sensitive interference environment of the NPSPAC band where 25 kilohertz channels are
spaced only 12.5 kilohertz apart.35 The ability of public safety licensees to operate in this sensitive


28 Harris Petition at 1.
29 Id. at 3.
30 Id.
31 Under this proposal emission Mask B would continue to apply to analog FM equipment employing audio low-
pass filters.
32 J.R. Carson, Notes on the Theory of Modulation, Proc. IRE, vol. 10, no. 1 (Feb. 1922), pp. 57-64.
33 PowerTrunk claims "that no matter how loud the user of a PowerTrunk radio speaks, neither the emission mask
boundaries, nor the occupied bandwidth limits would be exceeded at any time. Thus, the PowerTrunk equipment
qualifies as equipped with an audio low-pass filter." See PowerTrunk March 23 Ex Parte at 6. PowerTrunk appears
to misunderstand the effect of an audio low- pass filter which limits the frequency, not the amplitude (loudness), of
the input audio signal.
34 Harris states that "it is unaware of any manufacturer, other than PowerTrunk, offering B-mask only certified
digital equipment for utilization in Public Safety spectrum." Harris Comments at 4. We have been presented with
no evidence that PowerTrunk is incapable of adapting its technology to comply with Emission Mask H.
35 We observed that the NPSPAC channels are more susceptible to adjacent channel interference due to the 12.5 kHz
channel spacing relative to the rest of the 800 MHz band, which are spaced 25 kHz apart. TETRA Report and
Order
, 27 FCC Rcd at 11573-74 9.
5

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

interference environment is due, in large part, to the efforts of the Regional Planning Committees (RPC)
that take both co-channel and adjacent-channel interference into account in recommending frequencies
that can be licensed in the band. PowerTrunk suggests that its technology can be accommodated in the
NPSPAC band if RPCs take the characteristics of PowerTrunk's technology into account when making
channel assignments.36 However, we believe that implementation of PowerTrunk's proposal would
impose an additional burden on RPCs and would necessarily restrict the ability of the RPCs to make
efficient use of the NPSPAC spectrum. We seek comment on this view.
13.
Because NPSPAC channels are 25 kilohertz bandwidth channels spaced 12.5 kilohertz
apart37 they are more susceptible to adjacent-channel interference than other channels in the 800 MHz
band which are spaced 25 kilohertz apart. PowerTrunk has not shown how the root raised cosine digital
filter in its equipment provides protection against adjacent channel interference equivalent to that
provided by an audio low pass filter in an analog system. We therefore seek comment on whether the
root raised cosine filter conventionally used to limit intersymbol interference in digital systems38 has
any effect on adjacent channel interference and, if so, to what degree. Moreover, we do not find the prior
certification of equipment that complies with Emission Mask B to be a bar to our adopting a rule applying
the H Mask to all digital equipment in the NPSPAC band. It is not unusual for a rule change to render
certified equipment no longer permissible in certain bands.39 We seek comment on this proposal.
14.
In an ex parte meeting on September 11, 2012 PowerTrunk asserted that its equipment,
which conforms to Emission Mask B, is more spectrum efficient because it is capable of a higher data rate
than other equipment on the market, including that produced by Harris.40 This enhanced spectrum
efficiency, PowerTrunk argues, facilitates coordination because fewer stations are needed to support a
given data rate requirement.41 We seek comment on whether the spectrum efficiency benefits asserted by
PowerTrunk for low power TETRA technology are sufficient to overcome any potential interference and
interoperability costs. As an alternative to requiring conformance with Emission Mask H, should we
consider development of a new mask or a different standard altogether, such as an adjacent channel power
standard, in order to accommodate such digital technologies in the NPSPAC band?42


36 PowerTrunk Comments at 4.
37 The five 800 MHz mutual aid channels are an exception to the 12.5 kilohertz spacing regime in the NPSPAC band
and are separated by 25 kilohertz. See 47 C.F.R. 90.16, 90.617(a)(1); Development and Implementation of a
Public Safety National Plan and Amendment of Part 90 to Establish Service Rules and Technical Standards for Use
of the 821824/866869 MHz Bands by the Public Safety Services, Report and Order, 3 FCC Rcd 905, 908 (1987).
38 Ha, Tri T., Theory and Design of Digital Communications Systems, Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011, 473. See also,
Newton's Telecom Dictionary, 20th Ed. CMP Books, 439 ("Intersymbol interference is a source of noise in baseband
signaling that occurs when the signal pulses or symbols spread into adjacent pulses or symbols. This spreading
effect occurs when the signal varies with frequency or when portions of the signal are delayed due to multipath
fading.")
39 For example, under the Commission's "narrowbanding" mandate for bands below 470 MHz, 25 kilohertz
bandwidth equipment was no longer permitted after January 1, 2013, notwithstanding that such equipment
previously was certified. 47 C.F.R 90.209(b); see also Implementation of Sections 309(j) and 337 of the
Communications Act of 1934 as Amended; Promotion of Spectrum Efficient Technologies on Certain Part 90
Frequencies, Third Memorandum Opinion and Order and Third Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making and
Order
, WT Docket No. 99-87, RM-9332, 19 FCC Rcd 25045 (2004).
40 Letter from Jose Martin, Executive Vice President, PowerTrunk, Inc., to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC
(Sept. 11, 2012) (PowerTrunk Sept. 11 Ex Parte) at 2.
41 Id.
42 Id. at 3. See also Letter from William K. Keane, Esq. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, FCC (Sept. 21, 2012).
6

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

15.
We also seek comment on the costs and benefits associated with requiring digital systems
in the NPSPAC band to comply with Emission Mask H. What impact will such an approach have on
financial investment in digital technology, the market for digital equipment or the availability of spectrum
for digitally modulated equipment? Moreover, would such an approach accommodate emerging
technologies and advanced capabilities for equipment operating in the public safety bands?

B.

Analog FM Capability

16.
As part of its long-standing commitment to public safety and homeland security, the
Commission has dedicated a number of channels in the public safety bands to interoperable
communications, including five mutual aid channels in the 800 MHz NPSPAC band43 and nine
interoperability channels in the VHF and UHF bands.44 The Commission's rules further require
equipment certified and marketed for public safety use in the 800 MHz, VHF, and UHF bands to be
capable of operating on the applicable mutual aid or interoperability channels.45
17.
In its Petition, Harris contends that the current rules requiring equipment to be "capable
of operating" on interoperability channels are problematic because they allow development of different
equipment lines that can all operate on the interoperable channels but that are not interoperable with one
another because they use different modulation waveforms.46 Harris notes that while most equipment
manufacturers and public safety licensees have historically used a common modulation analog FM for
operation on 800 MHz, VHF, and UHF interoperability channels, PowerTrunk has obtained certification
for low-power TETRA equipment that uses a different and incompatible digital modulation.47 Harris
argues that this undermines the Commission's policy of promoting interoperability and that the rules
should therefore be amended to specify analog FM as a uniform modulation standard for certification of
all 800 MHz, VHF, and UHF public safety equipment.48 Harris notes that the Commission has previously
adopted a similar modulation requirement for 700 MHz public safety narrowband equipment.49
18.
PowerTrunk argues that the Commission should not require 800 MHz, VHF, and UHF
radios to have analog FM capability.50 It states that its radios use IQ modulation51 which "is capable of


43 47 C.F.R. 90.617(a)(1). See NPSPAC Report and Order, 3 FCC Rcd at 908 27-30 (1987).
44 47 C.F.R. 90.20(c)(3). In 2000, the Commission dedicated five channels in the 150-174 MHz band and four
channel pairs in the 450-512 MHz band for interoperability purposes. See Development of Operational, Technical
and Spectrum Requirements for Meeting Federal, State and Local Public Safety Agency Communication
Requirements Through the Year 2010, Establishment of Rules and Requirements For Priority Access Service, WT
Docket No. 96-86, Third Memorandum Opinion and Order and Third Report and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 19844,
19848-19849 9 (2000). The Commission also designated two channel pairs in the VHF 156-162 MHz band for
interoperability communication in thirty-three Economic Areas (EAs), where these channels are allocated for public
safety entities. Id.
45 See 47 C.F.R. 90.203(i) (equipment certified after February 16, 1988 and marketed for public safety operation in
the 800 MHz NPSPAC bands "must have the capability to be programmed for operation on the mutual aid channels
as designated in 90.617(a)(l) of the rules"); 47 C.F.R. 90.203(j)(1) (mobile/portable equipment certified after
January 1, 2005 for use on 150174 MHz or 450470 MHz public safety frequencies must be "capable of operating"
on the nationwide public safety interoperability channel in the applicable band).
46 Harris Petition at 8-9.
47 Id.
48 Id.
49 Id.
50 PowerTrunk Comments at 5.
51 Id.
7

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

generating analog FM signals" and discusses an available integrated circuit that allows "generating
various digital and analog waveforms."52 However, PowerTrunk stops short of claiming that its current
radios actually have analog FM capability.53 Instead, it asserts a "future capability of PowerTrunk to
generate analog FM signals with its TI D-LMR equipment."54
19.
Given this divergence of viewpoint, we seek comment on whether we should require all
public safety radios operating on the 800 MHz, VHF, and UHF bands to use a common modulation for
mutual aid and interoperability channels, as suggested by Harris, NPSTC, and MSI. When the current
rules were adopted, analog FM was the predominant modulation used on public safety frequencies, and as
a consequence, most if not all public safety radios intended for use on mutual aid and interoperability
frequencies are capable of analog FM operation.55 However, the rules do not expressly require use of a
common modulation, creating the potential for vendors to develop non-interoperable equipment. Because
analog FM has long been the de facto standard for communication on interoperability and mutual aid
channels, we seek comment whether we should specify analog FM as the standard modulation for these
channels. We seek comment on the potential public safety benefits of such a requirement, the cost
burden, if any, that manufacturers would face in complying with the requirement, and whether the
requirement would increase public safety licensees' costs.

C.

Limitation on 800 MHz NPSPAC Applications and Equipment Authorizations
During the Pendency of the Proceeding

20.
Currently, to our knowledge, there are no digital systems operating in the 800 MHz
NPSPAC band that exceed Emission Mask H or lack analog FM capability.56 We believe it is important
to maintain this status quo during the pendency of this rule making proceeding, in light of the risk that
allowing new non-conforming systems could cause adjacent-channel interference to and impair
interoperability with incumbent NPSPAC systems. Accordingly, in a companion Public Notice, and on
our own motion, we are announcing that during the pendency of this proceeding, we will not accept
applications for license or equipment authorizations in the 800 MHz NPSPAC band unless such
applications satisfy both of the following conditions: (a) the proposed equipment must conform to
Emission Mask H; and (b) the proposed equipment must have analog FM capability for operation on the
NPSPAC mutual aid channels.


52 Id.
53 Harris claims that although PowerTrunk's certification grants (for both 800MHz and UHF frequencies) for base
stations show an analog emission designator (11K0F3E and 16K0F3E), none of Power Trunk's subscriber units
includes that analog emission designator. Further, Harris claims that PowerTrunk's equipment does not currently
generate analog FM signals and that standard TETRA radios do not have the TIA-603 analog FM mode included in
them. Harris Reply Comments at 2.
54 Power Trunk Sept 11 Ex Parte at 2.
55 See, e.g., http://www.motorola.com/Business/US-EN/Business+Product+and+Services/Two-Way+Radios+-
+Public+Safety/P25+Portable+Radios/XTS2500_US-EN (Motorola Model XTS2500 "operates on P-25 analog and
digital systems."); www.pspc.harris.com/.../7717C%20OpenSky2%20700-800%20MHz%20Overview_tcm27-
13457.pdf ("Additionally, the VIDA architecture of the OpenSky2 system offers the capability of seamless
interoperability with other analog or P25 systems."); http://www.kenwoodusa.com/Communications/Land_
Mobile_Radio/Public_Safety/TK-5910 ("Included Modes: Analog Conventional (25 & 12.5 kHz), P25
Conventional, & P25 Trunked"); http://www.taitradio.com/products-and-services/technologies-
products/p25/products/portables/TP9100 ("Fully interoperable, the TP9100 gives you the flexibility of working in
digital, analog and auto-sensing dual mode").
56 New Jersey Transit previously proposed to operate in the NPSPAC band using low-power TETRA equipment
manufactured by PowerTrunk. However, New Jersey Transit is now installing its system on non-NPSPAC
channels, to which this proceeding does not apply.
8

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

21.
We recognize that MSI and NPSTC oppose applying these processing limitations to all
public safety frequencies.57 However, we are only applying these limitations to applications and
equipment authorizations in the 800 MHz NPSPAC band, not to applications and equipment
authorizations in other public safety bands.

IV.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Ex Parte Rules Permit-But-Disclose

22.
The proceeding this NPRM initiates shall be treated as a "permit-but-disclose" proceeding
in accordance with the Commission's ex parte rules.58 Persons making ex parte presentations must file a
copy of any written presentation or a memorandum summarizing any oral presentation within two
business days after the presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine period applies).
Persons making oral ex parte presentations are reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation
must (1) list all persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which the ex parte
presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data presented and arguments made during the
presentation. If the presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data or arguments
already reflected in the presenter's written comments, memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the
presenter may provide citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, memoranda, or
other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be
found) in lieu of summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to Commission
staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex parte presentations and must be filed
consistent with Section 1.1206(b).59 In proceedings governed by Section 1.49(f)60 or for which the
Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, written ex parte presentations and
memoranda summarizing oral ex parte presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through
the electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and must be filed in their native
format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize
themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

B.

Comment Period and Procedures

23.
Pursuant to Sections 1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's rules,61 interested parties may
file comments and reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of this document.
All comments and reply comments should refer to PS Docket No. 13-209. Parties may file comments
using: (1) the Commission's Electronic Comment Filing System (ECFS), (2) the Federal Government's
eRulemaking Portal, or (3) by filing paper copies.62

Electronic Filers: File comments electronically using the Internet by accessing the ECFS:
http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/ or the Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
Filers should follow the instructions provided on the website for submitting comments.


57 MSI Comments at 4; NPSTC Reply Comments at 7.
58 47 C.F.R. 1.1200 et seq.
59 47 C.F.R. 1.1206(b).
60 47 C.F.R. 1.49(f).
61 47 C.F.R. 1.415 and 1.419.
62 See Electronic Filing of Documents in Rulemaking Proceedings, GC Docket No. 97-113, Report and Order, 13
FCC Rcd 11322 (1998).
9

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117


Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file an original and four copies of each
filing. If more than one docket or rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding,
filers must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or rulemaking number.

Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial overnight courier, or by first-
class or overnight U.S. Postal Service mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's
Secretary, Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.

All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for the Commission's Secretary
must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 12th St., SW, Room TW-A325,
Washington, DC 20554. All hand deliveries must be held together with rubber bands or
fasteners. Any envelopes must be disposed of before entering the building. .

Send commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service Express Mail and
Priority Mail) to 9300 East Hampton Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
24.
Send U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail to 445 12th Street, SW,
Washington, DC.
25.
People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible formats for people with
disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic files, audio format), send an e-mail to fcc504@fcc.gov or call
the Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (tty).
26.
Address all filings to the Commission's Secretary, Marlene H. Dortch, Office of the
Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street, SW, Room TW-A325, Washington, DC
20554. Parties shall also serve one copy with the Commission's copy contractor, Best Copy and Printing,
Inc. (BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street, SW, Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554, (202) 488-5300, or
via e-mail to fcc@bcpiweb.com.
27.
Documents in PS Docket No. 13-209 are available for public inspection and copying
during business hours at the FCC Reference Information Center, Portals II, 445 12th St. SW, Room CY-
A257, Washington, D.C. 20554. The documents are available for purchase from BCPI, telephone (202)
488-5300, facsimile (202) 488-5563, TTY (202) 488-5562, e-mail fcc@bcpiweb.com. These documents
are also available for viewing on the Commission's website at http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs.
28.
Because of the policy implications and potential impact of this proceeding on persons not
party to these applications, it is in the public interest to treat this proceeding as a permit-but-disclose
proceeding under the ex parte rules. See Sections 1.1200(a) and 1.1206 of the Commission's rules, 47
C.F.R. 1.1200(a) and 1.1206. Therefore, subsequent to the release of this Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking,
we will allow ex parte presentations that address issues involved in this proceeding,
provided they are disclosed in accordance with the requirements of Section 1.1206(b) of the
Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. 1.1206(b).

C.

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

29.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980 (RFA),63 the Commission has
prepared an Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on
small entities of the policies and rules proposed in the NPRM. The analysis is found in Appendix B. We
request written public comment on the analysis. Comments must be filed by the same dates as listed on
the first page of this document and must have a separate and distinct heading designating them as
responses to the IRFA. The Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference
Information Center, will send a copy of this NPRM, including the IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for
Advocacy of the Small Business Administration.


63 5 U.S.C. 603.
10

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

D.

Paperwork Reduction Analysis

30.
This document does not contain proposed information collection(s) subject to the
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law 104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain
any new or modified information collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25
employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, Public Law 107-198, see 44
U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

E.

Further Information

31.
For further information, contact John A. Evanoff, Esq., of the Public Safety and
Homeland Security Bureau, Policy and Licensing Division, at (202) 418-0848, or by email to
john.evanoff@fcc.gov.

V.

ORDERING CLAUSES

32.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 4(j), 301, 302, 303, 308,
309(j), and 332 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 154(j),
301, 302, 303, 308, 309(j), and 332, that this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is hereby ADOPTED.
33.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN of the proposed
regulatory changes described in this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and that comment is sought on these
proposals.
34.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission's Consumer and Governmental
Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking
, including the Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of
the Small Business Administration.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Marlene H. Dortch
Secretary
11

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

APPENDIX A

Proposed Rules

Chapter 1 of Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations is proposed to be amended as follows:

Part 90 Private Land Mobile Radio Services

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 90.203 is revised by amending paragraphs (i) and (j)(1) as follows:
***
(i) Equipment certificated after DATE and marketed for public safety operation in the 806809/851854
MHz bands must have the capability to be programmed for analog FM operation on the mutual aid
channels as designated in 90.617(a)(1) of the rules.
(j) ***
(1) Applications for certification received on or after DATE, for mobile and portable transmitters
designed to transmit voice on public safety frequencies in the 150174 MHz band will be granted only if
the mobile/portable equipment is capable of operating in the analog FM mode on the nationwide public
safety interoperability calling channel in the 150174 MHz band. (See 90.20(c),(d) of this part.)
Applications for certification received on or after DATE, for mobile and portable transmitters designed to
transmit voice on public safety frequencies in the 450470 MHz band will be granted only if the
mobile/portable equipment is capable of operating in the analog FM mode on the nationwide public safety
interoperability calling channel in the 450470 MHz band. (See 90.20(c),(d) of this part.)
3. Section 90.210 is revised by amending the Table to add footnote 6 to read as follows:
90.210 Emission Masks.

Applicable Emission Masks

Frequency

band

Mask for equipment with audio low

Mask for equipment without audio low

(MHz)
pass filter
pass filter
***
***
***
806-809/851-
B
H
854 6
***
***
***
12

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

***
6 Transmitters utilizing analog emissions that are equipped with an audio low-pass filter must meet
Emission Mask B. All transmitters utilizing digital emissions and those transmitters using analog
emissions without an audio low-pass filter must meet emission mask H.
13

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

APPENDIX B

Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

1. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, as amended (RFA),64 the Commission
prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact
on a substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules proposed in this Notice of Proposed
Rulemaking (NPRM)
. Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be filed by
the same dates as listed on the first page of the NPRM and must have a separate and distinct heading
designating them as responses to this IRFA. The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including
this IRFA, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration (SBA).65 In
addition, the NPRM and IRFA (or summaries thereof) will be published in the Federal Register.66

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

2.
The NPRM is intended to determine whether it is in the public interest, convenience and
necessity to amend the Part 90 rules for emission masks and interoperability in order to prevent
interference and promote interoperable public safety communications.

B.

Legal Basis

3. The proposed action is taken under Sections 1, 2, 4(i), 301, 303, 307, 309, 319, 324, and 332
of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 301, 303, 307, 309, 319,
324, and 332.

C.

Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the Proposed Rules Will Apply

4. 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.67 The RFA generally
defines the term "small entity" as having the same meaning as the terms "small business," "small
organization," and "small governmental jurisdiction."68 In addition, the term "small business" has the
same meaning as the term "small business concern" under the Small Business Act.69 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.70 Below, we describe and
estimate the number of small entities that may be affected by the rules changes proposed in this NPRM.
5. Private Land Mobile Radio Licensees. PLMR systems serve an essential role in a range of
industrial, business, land transportation, and public safety activities. These radios are used by companies


64 See 5 U.S.C. 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. 601612, 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).
65 See 5 U.S.C. 603(a).
66 Id.
67 5 U.S.C. 603(b)(3).
68 5 U.S.C. 601(6).
69 5 U.S.C. 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of "small business concern" in 15 U.S.C. 632).
Pursuant to the RFA, 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." Id.
70 Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. 632 (1996).
14

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

of all sizes operating in all U.S. business categories, and are often used in support of the licensee's
primary (non-telecommunications) business operations. For the purpose of determining whether a
licensee of a PLMR system is a small business as defined by the SBA, we use the broad census category,
Wireless Telecommunications Carriers (except Satellite). This definition provides that a small entity is
any such entity employing no more than 1,500 persons.71 The Commission does not require PLMR
licensees to disclose information about number of employees, so the Commission does not have
information that could be used to determine how many PLMR licensees constitute small entities under
this definition. We note that PLMR licensees generally use the licensed facilities in support of other
business activities, and therefore, it would also be helpful to assess PLMR licensees under the standards
applied to the particular industry subsector to which the licensee belongs.72
6.
As of November 1, 2012, there were 1,185 PLMR licensees operating in the PLMR band
between 806-809/851-854 MHz (NPSPAC band) and 686 PLMR licensees operating on the VHF and
UHF public safety interoperability channels. We note that any entity engaged in a commercial activity is
eligible to hold a PLMR license, and that any revised rules in this context could therefore potentially
impact small entities covering a great variety of industries.
7.
RF Equipment Manufacturers. The Census Bureau defines this category as follows: "This
industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in manufacturing radio and television broadcast and
wireless communications equipment. Examples of products made by these establishments are:
transmitting and receiving antennas, cable television equipment, GPS equipment, pagers, cellular phones,
mobile communications equipment, and radio and television studio and broadcasting equipment."73 The
SBA small business size standard for Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless Communications
Equipment Manufacturing is all such firms having 750 or fewer employees.74 According to Census
Bureau data for 2007, there were a total of 939 establishments in this category that operated for the entire
year.75 Of this total, 912 had employment of under 500, and an additional 10 had employment of 500 to
999.76 Thus, under this size standard, the majority of firms can be considered small.

D.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance

Requirements

8.
The NPRM proposes two rule changes that will affect reporting, recordkeeping and other
compliance requirements. The NPRM proposes requiring digital technologies, including, but not limited
to TETRA-based technologies, to (a) comply with Emission Mask H when operated on 800 MHz


71 See 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 517210.
72 See generally 13 C.F.R. 121.201.
73 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007NAICS Definitions, "334220 Radio and Television Broadcasting and Wireless
Communications Equipment Manufacturing"; http://www.census.gov/econ/industry/def/d334220.htm.
74 See 13 C.F.R. 121.201, NAICS code 334220.
75 U.S. Census Bureau, 2007 Economic Census, 2007 Economic Census of Island Areas, and 2007 Nonemployer
Statistics; http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?fpt=table . The number of
"establishments" is a less helpful indicator of small business prevalence in this context than would be the number of
"firms" or "companies," because the latter take into account the concept of common ownership or control. Any
single physical location for an entity is an establishment, even though that location may be owned by a different
establishment. Thus, the numbers given may reflect inflated numbers of businesses in this category, including the
numbers of small businesses. In this category, the Census breaks-out data for firms or companies only to give the
total number of such entities for 2007, which was 844.
http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?fpt=table
76http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?pid=ECN_2007_US_31SG3&prodT
ype=table. An additional 17 establishments had employment of 1,000 or more.
15

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

NPSPAC channels and (b) have analog FM capability on public safety mutual aid and interoperability
frequencies. These digital technologies are spectrum-efficient, but have characteristics that differ from
those in use when the Emission Mask rules were adopted and, hence, have a greater likelihood of causing
adjacent-channel interference than the earlier technologies. Industry practice recognizes that (1) digitally-
modulated signals must be certified under the H-Mask for use in public safety spectrum and (2) radios
intended for use on mutual aid and interoperability channels must be capable of analog FM operation.
We expect that large and small manufacturers already comply with these proposed regulations. However,
to the extent some manufacturers do not already comply with these proposed regulations and industry
standards, we expect that such manufacturers would refrain from marketing their equipment to public safety
entities as being in compliance with the Commission's rules and ensure that their equipment performs
consistent with these proposed regulations designed to prevent interference and preserve interoperability.

E.

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

9.
The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant, specifically small business,
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 and 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.77 We have evaluated our proposals in this NPRM in the
context of small business entities and find no alternatives, to the benefit of small entities, that would
achieve our goals of interference avoidance and interoperability. Additionally, this NPRM proposes rules
that are consistent with industry practice. Accordingly, we expect most manufacturers already comply
with our proposed regulations, therefore minimizing any significant economic impact on small entities.
10.
We hereby invite interested parties to address any or all of these regulatory alternatives
and to suggest additional alternatives to minimize any significant economic impact on small entities. Any
significant alternative presented in the comments will be considered.

F.

Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the Proposed Rules

11.
None.


77 5 U.S.C. 603(c)(1)-(4).
16

Federal Communications Commission

FCC 13-117

APPENDIX C

List of Commenters

I.

Comments

Alcatel-Lucent
Harris Corp.
Motorola Solutions, Inc.
New Jersey Transit Corp.
Nielson Communications, Inc.
PowerTrunk, Inc.

II.

Reply Comments

Harris Corp.
National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC)

III.

Ex Parte Filings

Harris Corp. (Aug. 30, 2012)
TETRA + Critical Communications Association ("TCCA," formerly known as the TETRA
Association) (Aug. 1, 2012 and Aug. 3, 2012)
PowerTrunk, Inc. (Sept. 11, 2012)
PowerTrunk, Inc. (Sept. 21, 2012)
PowerTrunk, Inc. (Sept. 28, 2012)
PowerTrunk, Inc. (Oct. 1, 2012)
PowerTrunk, Inc. (Oct. 12, 2012)
PowerTrunk, Inc. (Apr. 23, 2013)
17

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.