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New 800 MHz Band Plan for U.S. - Mexico Sharing Zone

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Released: April 1, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-586

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

WASHINGTON, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Improving Public Safety Communications in the
)
WT Docket 02-55
800 MHz Band
)
)

New 800 MHz Band Plan for U.S. – Mexico
)
Sharing Zone
)
)
)

FIFTH REPORT AND ORDER

Adopted: April 1, 2013

Released: April 1, 2013

By the Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau:

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Heading
Paragraph #
I.
INTRODUCTION .................................................................................................................................. 1
II. BACKGROUND .................................................................................................................................... 2
III. DISCUSSION......................................................................................................................................... 7
A. Post-Rebanding Domestic Channel Plan ......................................................................................... 7
1. Standard Channel Centers for Licensees in Sharing Zone ...................................................... 14
2. Channel Plan for Sharing Zone ............................................................................................... 25
3. Channel Plan for NPSPAC Region 5 (Southern California) ................................................... 33
4. Channel Plan for Remaining Border-Area NPSPAC Regions ................................................ 46
B. Implementation Issues.................................................................................................................... 53
1. Planning, Negotiation and Mediation...................................................................................... 56
2. Rebanding Implementation Timetable .................................................................................... 64
3. Stages and Steps for Completing Rebanding .......................................................................... 68
a. Sharing Zone..................................................................................................................... 72
b. NPSPAC Region 5 (Outside the Sharing Zone) ............................................................... 73
c. Remaining Mexican Border NPSPAC Regions (Outside the Sharing Zone) ................... 74
C. Additional Issues............................................................................................................................ 75
1. Special Coordination Procedure Channels. ............................................................................. 75
2. Vehicular Repeaters................................................................................................................. 78
3. Power Loss in Combiners........................................................................................................ 81
4. Licensees on Mexico Primary Channels. ................................................................................ 84
D. Cost Benefit Analysis..................................................................................................................... 88
IV. PROCEDURAL MATTERS................................................................................................................ 89
A. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis ..................................................................................................... 89
B. Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis.................................................................................. 90
C. Materials in Accessible Formats .................................................................................................... 91
V. ORDERING CLAUSES....................................................................................................................... 92

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APPENDIX A: Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis
APPENDIX B: U.S. – Mexico Sharing Zone
APPENDIX C: Channel Plan Diagrams
APPENDIX D: Final Rules

I.

INTRODUCTION

1.
On June 8, 2012, the United States and Mexico signed an agreement modifying the
international allocation of 800 MHz spectrum in the U.S.-Mexico border region (Amended Protocol),1
which enables the U.S. to proceed with 800 MHz band reconfiguration along the border. By this Fifth
Report and Order
, the Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau (Bureau), on delegated authority,
adopts a reconfigured channel plan for the 800 MHz band along the U.S.-Mexico border based on the
allocation plan in the Amended Protocol. We also establish a 30-month transition period for licensees to
complete rebanding in the National Public Safety Planning Advisory Committee (NPSPAC) Regions
bordering Mexico.

II.

BACKGROUND

2.
Prior to signing the Amended Protocol, the U.S. and Mexico operated along their
common border in the 800 MHz band pursuant to a bilateral protocol signed in 1994 (1994 Protocol),2
which assigns access to spectrum between the two countries in a “Sharing Zone” consisting of the region
extending 110 kilometers from the border into both countries.3 The 1994 Protocol divides access to 800
MHz spectrum in the Sharing Zone evenly, with each country having primary access to 50 percent of the
channels in the band.4 Within the Sharing Zone, licensees may operate freely on channels designated as
primary to their own country, subject to certain power and antenna height limits.5 Licensees may also
operate in the Sharing Zone on channels primary to the other country so long as they do not exceed
specified signal strength limits at and beyond the border.6 Because of the limits on signal strength, such
licensees are generally only able to operate low-powered systems on the other country’s primary spectrum
within the Sharing Zone. Beyond the Sharing Zone, however, licensees in each country operate in the
800 MHz band without restriction.7
3.
In July 2004, the Commission adopted the 800 MHz Report and Order, which
reconfigured the 800 MHz band in the U.S. to eliminate interference to public safety and other land


1 See Protocol Between the Department of State of the United States of America and the Secretariat of
Communications and Transportation of the United Mexican States Concerning the Allotment, Assignment and Use
of the 806-824/851-869 MHz and 896-901/935-940 MHz Bands for Terrestrial Non-Broadcasting
Radiocommunication Services Along the Common Border (June 8, 2012) (Amended Protocol).
2 See Protocol Concerning the Use of the 806-824/851-869 and 896-901/935-940 MHz Band for Land Mobile
Services Along the Common Border (June 16, 1994) (1994 Protocol).
3 1994 Protocol at Article I, ¶ 1. The Sharing Zone is displayed in Appendix B, infra.
4 1994 Protocol, Appendix A and B. See also 47 C.F.R. § 90.619(a) (2004).
5 Id at Article III, ¶ 3. See also 47 C.F.R. § 90.619(a)(2), Table 1C (2004).
6 Id. at Article III, ¶ 4. See also 47 C.F.R. § 90.619(a)(2) (2004).
7 Id. at Article III, ¶ 6.
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mobile communication systems operating in the band.8 The Commission, however, deferred adopting
band reconfiguration plans for the border areas, noting that “implementing the band plan in areas of the
United States bordering Mexico and Canada will require modifications to international agreements for use
of the 800 MHz band in the border areas.”9 The Commission stated that “[t]he details of the border band
plans will be determined in our ongoing discussions with the Mexican and Canadian governments.”10
The Commission also recognized that these international negotiations could cause rebanding in the border
regions to take longer than rebanding in non-border regions.11
4.
Following adoption of the 800 MHz Report and Order, U.S. and Mexico representatives
initiated negotiations to amend the 1994 Protocol to accommodate 800 MHz band reconfiguration by U.S.
licensees in the border region. The negotiations focused on modifying the 1994 Protocol in a manner that
would enable NPSPAC licensees in the Sharing Zone to relocate to the 806-809/851-854 MHz band –
which the 1994 Protocol allocated on a primary basis to Mexico.12 In June 2012, these negotiations
culminated in the signing of the Amended Protocol, which reapportions spectrum in the Sharing Zone
between the U.S. and Mexico as follows:13
·
The U.S. and Mexico each continue to have primary access to an equal number of channels in
the 800 MHz band.14
·
U.S. licensees have primary access to the lowest 6.25 x 6.25 megahertz paired block of
spectrum (806-812.25/851-857.25 MHz).15
·
Mexican licensees have primary access to the 6.25 x 6.25 megahertz paired block of spectrum
immediately above the U.S. primary block (812.25-818.5/857.25-863.5 MHz).16
·
U.S. and Mexican licensees may operate on channels in the other country’s primary spectrum
provided they do not exceed the specified maximum signal strength at any point at or beyond
the border.17
·
U.S. and Mexican licensees share co-primary access to the uppermost 5.5 x 5.5 megahertz
paired spectrum block (818.5-824/863.5-869 MHz).18


8 See Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Report and Order, WT Docket No. 02-55, 19
FCC Rcd 14969 (2004) (800 MHz Report and Order).
9 Id. at 14985-14986 ¶ 25.
10 Id. at 15063 ¶ 176.
11 Id. at ¶ 176 n.471, 15125 ¶ 332.
12 See infra Appendix C-1 and C-2.
13 See infra Appendix C-3.
14 Amended Protocol at Article I, ¶ 1.
15 Id. at Appendix II, Tables III and IV.
16 Id.
17 Id. at Article III, ¶ 4.
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·
Antenna height limits in the Sharing Zone are based on antenna height above average terrain
on standard radials in the direction of the common border while maximum power limits apply
only in the direction of the common border.19
5.
The spectrum reapportionment under the Amended Protocol will require some incumbent
operators in the Mexican portion of the Sharing Zone to relocate out of spectrum that is being converted
from Mexico primary to U.S. primary status. These Mexican operators will relocate to 800 MHz
channels primary to Mexico under the Amended Protocol or to channels outside the 800 MHz band.20 In
some instances, these relocations will need to be coordinated with relocations on the U.S. side to ensure
an orderly transition. The Amended Protocol provides for a joint U.S. – Mexico task force to coordinate
transition of incumbent licensees on both sides of the border to new channels consistent with the band
plan specified in the Amended Protocol.21 In addition, Sprint and NII Holdings, Inc., the parent company
of NII Holdings, Inc., have committed to cover the reasonable relocation costs of Mexican incumbents.22
6.
On August 17, 2012, the Bureau issued a Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
(Fourth FNPRM) seeking comment on establishing and implementing a reconfigured 800 MHz channel
plan for the NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico.23 We received seven comments and four reply
comments.24

III.

DISCUSSION

A.

Post-Rebanding Domestic Channel Plan

7.
With adoption of the Amended Protocol, the Bureau may now implement band
reconfiguration (also known as rebanding) in the NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico, i.e., Southern
(Continued from previous page)


18 U.S. and Mexican licensees operating in the co-primary portion of the band will be permitted to operate up to a
signal strength level at the border of -107 dBW/m2 but may exceed this level if all counterpart operators agree to a
higher level. Id. at Article III, ¶ 6.
19 Id. at Article III, ¶ 3, Table I. Licensees will retune to replacement channels at their existing power and antenna
height. Licensees making modifications after rebanding, however, will need to comply with the power and antenna
height limits listed in the Amended 800 MHz Protocol which, in most cases, are more flexible than limits in the
previous agreement.
20 Mexico is considering relocating the majority of Mexican incumbents to the 400 MHz band.
21 Amended Protocol at Article V.
22 Id (stating “…the Administrations shall ensure that operators or related corporate entities operating in the co-
primary allotment cover all such reasonable costs of incumbent operators in Mexico that are associated with the
transition to comparable facilities on the replacement channels and that are consistent with understandings agreed to
by the Task Force.”). See also Letter from James B. Goldstein, Director – Spectrum, Sprint Nextel, to Ambassador
Philip L. Verveer, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, United States Coordinator for International Communications
and Information Policy, US Department of State (June 8, 2010).
23 Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, New 800 MHz Band Plan for U.S. – Mexico
Sharing Zone, Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, WT Docket No. 02-55, 27 FCC Rcd at 9563 (2012)
(Fourth FNPRM).
24 Parties filing comments and reply comments are listed in Appendix E.
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California (NPSPAC Region 5), Arizona (NPSPAC Region 3), New Mexico (NPSPAC Region 29),
Texas – El Paso (NPSPAC Region 50) and Texas – San Antonio (NPSPAC Region 53).25
8.
The 800 MHz band in the U.S. consists of channels designated for various pool
categories interleaved throughout the band. The pool categories include the General Category,26 the
Public Safety Pool,27 the NPSPAC band,28 the Business and Industrial Land Transportation (B/ILT) Pool29
and the Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) Pool.30 In the 800 MHz Report and Order, the Commission
concluded that the underlying cause of the ongoing interference being encountered by public safety and
other “high site” licensees was a “fundamentally incompatible mix of two types of communications
systems: cellular-architecture multi-cell systems—used by ESMR and cellular telephone licensees —and
high-site non-cellular systems—used by public safety, private wireless, and some SMR licensees.”31
Thus, by reconfiguring the band, the Commission addresses the root cause of the interference by
“separating generally incompatible technologies.”32
9.
With this goal in mind, the Bureau proposed in the Fourth FNPRM a post-rebanding
channel plan for licensees operating within the Sharing Zone in all the NPSPAC Regions bordering
Mexico (i.e., within 110 kilometers of the border with Mexico) based upon the terms of the Amended
Protocol.33 It also proposed a unique post-rebanding channel plan for licensees operating north of the
Sharing Zone in NPSPAC Region 5 as well as the standard U.S. domestic post-rebanding channel plan for
licensees operating north of the Sharing Zone in the remaining NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico.34
The Bureau also proposed a universal change to the manner in which channels are assigned in the Sharing
Zone—specifically, the Fourth FNPRM proposed to use standard channel centers for licensees in the
Sharing Zone, rather than continuing to provide that those licensees would operate with offset channel
centers.35
10.
As with channel plans previously adopted for non-border regions and the Canada border
region, our goal is to reconfigure licensees within the band in a manner which separates—to the greatest
extent possible—public safety and other non-cellular licensees from licensees in the band that employ


25 The Commission delegated authority to the Bureau in 2007 to propose and adopt border area band plans once the
United States reached the required agreements with Canada and Mexico. Improving Public Safety Communications
in the 800 MHz Band, Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, WT Docket No. 02-55, 22 FCC Rcd 10467,
10494-95 (2007) (800 MHz Second Memorandum Opinion and Order).
26 47 C.F.R. § 90.615. All entities are eligible for licensing in the General Category. Id.
27 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(a)(2).
28 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(a)(1).
29 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(b).
30 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(d). SMR licensees who employ an 800 MHz cellular system are considered Enhanced
Specialized Mobile Radio (ESMR) licensees. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.7.
31 800 MHz Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 14972 ¶ 2 (footnote omitted).
32 Id. at 14973 ¶ 3.
33 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9568-69 ¶¶ 15-18.
34 Id. at 9569-71 ¶¶ 19-24.
35 Id. at 9567-68 ¶¶ 10-14.
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cellular technology.36 Below we address the Bureau’s various proposals from the Fourth FNPRM and
adopt a post-rebanding channel plan for each NPSPAC region bordering Mexico.
11.
As it did in the non-border and Canadian border NPSPAC regions, the 800 MHz
Transition Administrator (TA) will designate post-rebanding replacement channels for licensees based
upon the channel plan we adopt here.37
12.
Licensees along the U.S.-Mexico border will benefit from the post-rebanding channel
plan because it accomplishes the Commission’s goal for 800 MHz band reconfiguration, i.e. resolving an
ongoing interference problem by separating incompatible technologies. Licensees also benefit because
we harmonize the channel plan for Mexico border licensees with the channel plan used by licensees
throughout the rest of the U.S. and preserve the ability for public safety licensees operating in the Sharing
Zone to interoperate with counterpart licensees both inside and outside of the Sharing Zone.
13.
Finally, adoption of a post-rebanding channel plan creates no additional costs for
licensees along the U.S.-Mexico border because Sprint is responsible for paying the minimum cost
necessary to accomplish rebanding in a reasonable, prudent, and timely manner.38

1.

Standard Channel Centers for Licensees in Sharing Zone

14.
Background. In the Fourth FNPRM, the Bureau proposed a universal change to the
manner in which channels are assigned to licensees in the Sharing Zone.39 The Bureau explained, as
illustrated below, that certain licensees in the Sharing Zone operate with channel centers offset 12.5
kilohertz lower in frequency than channel centers used by licensees throughout the rest of the U.S.40


36 Id. at 9566 ¶ 7.
37 800 MHz Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 15074 ¶ 198. For the limited purpose of band reconfiguration, inter-
category sharing is permitted in order to give the TA maximum flexibility in assigning replacement channels to
licensees. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.677.
38 Id. See also Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Memorandum Opinion and Order,
22 FCC Rcd 9818 (2007).
39 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9567-68 ¶¶ 10-14.
40 Id. at 9567 ¶ 10.
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Figure 1 – Offset Channels In Sharing Zone
25 kHz
Standard
Channel
Standard Channel X
Standard Channel Y
Centers
12.5 kHz
12.5 kHz
Sharing Zone
Sharing Zone
Sharing Zone
“Offset” Channel
Channel X
Channel Y
Centers
25 kHz
15.
The Bureau explained that the Commission, in 1981, first considered adopting offset
channel centers in the Sharing Zone in Southern California to limit co-channel interference between
licensees in San Diego County (which operate within the Sharing Zone) and adjacent licensees operating
outside the Sharing Zone in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.41 It noted, however, that, in June of 1982,
the United States signed a frequency sharing agreement with Mexico which altered the Commission’s
original 1981 “Southern California” proposal and required licensees throughout the entire Sharing Zone
to operate using offset channel centers.42 As a result, most U.S. licensees in the Sharing Zone operate on
offset channels regardless of where they are located along the border.
16.
In the Fourth FNPRM, the Bureau revisited that approach and proposed adopting
standard channel centers for licensees operating in the Sharing Zone.43 It noted that changes to the 800


41 Id. at 9567-68 ¶ 11. See also Amendment of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Release Spectrum in the 806-
866 MHz Bands and Adopt Rules and Regulations Which Govern Their Use, Further Notice of Proposed Rule
Making,
Docket 79-191, 46 F.R. 37927, 37931 ¶ 19 (1981).
42 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9567-68 ¶ 11. The 1982 agreement was a precursor agreement to the 1994
Protocol. See Agreement Between the United States of America Government and the Government of the United
Mexican States Concerning Land Mobile Service Along the Common Border (June 18, 1982). See also Amendment
of Part 90 of the Commission’s Rules to Release Spectrum in the 806-866 MHz Bands and Adopt Rules and
Regulations Which Govern Their Use, Second Report and Order, 90 FCC 2d 1281, 1318-19 ¶¶ 185-186 (1982).
43 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9568 ¶ 12.
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MHz band plan in the Amended Protocol provide new flexibility to eliminate offset channel centers.44
The Bureau also concluded that inefficiencies created by use of offset channels in the Sharing Zone
outweighed their benefit.45 Finally, the Bureau recognized that some licensees outside the Sharing Zone
in the five NPSCAC regions bordering Mexico also operate on offset channels, and the Fourth FNPRM
proposed to move those licensees to standard channel centers.46
17.
Commenting parties overwhelmingly support eliminating offset channels.47 The City of
San Diego states “[c]hannel offsets between the Sharing Zone and areas north of this zone have created
difficulties to licensing within the region as all frequencies are considered co-channel to two frequencies
in the adjacent areas.”48 The Border Area Licensees state that “use of offsets has been a source of
considerable confusion in licensing for decades.”49 Sprint states that “[w]hile this unique channel plan
served its purpose for many years, it also added a layer of complexity to spectrum planning and spectrum
use that can be eliminated through the new 800 MHz band allocation between the U.S. and Mexico.”50
18.
Only one commenting party supports retaining offset channels in the Sharing Zone. Peak
Relay states that “[t]he use of offset channels in the Sharing Zone [has] served to minimize at least a
major sub-set of the problems at very little cost … to licensees.”51 Nonetheless, Peak Relay
acknowledges that “the use of the offset channels in not an optimal solution, since for every channel there
are (sic) a total of 7 kilohertz of signal overlap between a ‘main channel’ and its two associated offset
channels.”52
19.
Decision. We eliminate offset channels in the Sharing Zone and adopt the post-rebanding
channel plan for the Sharing Zone described below using standard channel centers as proposed in the
Fourth FNPRM. We also eliminate offset channels outside the Sharing Zone in the five NPSPAC regions
bordering Mexico. Consequently, we instruct the TA to designate post-rebanding replacement channels
with standard channel centers for all licensees in the Sharing Zone and outside the Sharing Zone in the
five NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico.53


44 Id.
45 Id. at 9568 ¶ 13.
46 Id. at 9568 ¶ 14.
47 Comments of the City of San Diego, WT Docket 02-55 (filed Sep 27, 2012) at 2-3 (City of San Diego
Comments); Comments of Sprint Nextel Corporation, WT Docket 02-55 (filed Oct 1, 2012) at 4 (Sprint Comments);
Comments of the 800 MHz Public Safety Border Area Licensees, WT Docket 02-55 (filed Oct 2, 2012) at 7 (Border
Area Licensees Comments); Comments of the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, WT Docket 02-55 (filed Oct
15, 2012) at 3 (San Diego County Sheriff Comments).
48 City of San Diego Comments at 2.
49 Border Area Licensees Comments at 7.
50 Sprint Comments at 4.
51 Comments of Peak Relay, Inc., WT Docket 02-55 (filed Oct 10, 2012) at 6 (emphasis in original) (Peak Relay
Comments).
52 Id. at 8.
53 There are also a limited number of licensees that operate on channels with standard channel centers within the
Sharing Zone. We will retune these licensees if they are ineligible to operate on one or more of their current
frequencies under the revised band plan (e.g., if their current channel(s) falls in the ESMR band), if their current
(continued….)
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20.
The Bureau noted in the Fourth FNPRM that changes to the spectrum plan in the
Amended Protocol provide us with new flexibility to resolve spectrum congestion issues in Southern
California without needing to assign licensees to offset channels in the Sharing Zone.54 As described in
more detail below, we make maximum use in Los Angeles and Orange Counties of the 812.25-
818.5/857.25-863.5 MHz channels, which are newly established as primary to Mexico in the Sharing
Zone under the Amended Protocol. These channels are sparsely used in San Diego County but may be
used without restriction north of the Sharing Zone. In this manner, we can assign all licensees in
Southern California to channels with standard channel centers without creating co-channel conflicts.
21.
Moreover, we agree with commenting parties that describe how operation on offset
channels in the Sharing Zone results in inefficient use of spectrum.55 For example, Figure 1 above depicts
visually the bandwidth overlap that exists between an 800 MHz channel with a standard channel center
and an 800 MHz channel with a center frequency offset 12.5 kilohertz lower in frequency.56 Because of
this bandwidth overlap, the Bureau has always considered—for licensing purposes—that each “offset”
channel in the Sharing Zone has a co-channel relationship to both the upper and lower adjacent-standard
channel outside the Sharing Zone.57
22.
Consequently, each licensee operating today in the Sharing Zone on an offset channel
must maintain co-channel separation to (or obtain a concurrence letter from) licensees operating outside
the Sharing Zone on the standard channel above and below their offset channel.58 This scenario works in
reverse for licensees operating on standard channels near the edge of (but outside) the Sharing Zone.
Thus, licensees along the U.S.-Mexico border will benefit from our decision to eliminate offset channels
in the Sharing Zone because it will result in a more efficient harmonized channeling plan whereby
licensees need only maintain co-channel separation to incumbent licensees operating on the same
standard channel. Licensees also benefit from our decision to eliminate offset channels because they no
longer will need to program an additional set of “offset” or “standard” channels into their radios in order
to interoperate across the northern edge of the Sharing Zone as described by the Bureau in the Fourth
FNPRM
.59
(Continued from previous page)


channel(s) falls in the new Mexico primary allotment and the licensee’s current facilities fail to meet signal strength
restrictions at or beyond the border, or if one or more of their frequencies is needed to accommodate another
reconfiguring licensee.
54 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9568 ¶ 12. See also Amended Protocol at Appendix II.
55 See City of San Diego Comments at 2; Border Area Licensees Comments at 7 and Sprint Comments at 4.
56 The authorized bandwidth for an 800 MHz channel is 20 kHz. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.209(b)(5). Consequently, two
channels offset in frequency by 12.5 kHz as depicted in Figure 1 results in 7.5 kHz of authorized bandwidth overlap.
57 The channel plan in the NPSPAC segment of the band specifies 25 kHz bandwidth channels spaced every 12.5
kHz. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.613. Licensees operating in the NPSPAC segment of the band must, however, use
equipment which complies with a stricter emission mask than equipment approved to operate outside the NPSPAC
segment of the band. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.210. The stricter emission mask permits NPSPAC licensees to operate
adjacent-channels with less geographic separation.
58 Licensees must generally maintain a geographic separation of 113 kilometers from co-channel stations unless they
satisfy the technical criteria specified in the short-spacing separation table. See 47 C.F.R. §90.621(b). Applicants
may seek to operate at distances less than those specified in the short-spacing separation table provided they obtain a
concurrence letter from each short-spaced co-channel licensee. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.621(b)(5).
59 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9568 ¶ 13
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23.
We disagree with Peak Relay’s proposal to maintain offset channels in the Sharing Zone
to alleviate, at least in part, what it describes as the “seemingly-intractable” deficiency of channels in
Southern California.60 Peak Relay proposes maintaining offset channels in the Sharing Zone but
resolving the bandwidth overlap by establishing a schedule for “narrowbanding.”61 Narrowbanding 800
MHz licensees along the U.S.-Mexico border, however, would not only further complicate public safety
interoperability, it is an unnecessary measure because the flexibility afforded by the Amended Protocol
allows us to assign channels in Southern California in a manner which avoids co-channel conflicts.
24.
Finally, our decision to eliminate offset channels in the Sharing Zone and outside the
Sharing Zone in the five NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico creates no additional costs for incumbent
licensees because, as noted above, Sprint will pay the reasonable costs of retuning licensees from offset
channels to comparable facilities on channels with standard channel centers.62
2.

Channel Plan for Sharing Zone

25.
Background. In the Fourth FNPRM, the Bureau proposed a post-rebanding channel plan
for the Sharing Zone based upon the terms of the Amended Protocol.63 The Bureau proposed assigning
channels on U.S. primary spectrum in the lower segment of the band (806-812.25/851-857.25 MHz) to
the NPSPAC band, Public Safety Pool, and General Category.64 Channels on Mexico primary spectrum
in the middle segment of the band (812.25-818.5/857.25-863.5 MHz) would be assigned to the General
Category.65 Under the Bureau’s proposal, an ESMR-dividing line would be established at 818.5/863.5
MHz and U.S.-Mexico co-primary spectrum in the upper segment of the band (818.5-824/863.5-869
MHz) would be assigned to the SMR Pool for use by licensees operating high-density cellular systems.66
26.
Parties who commented on a channel plan for the Sharing Zone generally support the
Bureau’s proposal.67 The City of Laredo states that it supports the proposed channel plan because it
“accomplishes the primary goal of 800 MHz band reconfiguration -- eventual separation of public safety
and compatible non-cellular licensees from licensees that deploy cellularized technology in and adjacent
to the 800 MHz band.”68
27.
Peak Relay, however, expresses concern that no pool channels are allocated for the B/ILT
or SMR categories in the Sharing Zone and questions if the Bureau’s intent is to relocate licensees in
these categories to the 900 MHz band.69 Sprint suggests that the Bureau lower the ESMR-dividing line in


60 Peak Relay Comments at 8.
61 Id. at 12.
62 See supra ¶ 13.
63 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9568-69 ¶¶ 15-18.
64 Id. at 9568-69 ¶¶ 15-16.
65 Id. at 9569 ¶¶ 17.
66 Id. at 9569 ¶¶ 18.
67 San Diego County Sheriff Comments at 3-4; Border Area Licensees Comments at 7; Sprint Comments at 1; Reply
Comments of the City of Laredo, Texas, WT Docket 02-55 (filed Oct 10, 2012) at 2 (Laredo Reply Comments).
68 Laredo Reply Comments at 2.
69 Peak Relay Comments at 10.
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the Sharing Zone to 817/862 MHz to align it with the EMSR-dividing line north of the Sharing Zone.70
Under Sprint’s proposal, the Mexico primary channels above this line would be assigned to the ESMR
category rather than to the General Category.71
28.
Decision. For the Sharing Zone, we adopt the channel plan proposed in the Fourth
FNPRM with the adjustment to the ESMR-dividing line proposed by Sprint as depicted in Appendix C-4
(i.e., we set the ESMR-dividing line at 817/862 MHz).72 Furthermore, we emphasize that we will not
require any licensee in the Sharing Zone to relocate out of the 800 MHz band. All licensees will be
provided with comparable facilities on post-rebanding replacement channels within the band.
29.
Under the terms of the Amended Protocol, the 806-809/851-854 MHz band segment is
primary to licensees in the U.S.73 We therefore establish post-rebanding NPSPAC channels in this band
segment in the Sharing Zone consistent with the post-rebanding NPSPAC band throughout the rest of the
U.S.74 Thus, in the Sharing Zone, the NPSPAC band will consist of 225 channels (with 12.5 kHz
spacing) and five mutual aid channels (with 25 kHz spacing).75 Incumbent NPSPAC licensees in the
Sharing Zone will generally relocate to a spectral position 15 megahertz lower in frequency from their
current location in the band to the new NPSPAC band.76
30.
As proposed in the Fourth FNPRM,77 we also assign the 85 U.S. primary channels
immediately above the NPSPAC band to the Public Safety Pool.78 In this manner, the number of pool
channels available to public safety eligible entities will remain the same after band reconfiguration as
before band reconfiguration.79 Furthermore, as proposed in the Fourth FNRPRM,80 we assign the
remaining 45 channels in the U.S. primary band segment at 809-812.25/854-857.25 MHz to the General
Category. B/ILT and SMR licensees operating non-cellular systems will generally retune to these
channels.81 We assign these channels to the General Category rather than divide them between the B/ILT
and SMR Pool categories because the number of licensees in either category will vary along the border.
Therefore, the General Category provides the most flexibility to accommodate incumbent licensees and
allows licensees from any of the pool categories to add these channels to their systems for future use. In


70 Sprint Comments at 5-6.
71 Id.
72 See infra Appendix C-4.
73 See Amended Protocol at Appendix II.
74 See § 90.619(a)(5)(i) in Appendix D, infra.
75 Id.
76 Some repacking of NPSPAC licensees may be needed, including relocating certain licensees from pool channels,
if necessary, or to Mexico primary channels if the licensee is currently operating on Mexico primary NPSPAC
channels.
77 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569 ¶ 16.
78 See § 90.619(a)(5)(ii) in Appendix D, infra.
79 See infra Appendix C-4.
80 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569 ¶ 16.
81 See § 90.619(a)(5)(iii) in Appendix D, infra.
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addition, as requested by Sprint,82 we clarify that the TA may designate replacement channels for
licensees in the Sharing Zone on any of the 130 U.S. primary channels above the NPSPAC band without
regard to pool eligibility in order to accommodate individual licensee co-channel separation or combiner
channel spacing requirements.83
31.
We assign the first 190 channels in the Mexican primary segment of the band at 812.25-
818.5/857.25-863.5 MHz to the General Category and the remaining 60 channels to the SMR Pool.84 We
deviate from our original proposal to assign all these Mexico primary channels to the General Category85
in order to adjust the ESMR-dividing line as detailed below. Licensees in the Sharing Zone may operate
on these channels subject to the signal strength limits at and beyond the border allowed by the Amended
Protocol.86 Licensees operating today on Mexico primary channels in the Sharing Zone will retune to the
first 190 channels if there are no U.S. primary channels available to accommodate them.87
32.
Finally, we establish the ESMR-dividing line at 817/862 MHz and assign all channels
above this line to the SMR Pool for use by licensees operating high-density cellular systems including the
60 Mexico primary channels noted above as well as all the U.S.-Mexico co-primary channels.88 We
deviate from our original proposal, which was to draw the ESMR dividing line at 818.5/863.5 MHz,89 and
align the ESMR-dividing line in the Sharing Zone with the ESMR-dividing line for the majority of the
U.S. We make this change because Sprint has made the case that it can operate on Mexico primary
channels through “cooperative business agreements”90 with NII Holdings, Inc. and because we agree with
Sprint that only ESMR licensees should operate on the Mexico primary channels in the 817-818.5/862-
863.5 MHz band segment due to “the 800 MHz ESMR band channel allocation north of the Sharing
Zone.”91
3.

Channel Plan for NPSPAC Region 5 (Southern California)

33.
Background. In the Fourth FNPRM, the Bureau proposed a unique post-rebanding
channel plan for licensees operating north of the Sharing Zone in NPSPAC Region 5.92 The proposed


82 Sprint Comments at 5.
83 See supra n. 37. See also Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569 n. 33.
84 See §§ 90.619(a)(5)(iii) and (iv) in Appendix D, infra.
85 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569 ¶ 17.
86 See Amended Protocol at Article III, ¶ 4. See also supra n.18.
87 See San Diego County Sheriff Comments at 7.
88 See § 90.619(a)(5)(iv) in Appendix D, infra.
89 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569 ¶ 18.
90 Sprint Comments at 7.
91 Sprint Comments at 5-6.
92 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569-70 ¶¶ 19-23. NPSPAC Region 5 includes the following counties in
California: Imperial, Kern, Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Luis Obispo, Santa
Barbara, Ventura.
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Region 5 channel plan is identical to the post-rebanding channel plan used in non-border regions except
that there is no Expansion or Guard Band in the 815-817/860-862 MHz segment of the band.93
34.
The Bureau explained how Region 5 encompasses Southern California with the southern
portion of the region—approximately one-third of the region’s total geographic area—included in the
Sharing Zone while the remaining two-thirds of the region lies outside the Sharing Zone, including most
of Los Angeles and Orange Counties.94 Because Region 5 is the most congested public safety region
along the U.S.-Mexico border, the Bureau concluded that the Expansion and Guard Bands should be
eliminated to provide spectrum adequate to accommodate the large number of non-ESMR incumbents
operating within the region north of the Sharing Zone.95 The Bureau explained that its proposal
maximizes use outside the Sharing Zone in Region 5 of channels that are primary to Mexico inside the
Sharing Zone, thus avoiding co-channel conflicts within the region while accommodating all incumbent
licensees on post-rebanding replacement channels.96
35.
Sprint supports the proposed NPSPAC Region 5 channel plan. It states that elimination
of the Expansion and Guard Bands in areas north of the Sharing Zone in Region 5 “is necessary to ensure
that no U.S. incumbent licensee loses spectrum and to ensure that there is enough 800 MHz replacement
spectrum to implement 800 MHz reconfiguration, given the serious spectrum congestion in Southern
California.”97
36.
Several parties, however, oppose eliminating the Guard Band in Region 5.98 The Border
Area Licensees argue that since Sprint is converting to broadband technology “it is inappropriate at this
time to place commercial broadband services so close to public safety operations without actual evidence
that interference will not occur.”99 The Orange County Sheriff contends that a guard band is necessary
and “that receiving reconfigured channels in the 861-862 MHz segment is contrary to the frequency
isolation and spacing objectives of 800 MHz Reconfiguration Report and Order.”100 The Orange County


93 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569-70 ¶ 19. Public Safety licensees are generally retuned to channels below
the Expansion Band (815-816/860-861 MHz) unless they willingly chose to remain. See 800 MHz Report and
Order
, 19 FCC Rcd 15053 ¶ 154. Furthermore, no licensee may be involuntarily retuned to the Guard Band (816-
817/861-862 MHz) and any licensee choosing to relocate to the Guard Band must operate with increased minimum
median received power levels in order to be eligible for protection from unacceptable interference. See 800 MHz
Report and Order
, 19 FCC Rcd 15054-55 ¶¶ 157-158.
94 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569-70 ¶ 19. In NPSPAC Region 5, the Sharing Zone encompasses San Diego
and Imperial Counties, the southern portions of Orange and Riverside Counties and portions of Santa Catalina Island
and all of San Clemente Island, both of which are part of Los Angeles County. The remaining counties and portions
of counties in NPSPAC Region 5 are outside of the Sharing Zone.
95 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569-70 ¶ 19.
96 Id.
97 Sprint Comments at 2
98 Border Area Licensees at 7; Comments of Orange County Sheriff’s Department, WT Docket 02-55 (filed Oct 1,
2012) at 3 (Orange County Sheriff’s Comments); Reply Comments of Orange County Sheriff’s Department, WT
Docket 02-55 (filed Oct 15, 2012) at 1 (Orange County Sheriff’s Reply Comments).
99 Border Area Licensees at 11.
100 Orange County Sheriff’s Comments at 3.
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Sheriff also suggests that the Bureau consider moving ESMR operations higher in the band to
accommodate the large number of non-ESMR incumbents while still providing a guard band.101
37.
Decision. For licensees operating north of the Sharing Zone in NPSPAC Region 5, we
adopt the channel plan proposed in the Fourth FNPRM, which is depicted in Appendix C-5.102 We
decline to establish an Expansion or Guard Band in Region 5, but remind all ESMR licensees, including
Sprint, that the Commission’s rules strictly obligate all ESMR licensees to abate interference to non-
cellular licensees in the 800 MHz band.103 This interference abatement obligation applies regardless of
whether it restricts use of channels in the lower portion of the ESMR band.
38.
Under our channel plan, we establish post-rebanding NPSPAC channels in the 806-
809/851-854 MHz segment of the band consistent with the Sharing Zone and all other regions in the
U.S.104 NPSPAC licensees operating north of the Sharing Zone in Region 5 will generally relocate 15
megahertz lower in frequency from their current location in the band to the new NPSPAC band.105
39.
We assign the 320 channels above the new NPSPAC band in the 809-817/854-862 MHz
band segment to the General Category, Public Safety, B/ILT and SMR Pools consistent with the post-
rebanding channel plan for the rest of the U.S as we proposed in the Fourth FNPRM.106 All licensees
from these categories operating north of the Sharing Zone in Region 5 will relocate to these replacement
channels. Furthermore, we establish an ESMR dividing line at 817/862 MHz and assign the remaining
280 channels to the SMR Pool for use by licensees operating high-density cellular systems.107
40.
Because the 130 channels immediately above the NPSPAC band (809-812.25/854.0-
857.25 MHz) will likely be unavailable in the portion of Region 5 outside the Sharing Zone due to co-
channel spacing requirements necessary to accommodate intensive use by incumbent licensees inside the
Sharing Zone, we eliminate the Expansion and Guard Bands for licensees operating north of the Sharing
Zone in Region 5. As explained in the Fourth FNPRM,108 Region 5 licensees operating outside the
Sharing Zone have unrestricted access to channels designated as primary to Mexico in the Sharing Zone
(812.25-817/857.25-862 MHz).109 Consequently, by lifting restrictions on the TA’s ability to assign


101 Orange County Sheriff’s Reply Comments at 1-2.
102 See infra Appendix C-5.
103 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.673(a) (“Any licensee who, knowingly or unknowingly, directly or indirectly, causes or
contributes to causing unacceptable interference to a non-cellular licensee in the 800 MHz band, as defined in this
chapter, shall be strictly accountable to abate the interference, with full cooperation and utmost diligence, in the
shortest time practicable.”).
104 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9570 ¶ 20. See also 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(a)(1) (specifying channels available in
the NPSPAC band).
105 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9570 ¶ 20.
106 Id. at 9569 ¶ 19 and 9592, Appendix C-5. See also 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.615, 90.617(a), (b) and (d) (specifying
channels available in the General Category, Public Safety, B/ILT and SMR Pools) .
107 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9569 ¶ 19 and 9592, Appendix C-5. See also 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(e) (specifying
channels available in the SMR Pool for licensees operating high-density cellular systems).
108 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9570 ¶ 20.
109 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9570 ¶ 20. The minimum separation between co-channel systems is typically
113 kilometers unless licensees satisfy the requirements of a short-spacing table, in which case, co-channel systems
(continued….)
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licensees to replacement channels in the 815-817/860-862 MHz band segment we make additional
channel capacity available below the ESMR dividing line to compensate for the 130 channels that likely
will be unavailable.110
41.
Thus, under our decision, Region 5 public safety, B/ILT and non-cellular SMR licensees
north of the Sharing Zone will re-tune to replacement channels in the interleaved segment of the band
including channels in the 815-817/860-862 MHz segment of the band (Expansion and Guard Bands in
non-border regions). Furthermore, Region 5 public safety licensees currently operating in the 815-
816/860-861 MHz band segment (Expansion Band for non-border) will generally remain on these
channels rather than re-tune to channels lower in the band.
42.
Nonetheless, as explained in the Fourth FNPRM, Region 5 licensees assigned to
replacement channels in the 815-817/860-862 MHz band segment will receive full protection against
unacceptable interference from licensees operating cellular systems above 817/862 MHz.111 In addition,
licensees assigned channels in the 816-817/861-862 MHz band segment (the Guard Band in non-border
regions) will not be required to operate with increased median received power levels in order to qualify
for protection from unacceptable interference.112 Furthermore, we instruct the TA to designate
replacement channels in Region 5 in a manner which maximizes to the extent possible the spectral
separation between public safety licensees and the ESMR segment of the band.
43.
We acknowledge the concern expressed by some commenting parties about eliminating
the Guard Band in Region 5.113 We note, however, the Commission and the Bureau have consistently
taken similar action when establishing a post-rebanding channel plan for areas of the country where
spectrum congestion is an issue. For instance, the Commission eliminated the Guard Band and reduced
the Expansion Band to 0.5 MHz in the Atlanta, Georgia market in order to accommodate both Southern
LINC and Sprint in an expanded ESMR band.114 Furthermore, the Bureau eliminated both the Expansion
and Guard Bands along the entire Canada border stating “[b]ecause of the limited amount of U.S. primary
spectrum available in the Canadian border regions, we do not create an Expansion Band or Guard Band in
Regions 1-6.”115

44.
The same approach we took along the Canada border is essential here if we are to
accommodate all licensees in Region 5 with comparable spectrum within the band. As noted above, we
will only be able to provide all non-ESMR licensees in the region with comparable facilities on
(Continued from previous page)


may be spaced as close as 88 kilometers. Furthermore, some mountain top sites in Southern California require a
greater co-channel separation than 113 kilometers. See 47 C.F.R. § 90.621(b).
110 We note that certain licensees operating north of the Sharing Zone in NPSPAC Region 5, which would otherwise
not need to reband under the standard non-border Band Plan, will be required to retune to channels higher in the
band in order to clear channels for licensees located in the Sharing Zone.
111 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9570 ¶ 22. See also 47 C.F.R. § 90.672.
112 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9570 ¶ 22. See also 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(k).
113 Border Area Licensees at 7; Orange County Sheriff’s Comments at 3; Orange County Sheriff’s Reply Comments
at 1.
114 See Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Memorandum Opinion and Order, WT
Docket No. 02-55, 20 FCC Rcd 16035-36 ¶¶ 46-48 (WTB 2005).
115 See Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Second Report and Order, WT Docket 02-
55, 23 FCC Rcd 7605, 7613 ¶18 (PSHSB 2008).
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replacement channels below the ESMR line at 817/862 MHz by lifting restrictions on the TA’s ability to
designate replacement channels for licensees in the 815-817/860-862 MHz band segment (the Expansion
and Guard Bands in the non-border areas). Absent the lifting of these restrictions, we would be unable to
accommodate all Region 5 non-ESMR incumbent licensees below the ESMR line.
45.
Finally, we continue to place strict responsibility on Sprint to manage its network in a
manner that avoids causing unacceptable interference to licensees operating below the ESMR line in
Region 5 despite the absence of an Expansion and Guard Band.116 Sprint may have to avoid using
spectrum at the lower end of the ESMR band in Region 5 in order to fulfill its network management
responsibility, thus creating a de facto guard band.117 We decline, however, to move the ESMR line
higher in the band to create a Guard Band above 817/862 MHz as suggested by the Orange County
Sheriff.118 When presented with a similar proposal for the Canada border, the Bureau stated that
“mandating a de lege guard band [] by moving the ESMR line … would run contrary to the 800 MHz
Second Report and Order
and would represent an unnecessary and inefficient use of spectrum in an area
in which U.S. spectrum is scarce.”119 We come to the same conclusion here.
4.

Channel Plan for Remaining Border-Area NPSPAC Regions

46.
Background. For the four remaining NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico other than
Region 5, the Fourth FNPRM proposed the standard post-rebanding channel plan for licensees operating
north of the Sharing Zone.120 The proposed channel plan would be identical to the channel plan used by
licensees in all non-border regions and would include both an Expansion Band and Guard Band.121 The
Bureau stated that the standard channel plan could accommodate all licensees north of the Sharing Zone
in these four regions because, unlike Region 5, these regions are not as heavily congested.122
47.
No commenting party opposes adoption of the standard post-rebanding channel plan for
licensees operating north of the Sharing Zone in the remaining NPSPAC regions. Sprint states that for
these regions it “does not oppose retention of the 800 MHz Expansion Band and 800 MHz Guard Band in
the non-Sharing Zone.”123 Nonetheless, Sprint suggests that public safety licensees no longer be
presumptively relocated from the Expansion Band and, instead, would require each such licensee to make
an “affirmative election” if it chooses to be retuned out of the Expansion Band.124
48.
The Border Area Licensees, however, oppose Sprint’s proposal because they believe
band reconfiguration could be complicated in these regions if the TA “assumes that such licensees are not


116 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.672.
117 See e.g. County of Genesee, New York and Sprint Nextel Corp., Memorandum Opinion and Order, WT Docket
No. 02-55, 26 FCC Rcd 12772, 12781 ¶ 31 (PSHSB 2011) (Genesee County MO&O).
118 Orange County Sheriff’s Reply Comments at 1-2.
119 Genesee County MO&O, 26 FCC Rcd 12781 ¶ 31.
120 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9571 ¶ 24.
121 Id.
122 Id.
123 Sprint Comments at 3.
124 Id.
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moving” and makes no accommodation in frequency assignments for public safety licensees who chose to
relocate from the Expansion Band.125
49.
Decision. We adopt the standard post-rebanding channel plan for licensees operating
north of the Sharing Zone in NPSPAC Regions 3 (Arizona), 29 (New Mexico), 50 (Texas – El Paso) and
53 (Texas – San Antonio) as depicted in Appendix C-6.126 We decline to adopt Sprint’s suggestion for
the Expansion Band and will continue to presume that public safety licensees will relocate out of the
Expansion Band unless they affirmatively choose to remain.
50.
We establish post-rebanding NPSPAC channels in the 806-809/851-854 MHz segment of
the band.127 NPSPAC licensees operating north of the Sharing Zone in these regions will generally
relocate 15 megahertz lower in frequency from their current location in the band to the new NPSPAC
band.
51.
As with all non-border regions, and as proposed in the Fourth NPRM, we assign the 320
channels above the new NPSPAC band in the 809-817/854-862 MHz band segment to the General
Category, Public Safety, B/ILT and SMR Pools.128 All non-ESMR licensees from these categories
operating north of the Sharing Zone will relocate to these replacement channels.129 We establish the
Expansion Band in the 815-816/860-861 MHz band segment. As noted above, public safety licensees
operating in the Expansion Band will re-tune to channels lower in the band unless they affirmatively
choose to remain. We see no reason to change our policy regarding Expansion Band elections as
suggested by Sprint and believe such a change as this stage of the band reconfiguration program would
only create confusion for licensees who occupy the Expansion Band. Furthermore, we find Sprint’s
proposal an untimely petition for reconsideration of the 800 MHz Report and Order, which established
the policy of relocating public safety licensees out of the Expansion Band unless they affirmatively elect
to remain.130
52.
As proposed, we establish the Guard Band in the 816-817/861-862 MHz band segment.
As with all non-border regions, no licensee will be involuntarily retuned to the Guard Band and any
licensee choosing to relocate to the Guard Band must operate with increased minimum median received
power levels in order to be eligible for protection from unacceptable interference.131 Finally, as proposed,
we establish the ESMR dividing line at 817/862 MHz and assign the remaining 280 channels to the SMR
Pool for use by licensees operating high-density cellular systems.132


125 Border Area Licensees Reply Comments at 2.
126 See infra Appendix C-6.
127 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(a)(1).
128 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9571 ¶ 24 and 9593, Appendix C-6. See also 47 C.F.R. §§ 90.615, 90.617(a),
(b) and (d) (specifying channels available in the General Category, Public Safety, B/ILT and SMR Pools).
129 As with NPSPAC Region 5, certain licensees in these regions operating north of the Sharing Zone, which would
otherwise not need to reband, will be required to retune to channels higher in the band in order to clear channels for
licensees located in the Sharing Zone. See supra n. 110.
130 800 MHz Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 15053 ¶ 154.
131 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(k).
132 See 47 C.F.R. § 90.617(e).
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B.

Implementation Issues

53.
We now turn to the sequencing and timing of rebanding activity along the U.S.-Mexico
border. The TA will designate replacement channels for licensees that must retune their systems
according to the channel plans we adopt here.133 As proposed, the transition period for rebanding along
the U.S.-Mexico border will begin 60 days after the effective date of this Fifth Report and Order.134
During the transition period, licensees will develop their reconfiguration plans, negotiate Frequency
Reconfiguration Agreements (FRAs) with Sprint, and complete the rebanding process.
54.
Rebanding in the NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico will proceed in stages and require
close coordination with Mexican operators that must relocate under the Amended Protocol. In the Fourth
FNPRM
, the Bureau proposed a 30-month transition period for licensees along the border with Mexico to
complete the rebanding process.135 While Sprint supports this proposal, other commenters disagree and
suggest that a longer transition period is needed due to particular challenges associated with rebanding in
the border region.136 As discussed in more detail below, we believe that these challenges can be
addressed within a 30-month transition period, but we will also evaluate progress as of the 18th month of
the transition period to determine whether additional time is needed based upon circumstances beyond
licensees’ control.
55.
We direct the TA to develop and submit, within 60 days of the effective date of this Fifth
Report and Order, a detailed reconfiguration timetable with milestones for completion of each stage of
the reconfiguration process. This timetable should take into account variations in licensee characteristics,
band plans, and other relevant factors. The timetable should enumerate the specific steps required in each
NPSPAC region to implement both Stage 1 relocation of non-NPSPAC licensees and Stage 2 relocation
of NPSPAC licensees.
1.

Planning, Negotiation and Mediation

56.
Background. The Bureau proposed an expedited timeline in the Fourth FNPRM for
licensees to complete planning, negotiation, and, if necessary, mediation.137 The Bureau stated that the
experience gained in rebanding non-border regions and the Canada border region has enabled it and the
TA to develop more efficient procedures for licensees to obtain planning funding, conduct planning,


133 The TA will also provide replacement frequency assignments to those licensees adjacent to the Sharing Zone that
have not previously been assigned frequencies due to their proximity to the Sharing Zone. For purposes of planning,
negotiation, and implementation, these licensees are subject to the same rebanding deadlines set forth in this order
that apply to licensees within the Sharing Zone.
134 The Bureau will release a public notice announcing the official kick-off date. Furthermore, the filing freeze on
new applications along the U.S.-Mexico border will remain in effect until the Bureau establishes a timeline for band
reconfiguration and announces a date by which it can again begin accepting new applications. See Public Safety and
Homeland Security Bureau Extends Voluntary 800 MHz Rebanding Negotiation Period for Wave 4 Border Area
NPSPAC and Non-NPSPAC Licensees Along the U.S.-Mexico Border Pending Establishment of Negotiation
Timetable, Public Notice, 27 FCC Rcd 7312 (2012).
135 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9571 ¶ 25.
136 See Comments of Raymond L. Grimes, Telecommunications Consultant, WT Docket 02-55 (filed Sep 26, 2012)
at 4 (Raymond Grimes Comments); Border Area Licensees Comments at 12-13; San Diego County Sheriff
Comments at 5-6; Laredo Reply Comments at 2-3; Orange County Sheriff’s Reply Comments at 2.
137 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9571 ¶ 26.
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prepare cost estimates, and negotiate an FRA.138 Consequently, the Bureau proposed requiring licensees
to complete planning and submit a cost estimate to Sprint within 90 to 110 days139 after which the parties
would have 30 days to negotiate an FRA.140
57.
Several commenting parties express concern over the expedited timeline for planning,
negotiation and mediation proposed by the Bureau.141 The City of San Diego states that “[t]he change
from offset to non-offset frequencies and the possibility of multiple frequency exchanges due to the multi-
step approach brings additional challenges to the City’s planning.”142 Therefore, the City of San Diego
proposes “a period of at least 150 days” for planning and negotiating.143 The Border Area Licensees
opine that “the need for multiple retunes by some licensees” and “the size and complexity of 800 MHz
systems in the Southwest” warrant “extending the planning deadlines by two months.”144 Sprint,
however, supports the Bureau’s proposal for rapid planning and negotiating.145 Sprint argues that “[a]n
up-front blanket adjustment for additional time to perform basic aspects of reconfiguration … should not
be granted prior to even starting band reconfiguration.”146
58.
Decision. We adopt the expedited timeline proposed in the Fourth FNPRM for planning,
negotiation, and mediation periods. We believe many of the activities required for planning, such as
equipment inventory, are not affected by the need for licensees to transition from offset to standard
channels or to perform multi-step retunes and can, therefore, be accomplished within the expedited
timeframe proposed in the Fourth FNPRM. Thus, we agree with Sprint that it is more appropriate to
adopt the expedited timeline for planning, negotiation and mediation rather than extend deadlines for all
licensees including those who need no additional time. As discussed in more detail below, licensees such
as the City of San Diego and the Border Area Licensees that operate complex systems may seek an
extension of planning time from the Bureau if the need arises and good cause is shown.147 The Bureau,
through the TA, will monitor each licensee’s progress during the planning, negotiation and mediation
phases. Furthermore, licensees should promptly respond to TA communications and requests for
information throughout the reconfiguration process.
59.
Consequently, as discussed in the Fourth FNPRM,148 within 60 days of the effective date
of this Fifth Report and Order each border area licensee that intends to negotiate a Planning Funding
Agreement (PFA) with Sprint must submit a Request for Planning Funding (RFPF) to Sprint, after which


138 Id.
139 The time by which licensees must complete planning and submit a cost estimate to Sprint varies from 90-110
days as a function of the number of radios in the licensee’s system. See infra ¶ 61.
140 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9571-72 ¶¶ 29-30.
141 City of San Diego Comments at 4; Border Area Licensees Comments at 13; San Diego County Sheriff
Comments at 4-5; Orange County Sheriff’s Reply Comments at 2.
142 City of San Diego Comments at 4.
143 Id.
144 Border Area Licensees Comments at 12-13.
145 Sprint Comments at 6.
146 Sprint Reply Comments at 6.
147 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.3.
148 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9571 ¶ 27.
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the parties will have 30 days from the date of submittal of the RFPF to negotiate a PFA.149 Some
licensees with already-negotiated PFAs may need to amend them to complete the planning process after
the channel plan for the U.S.-Mexico border becomes effective. In this instance, licensees must submit a
Change Notice within 60 days of the effective date of this Fifth Report and Order, after which the parties
will have 30 days from the date of submittal of the Change Notice to negotiate a PFA Amendment.
60.
PFA and PFA Amendment negotiations will be monitored by a TA mediator, but without
instituting mediation. If, however, parties are unable to negotiate a PFA or PFA Amendment within the
30 days noted above, the parties must participate in mediation for 20 working days.150 If mediation is
unsuccessful, at the end of the 20-day mediation period the TA mediator will refer disputed issues to the
Bureau for de novo review within 10 days after the close of the mediation period.
61.
Upon TA approval of a PFA or PFA Amendment (or an equivalent starting date
designated by the TA in its reconfiguration timetable for licensees without a PFA), the licensee must
complete planning and submit a cost estimate to Sprint within 90 to 110 days, depending on the number
of mobile/portable radio units in the licensee’s system. Licensees with up to 5,000 units will have 90
days to complete planning and submit a cost estimate. Licensees with 5,001-10,000 units will have 100
days to complete planning and submit a cost estimate. Finally, licensees with more than 10,000 units will
have 110 days to complete planning and submit a cost estimate. If the TA has not designated replacement
channels for a licensee by the date the TA approves its PFA or PFA Amendment (or the planning starting
date designated by the TA for licensees without a PFA), the 90 to 110 day planning period will run from
the date the licensee receives its replacement channel assignments. A licensee may petition the Bureau
for additional time for planning, but any such petition must (a) explain why more time is necessary, (b)
demonstrate that the licensee has exercised diligence in the time already allotted (e.g., commencing
planning promptly after TA approval of its PFA, promptly reviewing statements of work prepared by its
vendors, and completing planning tasks on schedule), and (c) set a firm schedule for planning completion.
62.
Following the completion of planning and a licensee’s submission of a cost estimate to
Sprint, parties will have 30 days to negotiate an FRA. A TA mediator will monitor the negotiations but
mediation will not begin. If, however, parties are unable to negotiate an FRA within 30 days, they must
participate in mediation for 20 working days.151 If mediation is unsuccessful, at the end of the 20-day
mediation period, the TA mediator will refer disputed issues to the Bureau for de novo review within 10
days after the close of the mediation period.152



149 Licensees are encouraged to begin preparing for reconfiguration prior to the start of the transition period and
need not wait until the deadline to submit an RFPF. Licensees can undertake the following activities prior to
receiving proposed replacement frequencies from the TA: submitting a Point of Contact Form to the TA, reviewing
and updating their license information in the Universal Licensing System (ULS) database, identifying and contacting
vendors to assist with reconfiguration, conducting subscriber unit inventory, conducting infrastructure inventory,
engaging in non-frequency-specific engineering and implementation planning, and defining their interoperability
environment. If licensees require funding to conduct early planning activities, they should submit an RFPF and
negotiate a PFA with Sprint. Licensees may submit an RFPF prior to receiving proposed replacement frequencies
from the TA. Additional information about these activities is available on the TA’s website
(http://www.800TA.org) and in the TA’s Reconfiguration Handbook, which is available at
http://www.800ta.org/content/resources/Reconfiguration_Handbook.pdf.
150 The TA will specify the beginning of the 20-day mediation period.
151 Id.
152 We note that even with this expedited timeline, a licensee with more than 10,000 mobile/portable units will have
110 days to complete planning and an additional 30 days to negotiate an FRA with Sprint. Therefore, the total time
(continued….)
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63.
As proposed in the Fourth FNPRM,153 any licensee along the U.S.-Mexico border
seeking a system upgrade (whereby the licensee upgrades its system, Sprint pays the licensee the lesser of
the amount that it otherwise would have paid for rebanding to comparable facilities or the cost of the
upgrade, and the licensee pays the additional cost of the upgraded system from its own funds) should
notify the TA and Sprint, in writing, no later than the due date for submission of the licensee’s cost
estimate. The notice must describe the nature of the proposed upgrade, the cost, the source of funds, and
the implementation schedule. If a licensee negotiates with Sprint for an upgrade, the TA will review the
upgrade proposal pursuant to its upgrade policy, giving it close scrutiny to determine, inter alia, that the
upgrade will not lengthen the licensee’s rebanding schedule and that any incremental funding needed to
accomplish the upgrade is demonstrably available. The upgrade proposal is subject to TA approval.
Licensees contemplating an upgrade should consult the TA’s upgrade policy.154
2.

Rebanding Implementation Timetable

64.
Background. The Bureau noted in the Fourth FNPRM that—after planning, negotiation,
and, if necessary, mediation—licensees along the U.S.-Mexico border would have approximately 22 to 23
months to implement retuning of their systems to replacement channels designated by the TA within the
30-month transition timetable the Bureau proposed.155 The Bureau sought comment on its proposed
implementation timetable and requested any commenting party proposing a longer period of time to
specify the particular circumstances along the U.S.-Mexico border that warrant a longer period of time for
implementation.156
65.
The majority of commenting parties believe a 30-month transition timetable is overly
optimistic.157 The Border Area Licensees suggest the relocation deadline should be extended six months
due to “the additional difficulties” facing licensees in the Sharing Zone including “the need for
coordination amongst Southwest licensees (who goes first?) as well as the need to wait for Mexican
licensees to reconfigure.”158 The San Diego County Sheriff foresees delays caused by the requirement
that some licensees “amend leases for radio sites that are not owned by the licensee in order to revise the
frequencies listed” and notes that sites belonging to the Department of Defense require a “lengthy
frequency study process.”159 Raymond Grimes posits there may be significant delay in either lining up
qualified service providers to perform work or obtaining replacement equipment due to the large number
of incumbent licensees who will be “suddenly competing for available services and products.”160
(Continued from previous page)


for a licensee of this size to complete planning and negotiate an FRA is 140 days which is only 10 days less than the
150 day time period suggested by the City of San Diego. See City of San Diego Comments at 4.
153 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9572 ¶ 31.
154 The TA’s upgrade policy is available in the TA’s Reconfiguration Handbook. See Reconfiguration Handbook
release 4.0 (Jan. 19, 2011), at 81-84, available at
http://www.800ta.org/content/resources/Reconfiguration_Handbook.pdf.
155 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9572 ¶ 32.
156 Id.
157 Raymond Grimes Comments at 4; Border Area Licensees Comments at 12-13; San Diego County Sheriff
Comments at 5-6; Laredo Reply Comments at 2-3; Orange County Sheriff’s Reply Comments at 2.
158 Border Area Licensees Comments at 12-13.
159 San Diego County Sheriff Comments at 5-6.
160 Raymond Grimes Comments at 4.
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66.
Sprint, however, supports the Bureau’s 30-month timeline, arguing that any licensee
needing additional time to complete a given activity has “the opportunity to demonstrate to the Bureau on
a specific case-by-case basis why additional time is warranted, why the baseline time was not enough to
accomplish the task required and, most importantly, what steps the licensee has taken in the time it had
and would take to reach completion if any extension is granted.”161
67.
Decision. We adopt our proposed 30-month implementation timetable for licensees to
complete band reconfiguration along the border with Mexico, but modify our proposal to allow for future
re-evaluation of the timetable as rebanding progresses. We believe that a 30-month timetable strikes the
proper balance between providing licensees with sufficient time to implement rebanding while
establishing a baseline deadline for timely completion of the program. However, as noted above,
rebanding on the U.S. side of the border will need to be coordinated with relocations by Mexican
licensees to ensure an orderly transition.162 It is our expectation that Mexican licensees will relocate in a
timely manner, in light of U.S.-Mexico agreement in the Amended Protocol and the commitments made
by Sprint and NII to pay the reasonable costs of such relocations. Nonetheless, because we cannot be
certain of the timing of Mexican relocations, we will analyze the progress of rebanding no later than the
18th month of the transition to determine whether additional time is needed. In addition, as we have in
the non-border regions and the Canadian Border Region, we will entertain requests for waiver from
licensees that are unable to complete rebanding within the transition period based on the particulars of
their individual situation.
3.

Stages and Steps for Completing Rebanding

68.
Background. The Bureau proposed a two-stage approach to rebanding along the U.S.-
Mexico border in the Fourth FNPRM.163 The Bureau explained that the two-stage approach would entail
B/ILT, non-cellular SMR, and public safety licenses on pool channels retuning during Stage 1 while
NPSPAC licensees would retune during Stage 2.164 In proposing a staged approach, the Bureau noted that
some U.S. licensees along the U.S.-Mexico border may have to retune their frequencies twice in order to
complete the rebanding process because of the need to coordinate frequency re-tunes with incumbents in
Mexico and to clear the 130 pool channels immediately above the new NPSPAC band within the Sharing
Zone.165
69.
No commenting party specifically addressed the steps detailed by the Bureau in the
Fourth FNPRM for completing rebanding in NPSPAC regions bordering Mexico. Raymond Grimes,
however, notes that some U.S. licensees could experience delays in implementation if licensees in Mexico
fail to vacate channels in a timely manner.166
70.
Decision. We adopt the two-stage approach to rebanding proposed in the Fourth
FNPRM.167 Below we detail the steps which will take place in each stage for licensees in the Sharing


161 Sprint Reply Comments at 6.
162 See supra ¶ 5.
163 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9573 ¶ 33.
164 Id.
165 Id.
166 Raymond Grimes Comments at 5-6.
167 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9573 ¶ 33.
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Zone as well as licensees operating north of the Sharing Zone in each NPSPAC region.168 The Bureau
will monitor the progress of frequency retunes in Mexico through the 800 MHz Task Force to ensure that,
when necessary, incumbent operators in Mexico vacate channels before U.S. licensees in the Sharing
Zone retune to channels currently occupied in Mexico. Furthermore, the Bureau will work with the TA to
minimize disruption to all licensees who reband. Nonetheless, as noted in the Fourth FNPRM,169 some
licensees may need to re-tune their frequencies twice during the rebanding process.170 Sprint is obligated
to pay the reasonable cost of any licensee undergoing multiple retunes.
71.
Licensees are expected to participate in meetings held by the TA regarding
reconfiguration in their region, including attending an Implementation Planning Session (IPS).
a.

Sharing Zone

72.
Transition to the post-rebanding channel plan in the Sharing Zone will require close
coordination with licensees in Mexico and among U.S. licensees. When U.S. licensees in non-border
regions implement rebanding, they typically retune to replacement channels vacated by Sprint. In the
Sharing Zone, however, some licensees will be able to retune to replacement channels only after one or
more Mexican licensees have vacated channels on the Mexican side of the border. Also, licensees
converting from offset to standard channels may have to wait for clearing by more than one licensee on
the U.S. side of the border.171 In many cases, the vacating licensee will be Sprint or Sprint’s roaming
partner in Mexico—NII Holdings, Inc. Below we detail the steps we envision will need to occur in
Stages 1 and 2 within the Sharing Zone in order to transition to our proposed channel plan.172 The band
segments we refer to in our description are depicted below in Figure 2.


168 The process in the description is divided into geographical regions, however, in practice the processes will have
to be coordinated across the noted regions. For instance, certain licensees in the Los Angeles and Orange County
area will have to clear frequencies in the 854.0 to 857.25 MHz range before licensees in the San Diego area can
move onto replacement frequencies in the Sharing Zone in that range. Certain steps will also be concurrent across
NPSPAC regions. For instance Step 1A in the Sharing Zone should be done at the same time as Steps 1A, 1B and
1C in areas north of the Sharing Zone across all NPSPAC regions.
169 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9573 ¶ 33.
170 This would be similar to Public Safety licensees in other regions that had to first clear channels 1-120 and then
clear NPSPAC frequencies in a subsequent move.
171 To make available one replacement standard channel in the Sharing Zone, two offset channels must be cleared.
For instance, for 856.1125 MHz to become available, it may be necessary to first clear offset channels 856.1000
MHz and 856.1250 MHz.
172 See infra Appendix C-4.
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Figure 2 - Band Plan for Sharing Zone

Pre-Rebanding Band Plan
806 MHz
809 MHz
811 MHz 812.25 MHz
817 MHz
821 MHz
824 MHz
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies
816 MHz
Mexico Primary
U.S. Primary
U.S. / Mexico
U.S. / Mex.
5 MHz x 5 MHz
5 MHz x 5 MHz
Interleaved Channels
Alternating Blocks
5 MHz x 5 MHz
3 MHz x 3 MHz
861 MHz
Base Station Transmit Frequencies
A
B
C
D
E
F
851 MHz
854 MHz
856 MHz 857.25 MHz
862 MHz
866 MHz
869 MHz
Post-Rebanding Band Plan
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies
806 MHz
812.25 MHz
818.5 MHz
824 MHz
U.S. Primary
Mexico Primary
U.S. – Mexico
6.25 MHz x 6.25 MHz
6.25 MHz x 6.25 MHz
Co-Primary
5.5 MHz x 5.5 MHz
851 MHz
857.25 MHz
863.5 MHz
869 MHz
Base Station Transmit Frequencies

Stage 1 – Non-NPSPAC Licensees in Sharing Zone

·
Step 1A: Mexican licensees (other than NII Holdings, Inc.) in band segments A and B,
above, retune to replacement channels in band segment D vacated by Sprint and NII
Holdings, Inc.173 Sprint and NII Holdings, Inc. may temporarily backfill the channels
vacated in band segments A and B until they are needed for Step 1B.174
·
Step 1B: B/ILT, non-cellular SMR, and public safety licensees in band segment C
retune from offset channels to replacement channels with standard channel centers in


173 As noted above, some Mexican licensees may relocate out of the 800 MHz band rather than to replacement
channels in the 800 MHz band. See supra n.20.
174 By backfill, we mean Sprint or Nextel Mexico will temporarily operate on a channel vacated by a licensee
retuning to a replacement channel. Backfilling is necessary in order for Sprint and Nextel Mexico to maintain
capacity during the transition.
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band segments B and C vacated by Sprint, NII Holdings, Inc., and other Mexican
licensees relocated as part of Step 1A.175
·
Step 1C: B/ILT, non-cellular SMR, and public safety licensees in band segments D and
E retune to replacement channels in band segments B and C vacated by Sprint, NII
Holdings, Inc., and licensees retuning under Step 1B.176 Licensees retune from offset
channels to replacement channels with standard channel centers. Sprint and NII
Holdings, Inc. may backfill the channels vacated in band segments D and E.
·
Step 2A: Additional Mexican licensees (other than NII Holdings, Inc.) in band
segments A and B retune to replacement channels in band segment D vacated by U.S.
licensees in Step 1C.
·
Step 2B: Additional B/ILT, non-cellular SMR, and public safety licensees in band
segment C retune from “offset” channels to replacement channels with standard channel
centers in band segments B and C vacated by Sprint, NII Holdings, Inc., and other
Mexican licensees relocated as part of Step 2A.
·
Step 2C: Additional B/ILT, non-cellular SMR, and public safety licensees in band
segments D and E retune to replacement channels in band segments B and C vacated by
Sprint, NII Holdings, Inc., and licensees retuning under Step 2B. Licensees retune from
offset channels to replacement channels with standard channel centers.177 Sprint and
NII Holdings, Inc. may backfill the channels vacated in band segments D and E.

Stage 2 –- NPSPAC Licensees in Sharing Zone

·
Step 1: NPSPAC licensees in band segment F retune 15 megahertz lower in frequency
to replacement channels in band segment A vacated by Sprint and NII Holdings, Inc.
Sprint and NII Holdings, Inc. backfill the channels vacated in band segment F. Some
repacking of NPSPAC licensees in band segment A may be necessary, including
relocating certain licensees to pool frequencies in segments B and C, if necessary, or to
Mexico primary channels if the licensee is currently operating on Mexico primary
channels.
·
Step 2: Any remaining Sprint and NII Holdings, Inc. stations in band segments A, B, C
or D retune to replacement channels in band segments E and F.


175 It will also be necessary to clear any blocking U.S. licensees north of the Sharing Zone currently occupying one
of the 130 pool channels in segments B and C prior to undertaking Steps 1B and 1C. To the extent a licensee with
frequencies in segment C also has frequencies in segments D and E, all their frequencies may be reconfigured at the
same time if the replacement frequencies for the segments D and E frequencies are cleared and available.
176 Many Sharing Zone licensees will have frequencies involved in both Steps 1B and 1C, as well as 2A and 2B.
Some licensees with frequencies in band segment C, which must retune as part of Step 1B, may have to move to an
intermediate offset channel in another band segment temporarily in order to clear segment C, and then retune to their
final non-offset channel as part of Step 1C.
177 We anticipate that this will have to be a closely coordinated implementation process that may require licensee-
by-licensee, and possibly frequency-by-frequency, implementation management. To the extent Steps 2A through
2C do not fully clear Sharing Zone band segments C and D, additional cycles may be necessary.
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b.

NPSPAC Region 5 (Outside the Sharing Zone)

73.
As proposed in the Fourth FNPRM, below we detail the steps during Stages 1 and 2 for
transition of Region 5 licensees operating outside the Sharing Zone.178 The band segments we refer to in
our description are depicted below in Figure 3.

Figure 3 – Band Plan for NPSPAC Region 5 North of Sharing Zone

Pre-Rebanding Band Plan
806 MHz
809 MHz
812.25 MHz
816 MHz 817 MHz
821 MHz
824 MHz
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies
NPSPAC
General
Interleaved
ESMR
(Public
Category
Spectrum
(Upper 200)
Safety)
Base Station Transmit Frequencies
A
B
C
D
E
F
851 MHz
854 MHz
857.25 MHz
861 MHz 862 MHz
866 MHz
869 MHz
Post-Rebanding Band Plan
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies
806 MHz
809 MHz
817 MHz
824 MHz
NPSPAC
Public Safety
(Public
B/ILT
ESMR
Safety)
Non-Cellular SMR
851 MHz
854 MHz
862 MHz
869 MHz
Base Station Transmit Frequencies

Stage 1 – Non-NPSPAC Licensees in Region 5 Outside the Sharing Zone179

·
Step 1A: B/ILT, non-cellular SMR, and Public Safety licensees in band segment B
retune to replacement channels in band segments C and D vacated by Sprint. Band
segment D will only be used for Public Safety licensees if there are no available
replacement frequencies in band segment C. The number of licensees that relocate in


178 See infra Appendix C-5.
179 Licensees in Region 5 outside the Sharing Zone will perform Steps 1A, 1B, and 1C concurrently to the extent
feasible, depending on the availability of replacement channels and completion of FRA negotiations. We may also
request licensees to voluntarily concur with temporary co-channel short spacing pursuant to Section 90.621(b)(5) of
our rules in order to expedite implementation.
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this step will be determined by the need for segment B channels in the Sharing Zone.
Sprint may temporarily backfill the channels vacated in band segment B.
·
Step 1B: B/ILT and non-cellular SMR licensees in band segment A retune to
replacement channels in band segments C and D vacated by Sprint. Sprint may
temporarily backfill the channels vacated in band segment A.
·
Step 1C: Public safety licensees in band segment A generally retune to replacement
channels in band segment C. Sprint may temporarily backfill the channels vacated in
band segment A.180

Stage 2 –- NPSPAC Licensees in Region 5 Outside the Sharing Zone

·
Step 1: NPSPAC licensees in band segment F retune 15 megahertz lower in frequency to
replacement channels in band segment A vacated by Sprint. Sprint backfills channels
vacated in band segment F.
·
Step 2: Any remaining Sprint stations in band segments A, B, C or D retune to
replacement channels in band segment F.
c.

Remaining Mexican Border NPSPAC Regions (Outside the Sharing
Zone)

74.
As we proposed, in the remaining NPSPAC regions that border Mexico, we implement
the standard post-rebanding channel plan for licensees located outside the Sharing Zone.181 In these
regions, the rebanding implementation steps will be generally consistent with those described above for
Region 5 outside the Sharing Zone. In these regions, however, Mexico stations will not be a factor, and
licensees will retune to replacement channels vacated by Sprint or that are otherwise unoccupied. Below
we detail the proposed steps during Stages 1 and 2 for transition of these licensees. The band segments
we refer to in our description are depicted below in Figure 4.


180 Licensees in the northernmost parts of Region 5, such as those in Kern or San Louis Obispo Counties, may also
be reconfigured into band segment B.
181 See infra Appendix C-6.
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Figure 4 – Band Plan for NPSPAC Regions 3, 29, 50 and 53 North of Sharing Zone

Pre-Rebanding Band Plan
806 MHz
809 MHz
812.25 MHz
815 MHz 816 MHz
821 MHz
824 MHz
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies
NPSPAC
General
Interleaved
ESMR
(Public
Category
Spectrum
(Upper 200)
Safety)
Base Station Transmit Frequencies
A
B
C
D
E
F
851 MHz
854 MHz
857.25 MHz
860 MHz 861 MHz
866 MHz
869 MHz
Post-Rebanding Band Plan
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies
806 MHz
809 MHz
815 MHz 816 MHz 817 MHz
824 MHz
NPSPAC
Public Safety
(Public
B/ILT
Band
Guard
Band
ESMR
Safety)
Non-Cellular SMR
Expansion
851 MHz
854 MHz
860 MHz 861 MHz 862 MHz
869 MHz
Base Station Transmit Frequencies

Stage 1 – Non-NPSPAC Licensees in Regions 3, 29, 50 and 53 Outside the Sharing Zone182

·
Step 1A: Some B/ILT and non-cellular SMR licensees in band segment B will retune to
replacement frequencies in band segments C and D vacated by Sprint. Some Public
Safety licensees in band segment B may retune to replacement channels in band
segments C vacated by Sprint. The number of licensees that relocate in this step will be
determined by the need for band segment B channels in the Sharing Zone.
·
Step 1B: B/ILT and non-cellular SMR licensees in band segment A retune to
replacement channels in band segments C and D vacated by Sprint. Sprint may
temporarily backfill the channels vacated in band segment A.183
·
Step 1C: Public safety licensees in band segment A retune to replacement channels in
band segment C vacated by Sprint. Sprint may temporarily backfill the channels
vacated in band segment A.184


182 Licensees in Regions 3, 29, 50 and 53 outside the Sharing Zone will perform Steps 1A, 1B and 1C concurrently
to the extent feasible, depending on the availability of replacement channels and completion of FRA negotiations.
183 Id.
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Stage 2 – NPSPAC Licensees in Regions 3, 29, 50 and 53 Outside the Sharing Zone

·
Step 1: NPSPAC licensees in band segment F retune 15 megahertz lower in frequency to
replacement channels in band segment A vacated by Sprint. Sprint backfills channels
vacated in band segment F.
·
Step 2: Any remaining Sprint stations in band segments A, B, C or D retune to
replacement channels in band segment F.

C.

Additional Issues

1.

Special Coordination Procedure Channels.

75.
Background. Sprint currently operates on certain Mexico primary channels in the
Sharing Zone pursuant to a Special Coordination Procedure (SCP).185 Sprint’s operation on these
channels facilitates cross-border roaming with NII Holdings, Inc. The Bureau noted in the Fourth
FNPRM
that under the channel plan it proposed for the Sharing Zone, all Mexico primary channels would
be below the proposed ESMR dividing line at 818.5/863.5 MHz.186 Consequently, the Bureau sought
comment on whether to require Sprint to vacate Mexican primary channels in the Sharing Zone.187
76.
The City of San Diego argues that “Sprint should not be given the ability to utilize
Mexico primary spectrum lower than the spectrum allocated to it in the non border region.”188 Sprint
states that it intends to continue its cooperative agreement with its roaming partner in Mexico and operate
on Mexico primary spectrum below 818.5/863.5 MHz.189
77.
Decision. Our decision to amend our original channel plan proposal for the Sharing Zone
and align the ESMR dividing line in the Sharing Zone with the ESMR dividing line in non-border regions
at 817/862 MHz effectively moots this issue. Under the channel plan we adopt for the Sharing Zone,
Sprint will be permitted to operate on Mexico primary channels above the ESMR dividing line at 817/862
MHz. Sprint states that it “does not object to this approach” provided that channels in the 817-818.5/862-
863.5 MHz band segment are made exclusively available to Sprint.190 This will be the case under our
amended channel plan because channels in this band segment will be assigned to the SMR pool for use by
licensees operating high-density cellular systems.191

(Continued from previous page)


184 Licensees in the northern parts of these NPSPAC regions more than 113 km from the Sharing Zone may also be
reconfigured into band segment B.
185 See Special Coordination Procedure for the Use of Certain Frequencies in the Bands 806-824 MHz and 851-869
MHz for Land Mobile Services (Nov. 2000). See also Letter from Donald Abelson, Chief, International Bureau,
Federal Communications Commission, to Sr. Fernando Carrillo, Coordinator General, Comission Federal de
Communicaciones (Aug. 20, 2004).
186 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9579 ¶ 37.
187 Id.
188 City of San Diego Comments at 4-5.
189 Sprint Reply Comments at 7.
190 Id.
191 See infra Appendix C-4.
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2.

Vehicular Repeaters.

78.
Background. Many licensees in the 800 MHz band use vehicular repeater stations (VRS)
to extend radio coverage. VRS units, which typically are mounted inside public safety vehicles, extend or
improve radio coverage from hand-held units to distant base station repeaters and are most frequently
used to provide in-building coverage. For example, when a public safety official exits a vehicle to enter a
building, he or she tunes a hand-held unit to transmit on the input frequency of the VRS unit, which then
relays the signal to a distant repeater on a separate mobile frequency. VRS operations, however, require a
relatively large spectral separation between their input and output frequencies. The Bureau sought
comment in the Fourth FNPRM on whether or not the channel plan it proposed for the Mexico border
region would provide licensees operating VRS units with the spectral separation necessary to continue
VRS operations.192
79.
Raymond Grimes states that VRS units can effectively operate in the 700 MHz band, thus
creating the necessary separation to channels in the 800 MHz band.193 Raymond Grimes also notes that
most “quality” public safety portable subscriber radios include 700 MHz frequencies making it “quite
simple” to obtain portable radios capable of operating with VRS units.194
80.
Decision. Our experience in rebanding non-border 800 MHz systems has demonstrated
that accommodating VRS systems has not been a frequent problem, and that problems that have arisen
have successfully been handled on a case-by-case basis. Accordingly, we determine that we need make
no adjustments to the channel plans we adopt here to accommodate VRS units.
3.

Power Loss in Combiners.

81.
Background. Due to the limited availability of channels in some areas under the
Amended Protocol, it may be difficult to spectrally separate the replacement channels designated to some
licensees. This reduced spectral separation could cause licensees that use combiners in their current
systems to experience power loss in their combiners.195 In the Fourth FNPRM, the Bureau proposed
allowing such licensees to recover from Sprint the reasonable costs associated with mitigating the impact
of reduced spectral separation on combiner power loss.196 The Bureau noted that mitigation steps could
include new combiners, related antenna system changes, tower work, and other associated costs,
converting operations from standard pool channels to NPSPAC channels, or vice versa.197
82.
The City of San Diego suggests we consider specific licensee combiner requirements
when assigning licensees to post-rebanding replacement channels, e.g., if the frequencies designated by
the TA result in excessive signal loss in the combiner.198


192 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC 9579 ¶ 38.
193 Raymond Grimes Comments at 7.
194 Id.
195 A combiner, as the name implies, feeds multiple transmitters into a single antenna. See 800 MHz Report and
Order,
Appendix D, 19 FCC Rcd 15203 at ¶ 6.
196 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9579-80 ¶ 39.
197 Id.
198 City of San Diego Comments at 3.
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83.
Decision. Licensees should analyze the replacement channels designated for them by the
TA and identify any combiner issues created by a reduced spectral separation between channels as an
early and integral part of their planning process. In such situations, licensees may request a different
replacement channel, or if necessary, a lower-loss combiner. Sprint will be responsible for covering the
reasonable costs associated with mitigating the impact of reduced spectral separation including new
combiners, related antenna system changes, tower work, and other associated costs.
4.

Licensees on Mexico Primary Channels.

84.
Background. Some U.S. licensees currently operate in the Sharing Zone on channels
primary to Mexico under the 1994 Protocol. In the Fourth FNPRM, the Bureau proposed instructing the
TA to designate replacement channels for such licensees in the U.S. primary segment of the band under
the Amended Protocol if such channels are available, or otherwise to designate Mexico primary
channels.199
85.
The San Diego County Sheriff states that it successfully operates sites on Mexico primary
channels where the signal level at the border does not exceed the limits listed in the Amended Protocol.200
Therefore, the San Diego County Sheriff suggests that continued use of Mexico primary channels at these
locations may assist the TA in making channel designations for licensees in the Sharing Zone.201
86.
Decision. We adopt our proposal from the Fourth FNPRM and direct the TA to
designate U.S. primary replacement channels, if such channels are available, for licensees currently
operating on Mexico primary channels. Otherwise, the TA may designate Mexico primary channels for
such licensees. We agree with the San Diego County Sheriff that providing the TA with this flexibility is
important for preserving U.S. primary channels for licensees in the Sharing Zone that would otherwise be
unable to meet the power limits at the border required for operation on channels primary to Mexico.
87.
Finally, we note that any licensees operating on channels primary to Mexico are
secondary to operations in Mexico202 but will be eligible for protection from unacceptable interference
from U.S. licensees as defined in Section 90.672 in the same manner as all other licensees in the band.203

D.

Cost Benefit Analysis

88.
We find that the benefits of our establishing and implementing a reconfigured 800 MHz
channel plan along the U.S.-Mexico border outweigh any potential costs. This Fifth Report and Order is
part of the FCC’s rebanding effort to eliminate interference to public safety and other land mobile
communication systems operating in the band by addressing its root cause and separating generally
incompatible technologies.204 The homeland security obligations of the Nation’s public safety agencies
make it imperative that their communications systems are robust and highly reliable.205 The changes


199 Fourth FNPRM, 27 FCC Rcd at 9579-80 ¶ 39.
200 San Diego County Sheriff Comments at 7.
201 Id.
202 Amended Protocol at Article III, ¶ 4d.
203 47 C.F.R. § 90.672.
204 See 800 MHz Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 14971-73 ¶¶ 1-3.
205 Id. at 14971 ¶ 1.
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adopted herein will further that goal by separating—to the greatest extent possible—public safety and
other non-cellular licensees from licensees in the band that employ cellular technology. Furthermore,
Sprint, the major commercial provider in the band, will benefit from the changes proposed herein by
obtaining contiguous spectrum at the end of the program on which it will be able to transition to advanced
wireless technologies.206 Moreover, the relocation costs are further justified in this case because, with
respect to the relocating incumbents, Sprint will be responsible for paying the minimum cost necessary to
accomplish rebanding in a reasonable, prudent, and timely manner, and, with respect to Sprint itself,
Sprint has received equitable compensation for the costs it will incur in the form of spectrum rights to the
1.9 GHz band.207 We therefore conclude that the benefits of the rule changes adopted herein significantly
outweigh the costs of reconfiguring the 800 MHz band.

IV.

PROCEDURAL MATTERS

A.

Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

89.
Pursuant to the Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980,208 as amended, the Bureau’s Final
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis in this Order is attached as Appendix A.

B.

Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 Analysis

90.
Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995. This document contains no new or modified
information collection requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 (PRA), Public Law
104-13.209

C.

Materials in Accessible Formats

91.
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 & Governmental
Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-418-0432 (TTY).

V.

ORDERING CLAUSES

92.
Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Sections 4(i) , 303(b), 316, and 332 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), 303(b), 316, 332, that this Fifth Report
and Order
IS ADOPTED.
93.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the amendments of the Commission’s Rules set forth
in Appendix D ARE ADOPTED, effective sixty days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.
94.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Final Regulatory Flexibility required by Section
604 of the Regulatory Flexibility Act, 5 U.S.C. § 604, and as set forth in Appendix A herein is
ADOPTED.


206 See Improving Spectrum Efficiency Through Flexible Channel Spacing and Bandwidth Utilization for Economic
Area-based 800 MHz Specialized Mobile Radio Licensees, Report and Order, 27 FCC Rcd 6489 (2012).
207 See 800 MHz Report and Order, 19 FCC Rcd 15080-15125 ¶¶ 210-332.
208 See 5 U.S.C. § 604.
209 See OMB Control No. 3060-1080 for Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band (exp.
September 30, 2014).
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95.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Commission’s Consumer and Governmental
Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, SHALL SEND a copy of this Fifth Report and Order,
including the Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small
Business Administration.
96.
This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.191 and 0.392 of the
Commission’s rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 0.191, 0.392 and pursuant to the Second Memorandum Opinion and
Order
in this proceeding, delegating authority to the chief of the Public Safety and Homeland Security
Bureau to adopt band plans as necessary to conform to international agreements.210
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
David S. Turetsky
Chief, Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau


210 Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, 22
FCC Rcd 10467, 10494 (2007).
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APPENDIX A

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

97.
As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA), an Initial Regulatory Flexibility
Analysis (IRFA) was incorporated into the Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (Fourth
FNPRM
) of this proceeding. The Bureau sought written public comment on the IRFA. The RFA211
requires that an agency prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for notice-and-comment rulemaking
proceedings, unless the agency certifies that “the rule will not, if promulgated, have a significant
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.”212 The RFA generally defines “small entity”
as having the same meaning as the terms “small business,” “small organization,” and “small
governmental jurisdiction.”213 In addition, the term “small business” has the same meaning as the term
“small business concern” under the Small Business Act.214 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 Small Business Administration (SBA).215 The present Final
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) conforms to the RFA.

A.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules

98.
In the Fifth Report and Order, we adopt a channel plan for reconfiguring the 800 MHz
band along the U.S.-Mexico border. The channel plan we adopt in the Fifth Report and Order will be
incorporated into the Commission’s rules and is needed to implement and complete the Commission’s
band reconfiguration program along the U.S.-Mexico border. The Commission ordered reconfiguration
of the 800 MHz band to address an ongoing nationwide problem of interference created by a
fundamentally incompatible mix of technologies in the band.216 The Commission determined to resolve
the interference by reconfiguring the band to spectrally separate incompatible technologies.217 The
Commission delegated authority to the Bureau in May 2007 to propose and adopt a channel plan for
implementing band reconfiguration along the U.S.-Mexico border.218 The band plan we adopt in the Fifth


211 See 5 U.S.C. § 603. The RFA, see 5 U.S.C. § 601 et seq., has been amended by the Contract With America
Advancement Act of 1996, Pub. L. No. 104-121, 110 Stat. 847 (1996) (CWAAA). Title II of the CWAAA is the
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996 (SBREFA).
212 See 5 U.S.C. § 605(b).
213 5 U.S.C. § 601(6).
214 5 U.S.C § 601(3) (incorporating by reference the definition of “small business concern” in 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.”
215 15 U.S.C. § 632.
216 See Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Report and Order, WT Docket No. 02-55,
19 FCC Rcd 14969 (2004) (800 MHz Report and Order).
217 Id. at 14872-73 ¶¶ 2-3.
218 Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Second Memorandum Opinion and Order, WT
Docket No. 02-55, 22 FCC Rcd 10467, 10494-95 (2007) (800 MHz Second Memorandum Opinion and Order).
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Report and Order will separate incompatible technologies along the U.S.-Mexico border and thus resolve
the ongoing interference problem in that region.

B.

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

99.
There were no comments filed that specifically addressed the rules and policies proposed
in the IRFA.

C.

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

100.
The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of and an estimate of the number of
small entities to which the rules will apply.219 The RFA generally defines the term "small entity" as
having the same meaning as the terms "small business," "small organization," and "small governmental
jurisdiction."220 In addition, the term "small business" has the same meaning as the term "small business
concern" under the Small Business Act.221 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.222 Below, we provide an estimate of the number of small entities to which the
rules the adopted in this Fifth Report and Order will apply.
101.
Private Land Mobile Radio Licensees (PLMR). PLMR systems serve an essential role in
a range of industrial, business, land transportation, and public safety activities. These radios are used by
entities of all sizes operating in all U.S. business and public sector categories, and are often used in
support of the licensee’s primary (non-telecommunications) operations. For the purpose of determining
whether a licensee of a PLMR system is a small entity 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.223 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 and governmental 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.224


219 5 U.S.C. § 604(a)(4).
220 5 U.S.C. § 601(6).
221 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.” 5 U.S.C. § 601(3).
222 Small Business Act, 15 U.S.C. § 632 (1996).
223 See 13 C.F.R. §121.201, NAICS code 517210.
224 See generally 13 C.F.R. §121.201.
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102.
As of March 2013, there were approximately 250 PLMR licensees operating in the
PLMR band between 806-824/851-869 MHz along the U.S. - Mexico border.225

D.

Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping and Other Compliance
Requirements

103.
The Fifth Report and Order does not adopt a rule that will entail additional reporting,
recordkeeping, and/or third-party consultation or other compliance efforts beyond those already approved
for this proceeding.226

E.

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

104.
The RFA requires an agency to describe the steps it has taken to minimize the significant
economic impact on small entities consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes, including
the agency’s reasoning for not adopting significant alternatives to the rules adopted.227
105.
The Fifth Report and Order creates no significant economic impact on small entities
because Sprint Nextel Corporation will pay all reasonable costs associated with retuning incumbent
licensees to the post-reconfiguration channel plan adopted by the Bureau. Further, once the channel plan
adopted in the Fifth Report and Order is implemented, PLMR licensees will no longer be subject to on-
going interference in the band and will therefore save costs that would otherwise be associated with
resolving interference.

B. Federal Rules that May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict with the Proposed Rules

106.
None.


225 This estimate was provided by the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA). The TA is an independent party
charged with overseeing reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band. See Wireless Telecommunications Bureau Concurs
with Search Committee Selection of a Transition Administrator, Public Notice, WT Docket No. 02-55, 19 FCC Rcd
21923 (2004). See also http://www.800ta.org/.
226 See OMB Control No. 3060-1080 for Improving Public Safety Communications in the 800 MHz Band (exp.
September 30, 2014).
227 5 U.S.C. § 604(a)(6).
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APPENDIX B

U.S. – Mexico Sharing Zone

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APPENDIX C-1

Pre-Rebanding Channel Plan

Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
809.75
816
821
824
NPSPAC
General
Interleaved
ESMR
(Public
Category
Spectrum
(Upper 200)
Safety)
851
854.75
861
866
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)

Post-Rebanding Channel Plan

Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
809
815
816
817
824
NPSPAC
Public Safety
(Public
B/ILT
ESMR
Safety)
Non-Cellular SMR
Band*
Guard
Band**
Expansion
851
854
860
861
862
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
* No public safety licensee will be required to remain in or relocate to the Expansion Band; although it may do so if
it so chooses.
** No public safety or CII licensee may be involuntary relocated to the Guard Band.
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APPENDIX C-2

Post-Rebanding Channel Plan

(non-border)
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
809
815
816
817
824
NPSPAC
Public Safety
(Public
B/ILT
ESMR
Safety)
Band
Guard
Band
Non-Cellular SMR
Expansion
851
854
860
861
862
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)

Previous Distribution of Primary Spectrum in Sharing Zone

(Based on 800 MHz Protocol)
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
811
816
821
824
Mexico Primary
U.S. Primary
U.S. / Mexico
U.S. / Mex.
5 MHz x 5 MHz
5 MHz x 5 MHz
Interleaved Channels
Alternating Blocks
5 MHz x 5 MHz
3 MHz x 3 MHz
851
856
861
866
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
Mexico Primary
U.S. Primary
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APPENDIX C-3

Updated Distribution of Primary Spectrum in Sharing Zone

(Based on Updated 800 MHz Protocol)
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
812.25
818.50
824
U.S. Primary
Mexico Primary
U.S. – Mexico
6.25 MHz x 6.25 MHz
6.25 MHz x 6.25 MHz
Co-Primary
5.5 MHz x 5.5 MHz
851
857.25
863.50
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
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APPENDIX C-4

Pre-Rebanding Channel Plan in Sharing Zone

Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
811
816
821
824
Mexico Primary
U.S. Primary
U.S. / Mexico
U.S. / Mex.
Interleaved Channels
5 MHz x 5 MHz
5 MHz x 5 MHz
Alternating Blocks
5 MHz x 5 MHz
3 MHz x 3 MHz
851
856
861
866
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
U.S. Primary
U.S. Primary
NPSPAC – 107 Channels
Public Safety – 85 Channels

(12.5 kHz Channel Spacing)
B/ILT – 120 Channels

SMR – 83 Channels

Mutual Aid – 5 Channels

General Category – 12 Channels
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)

Post-Rebanding Channel Plan in Sharing Zone

817
ESMR Dividing Line
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
809
812.25
818.50
824
U.S. Primary
Mexico Primary
U.S. – Mexico
6.25 MHz x 6.25 MHz
6.25 MHz x 6.25 MHz
Co-Primary
5.5 MHz x 5.5 MHz
851
854
857.25
863.50
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
U.S. Primary
862
NPSPAC – 225 Channels
U.S. Primary
Mexico Primary
Co-Primary
(12.5 kHz Channel Spacing)
Public Safety – 85 Channels

General Category – 190 Channels
ESMR – 220 Channels

General Category – 45 Channels
Mutual Aid – 5 Channels

ESMR – 60 Channels
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
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APPENDIX C-5

Pre-Rebanding Channel Plan


(Non – Border)
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
809.75
816
821
824
NPSPAC
General
Interleaved
ESMR
(Public
Category
Spectrum
(Upper 200)
Safety)
851
854.75
861
866
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
Public Safety – 70 Channels

NPSPAC – 225 Channels

General Category – 150 Channels
B/ILT – 100 Channels

SMR – 200 Channels

(12.5 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
SMR – 80 Channels

(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
Mutual Aid – 5 Channels

(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)

Post-Rebanding Channel Plan – NPSPAC Region 5


(North of Sharing Zone)
817
ESMR Dividing Line
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
809
824
NPSPAC
Public Safety
(Public
B/ILT
ESMR
Safety)
Non-Cellular SMR
851
854
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
U.S. Primary
Public Safety – 70 Channels

862
NPSPAC – 225 Channels

B/ILT – 100 Channels

(12.5 kHz Channel Spacing)
ESMR – 280 Channels

SMR – 80 Channels

(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
Mutual Aid – 5 Channels

General Category – 70 Channels
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
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APPENDIX C-6

Pre-Rebanding Channel Plan


(Non – Border)
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
809.75
816
821
824
NPSPAC
General
Interleaved
ESMR
(Public
Category
Spectrum
(Upper 200)
Safety)
851
854.75
861
866
869
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
Public Safety – 70 Channels

NPSPAC – 225 Channels

General Category – 150 Channels
B/ILT – 100 Channels

SMR – 200 Channels

(12.5 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
SMR – 80 Channels

(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
Mutual Aid – 5 Channels

(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)

Post-Rebanding Channel Plan – NPSPAC Region 3, 29, 50 and 53


(North of Sharing Zone)
817
ESMR Dividing Line
Mobile and Control Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
806
809
815
816
824
NPSPAC
Public Safety
(Public
B/ILT
Band*
Guard
ESMR
Safety)
Band**
Non-Cellular SMR
Expansion
851
854
869
860
861
Base Station Transmit Frequencies (in MHz)
U.S. Primary
862
Public Safety – 70 Channels

NPSPAC – 225 Channels

B/ILT – 100 Channels

General Category – 40 Channels
(12.5 kHz Channel Spacing)
ESMR – 280 Channels

SMR – 80 Channels

(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
Mutual Aid – 5 Channels

General Category – 30 Channels
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
(25 kHz Channel Spacing)
* No public safety licensee will be required to remain in or relocate to the Expansion Band; although it may do so if
it so chooses.
** No public safety or CII licensee may be involuntary relocated to the Guard Band.
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APPENDIX D

Final Rules

PART 90 – PRIVATE LAND MOBILE RADIO SERVICES

The authority citation for Part 90 continues to read as follows:

AUTHORITY: 4(i), 11, 303(g), 303(r), and 302(c)(7) of the Communications Act of 1934, as

amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 161, 303(g), 303(r), 332(c)(7).
Section 90.619(a) is modified to read as follows:
§ 90.619 Operations within the U.S./Mexico and U.S./Canada border areas.
* * * * *
(a) Use of frequencies in 800 MHz band in Mexico border region. All operations in the 806–
824/851–869 MHz band within 110 km (68.35 miles) of the U.S./Mexico border (“Sharing Zone”)
shall be in accordance with international agreements between the U.S. and Mexico.
(1) The U.S. and Mexico divide primary access to channels in the Sharing Zone as indicated in
Table A1 below.
Table A1 – U.S. and Mexico Primary Channels in Sharing Zone
Channels
Primary Access
1-360
U.S.
361-610
Mexico
611-830
U.S.-Mexico Co-Primary
(2) Stations authorized on U.S. primary channels in the Sharing Zone are subject to the effective
radiated power (ERP) and antenna height limits listed below in Table A2.
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Table A2 – Limits on Effective Radiated Power (ERP) and Antenna Height
Average of the Antenna Height Above Average Terrain on
Maximum ERP in Any Direction
Standard Radials in the Direction of the Common Border
Toward the Common Border per
25 kHz
(Meters)1
(Watts)
0
to
503
500
Above 503
to
609
350
Above 609
to
762
200
Above 762
to
914
140
Above 914 to
1066
100
Above 1066
to
1219
75
Above 1219
to
1371
70
Above 1371
to
1523
65
Above 1523
5
1 Standard radials are 0º, 45º, 90º, 135º, 180º, 225º, 270º and 315º to True North. The height
above average terrain on any standard radial is based upon the average terrain elevation above mean
sea level.
(3) Stations may be authorized on channels primary to Mexico in the Sharing Zone provided the
maximum power flux density (PFD) at any point at or beyond the border does not exceed -107
db(W/m2) per 25 kHz of bandwidth. Licensees may exceed this value only if all potentially affected
counterpart operators in the other country agree to a higher PFD level.
(4) Stations authorized on U.S.-Mexico co-primary channels in the Sharing Zone are permitted to
exceed a maximum power flux density (PFD) of -107 db(W/m2) per 25 kHz of bandwidth at any point
at or beyond the border only if all potentially affected counterpart operators of 800 MHz high density
cellular systems, as defined in § 90.7, agree.
(5) Channels in the Sharing Zone are available for licensing as indicated in Table A3 below.
Table A3 – Eligibility Requirements for Channels in Sharing Zone
Channels
Eligibility Requirements
1-230
Report and Order of Gen. Docket No. 87-112
231-315
Public Safety Pool
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316-550
General Category
551-830
Special Mobilized Radio for 800 MHz High Density Cellular
(i) Channels 1-230 are available to applicants eligible in the Public Safety Category. The
assignment of these channels will be done in accordance with the policies defined in the Report and
Order of Gen. Docket No. 87–112 (See § 90.16). The following channels are available only for
mutual aid purposes as defined in Gen. Docket No. 87-112: channels 1, 39, 77, 115, 153. 800 MHz
high density cellular systems as defined in § 90.7 are prohibited on these channels.
(ii) Channels 231-315 are available to applicants eligible in the Public Safety Category which
consists of licensees eligible in the Public Safety Pool of subpart B of this part. 800 MHz high
density cellular systems as defined in § 90.7 are prohibited on these channels.
(iii) Channels 316-550 are available in the General Category. All entities are eligible for
licensing on these channels. 800 MHz high density cellular systems as defined in § 90.7 are
prohibited on these channels.
(iv) Channels 551-830 are available to applicants eligible in the SMR category—which consists
of Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) stations and eligible end users. ESMR licensees who employ
800 MHz high density cellular systems, as defined in § 90.7, are permitted to operate on these
channels.
(6) Stations located outside the Sharing Zone (i.e. greater than 110 km from the border) are
subject to the channel eligibility requirements and provisions listed in §§ 90.615 and 90.617 except
that stations in the following counties are exempt from the requirements of paragraph (k) of § 90.617:
California: San Luis Obispo, Kern, San Bernardino, Santa Barbara, Ventura, Los Angeles,
Orange and Riverside.
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APPENDIX E

List of Commenting Parties

Comments

San Diego County Sheriff's Department
Orange County Sheriff's Department
800 MHz Public Safety Border Licensees
Sprint Nextel Corporation
Peak Relay Inc.
City of San Diego
Raymond L. Grimes

Reply Comments

The 800 MHz Public Safety Border Area Licensees
Sprint Nextel Corporation
Orange County Sheriff's Department
City of Laredo, Texas
47

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