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Unlicensed Personal Communications Devices in the 1920-1930 MHz Band

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Released: April 18, 2013
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
‘April 18, 2013

DA 13-791

Small Entity Compliance Guide

Operation of Unlicensed Personal Communications Service Devices

in the 1920-1930 MHz Band
Report and Order
FCC 12-33
ET Docket No. 10-97
Released: March 23, 2012

This Guide is prepared in accordance with the requirements of Section 212 of the
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996. It is intended to
help small entities—small businesses, small organizations (non-profits), and
small governmental jurisdictions—comply with the new rules adopted in the
above-referenced FCC rulemaking docket(s). This Guide is not intended to
replace the rules and, therefore, final authority rests solely with the rules.
Although we have attempted to cover all parts of the rules that might be
especially important to small entities, the coverage may not be exhaustive. This
Guide may, perhaps, not apply in a particular situation based upon the
circumstances, and the FCC retains the discretion to adopt approaches on a case-
by-case basis that may differ from this Guide, where appropriate. Any decisions
regarding a particular small entity will be based on the statute and regulations.

In any civil or administrative action against a small entity for a violation of
rules, the content of the Small Entity Compliance Guide may be considered as
evidence of the reasonableness or appropriateness of proposed fines, penalties or
damages. Interested parties are free to file comments regarding this Guide and
the appropriateness of its application to a particular situation; the FCC will
consider whether the recommendations or interpretations in the Guide are
appropriate in that situation. The FCC may decide to revise this Guide without
public notice to reflect changes in the FCC’s approach to implementing a rule,
or to clarify or update the text of the Guide. Direct your comments and
recommendations, or calls for further assistance, to the FCC’s Consumer
Center:

1-888-CALL-FCC (1-888-225-5322)

TTY: 1-888-TELL-FCC (1-888-835-5322)

Fax: 1-866-418-0232

fccinfo@fcc.gov

Compliance Requirements for Operation of Personal Communications

Service Devices in the 1920-1930 MHz Band

1. Objectives of the Proceeding
In the Report and Order adopted in March 2012 in ET Docket No. 10-97, the Commission
amended the Part 15 Subpart D rules to improve the operation of Unlicensed Personal
Communications Service (UPCS) devices operating in the 1920-1930 MHz band (known as the
UPCS band), while limiting the potential for in-band and adjacent-band interference and
maintaining equal access to the available spectrum on a shared basis for all users. In the Report
and Order
, the objectives of the Commission were to improve the utilization of the UPCS band
by allowing access to additional usable time and frequency windows (i.e., channels) whose use
was previously restricted, reduce infrastructure costs through allowing a greater density of UPCS
devices to be used with fewer base stations, and to allow UPCS devices that use wider bandwidth
channels but define fewer than 40 channels to use the least-interfered channel access method and
access additional usable time and spectrum windows.
Specifically, the Commission eliminated the 50 dB above thermal noise signal threshold that
UPCS devices must monitor when using the least-interfered channel access method. Under this
method, after monitoring the required minimum number of channels, UPCS devices may use the
combined time and spectrum windows with the lowest signal level, instead of using only those
windows with the lowest signal level below 50 dB above thermal noise. The Commission also
reduced from 40 to 20 channels the number of channels a UPCS device must define and monitor
in order to use the least-interfered channel access method. Because the new rules do not have a
maximum monitoring threshold and require that fewer channels be defined and monitored by
UPCS systems and devices, UPCS-band products that have already been authorized will
continue to be in compliance with the Commission’s technical rules. UPCS-band device
manufacturers have the option of producing products that reflect the deletion of the monitoring
threshold and reduction in the number of channels that must be defined and monitored.
The Report and Order also updated the Part 15 UPCS rules to reflect that UPCS devices no
longer need to protect incumbent fixed microwave radio stations in the 1920-1930 MHz band
and are no longer coordinated by UTAM, Inc., and to make the Part 15 UPCS rules consistent
with previous changes to other FCC rules. In addition, the Commission amended Sections
15.31(a)(2) and 15.38(b)(12) of the rules to reference the latest version of the ANSI C63.17-2006
standard by which UPCS devices must be measured for compliance with the requirements in Part
15 Subpart D of the rules. The Commission also modified the Part 15 Subpart D rules to remove
outdated provisions and to make other minor updates.
2. Regulations and Policies that the Commission Modified
§

Small Business Compliance Obligation Involving Measurement Standards.

Ø UPCS devices are to be measured for compliance with the Commission’s Part 15
rules using ANSI C63.17–2006: “Methods of Measurement of the Electromagnetic
and Operational Compatibility of Unlicensed Personal Communications Services
(UPCS) Devices.” Copies of this standard are available for purchase from at least
one of the following addresses: Global Engineering Documents, 15 Inverness Way
2

East, Englewood, CO 80112, (800) 854–7179, or at http://global.ihs.com; or
American National Standards Institute, 25 West 43rd Street, 4th Floor, New York,
NY 10036, (212) 642–4900,or at http://webstore.ansi.org/ansidocstore/default.asp.;
or Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers, 140 Philips Road, Exton, PA
19341–1318, (800) 542–5040, or at http://www.scte.org/standards/index.cfm. A copy
of this standard is available for inspection at the Federal Communications
Commission, 445 12th St., SW, Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257,
Washington, DC 20554, (202) 418-0270, and at the National Archives and Records
Administration, (202) 741-6030,
http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_locations.
html
.
§

Small Business Compliance Obligation for UTAM, Inc. Membership

Ø In the Report and Order, the Commission maintained the UTAM, Inc.
membership requirement for UPCS-band device manufacturers. (UTAM, Inc. is
the entity that coordinated and managed the transition of the 1910-1930 MHz
band from the Private Operational-Fixed Microwave Service to UPCS operations.
The remaining funding obligations for that transition are tied to membership fees
paid by the UPCS-band device manufacturers.)
Ø Each application for certification of UPCS-band equipment operating under the
provisions of Part 15 must be accompanied by an affidavit from UTAM, Inc.
certifying that the applicant is a participating member of UTAM, Inc. In the event
a grantee fails to fulfill the obligations attendant to participation in UTAM, Inc.,
the Commission may invoke administrative sanctions as necessary to preclude
continued marketing and installation of devices covered by the grant of
certification, including but not limited to revoking certification.
Ø UPCS devices no longer need to protect fixed microwave incumbents in the
1920-1930 MHz band. Thus, UPCS devices that operate in the 1920-1930 MHz
band are longer required to be notified or coordinated by UTAM, Inc., or to
incorporate a disabling mechanism until they are initially coordinated or re-
coordinated after being moved outside of the area where previously coordinated.
In addition, the UTAM, Inc. labeling requirement for UPCS devices is no longer
necessary.
§

Small Business Compliance Obligation for UPCS Devices’ General Technical
Requirements.

Ø All transmissions from UPCS devices must use only digital modulation
techniques. Both asynchronous and isochronous operations are permitted within
the 1920-1930 MHz band. Operation shall be contained within the
1920-1930 MHz band. The emission bandwidth shall be less than 2.5 megahertz.
The power level shall not exceed 100 microwatts multiplied by the square root of
the emission bandwidth in hertz with a power spectral density that shall not
exceed 3 milliwatts in any 3 kilohertz bandwidth, but in no event shall the
emission bandwidth be less than 50 kilohertz.
3

§

Small Business Compliance Obligation for UPCS Devices’ Selection of Available
Time and Spectrum Windows (Channels) on Which to Transmit, Number of
Channels to Monitor, Out-of-Band Emissions, and Frame Period.

Ø To allow UPCS devices to access additional available channels in the
1920-1930 MHz UPCS band, the Commission amended the Part 15 Rules to
eliminate the 50 dB above thermal noise least-interfered channel monitoring
threshold for UPCS devices. Without this threshold, after monitoring the required
minimum number of channels (i.e., 20), UPCS devices may use the time and
spectrum windows with the lowest signal level, rather than using only those
windows with the lowest signal level below 50 dB above thermal noise. Without
a predetermined maximum threshold, manufacturers have the flexibility to select
an appropriate channel access threshold to prevent harmful interference to other
UPCS devices.
Ø The Commission reduced the number of channels that must be defined and
monitored under the least-interfered channel access method from 40 to 20
channels. Specifically,
§
Devices must incorporate a mechanism for monitoring the time and
spectrum windows (i.e., channels) that its transmission is intended to
occupy.
§
Immediately prior to initiating transmission, devices must monitor the
combined time and spectrum windows in which they intend to transmit for
a period of at least 10 milliseconds for systems designed to use a
10 milliseconds or shorter frame period or at least 20 milliseconds for
systems designed to use a 20 milliseconds frame period.
§
The monitoring threshold must not be more than 30 dB above the thermal
noise power for a bandwidth equivalent to the emission bandwidth used by
the device in order to use the monitored time and spectrum windows.
§
If no signal above the threshold level is detected, transmission may
commence and continue with the same emission bandwidth in the
monitored time and spectrum windows without further monitoring.
However, occupation of the same combined time and spectrum windows
by a device or group of cooperating devices continuously over a period of
time longer than 8 hours is not permitted without repeating the access
criteria.
§
If access to spectrum is not available as determined by the above, and a
minimum of 20 duplex system access channels are defined for the system,
the time and spectrum windows with the lowest power level may be
accessed. A device utilizing the provisions of this paragraph must have
monitored all access channels defined for its system within the last
10 seconds and must verify, within the 20 milliseconds (40 milliseconds
for devices designed to use a 20 milliseconds frame period) immediately
4

preceding actual channel access that the detected power of the selected
time and spectrum windows is no higher than the previously detected
value. The power measurement resolution for this comparison must be
accurate to within 6 dB. No device or group of co-operating devices
located within 1 meter of each other shall during any frame period occupy
more than 6 megahertz of aggregate bandwidth, or alternatively, more than
one third of the time and spectrum windows defined by the system.
§
Emissions outside the UPCS band shall be attenuated below a reference
power of 112 milliwatts as follows: 30 dB between the band and
1.25 megahertz above or below the band; 50 dB between 1.25 and
2.5 megahertz above or below the band; and 60 dB at 2.5 megahertz or
greater above or below the band. Emissions inside the band must comply
with the following emission mask: In the bands between 1B and 2B
measured from the center of the emission bandwidth the total power
emitted by the device shall be at least 30 dB below the transmit power
permitted for that device; in the bands between 2B and 3B measured from
the center of the emission bandwidth the total power emitted by an
intentional radiator shall be at least 50 dB below the transmit power
permitted for that radiator; in the bands between 3B and the band edge the
total power emitted by an intentional radiator in the measurement
bandwidth shall be at least 60 dB below the transmit power permitted for
that radiator. “B” is defined as the emission bandwidth of the device in
hertz. Compliance with the emission limits is based on the use of
measurement instrumentation employing peak detector function with an
instrument resolution bandwidth approximately equal to 1.0 percent of the
emission bandwidth of the device under measurement.
§
The frame period (a set of consecutive time slots in which the position of
each time slot can be identified by reference to a synchronizing source) of
an intentional radiator operating in the UPCS band shall be
20 milliseconds or 10 milliseconds/X where X is a positive whole number.
Each device that implements time division for the purposes of maintaining
a duplex connection on a given frequency carrier shall maintain a frame
repetition rate with a frequency stability of at least 50 parts per
million (ppm). Each device which further divides access in time in order
to support multiple communication links on a given frequency carrier shall
maintain a frame repetition rate with a frequency stability of at least
10 ppm. The jitter (time-related, abrupt, spurious variations in the
duration of the frame interval) introduced at the two ends of such a
communication link shall not exceed 25 microseconds for any two
consecutive transmissions. Transmissions shall be continuous in every
time and spectrum window during the frame period defined for the device.
A copy of the Report and Order is available at
http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2012/db0323/FCC-12-33A1.pdf
5

27 FCC Rcd 3645. The Commission’s Rules (47 Code of Federal Regulations (47 C.F.R.)) are
available at http://wireless.fcc.gov/index.htm?job=rules_and_regulations.
6

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