Microwaves are very short waves in the upper range of the radio spectrum used mostly for point-to-point communications systems. Much of the technology was derived from radar developed during World War II. Initially, these systems carried multiplexed speech signals over common carrier and military communications networks; but today they can handle all types of information, e.g. voice, data, facsimiles, and video, in either an analog or digital format.

Over the years, these systems have matured to the point that they have become major components of the nation's public switched telephone network. Private organizations use them to satisfy internal communications requirements and to monitor their primary infrastructure. As the nation’s cellular and personal communications systems grow, point-to-point microwave facilities, serving as backhaul and backbone links, enable these wireless systems to serve the country’s less populated areas on an economical basis.

Today's technology enables private users to employ microwave frequencies to operate and control equipment at remote sites, such as switches and valves associated with the operation of oil and gas pipelines, to gather data related to services, control traffic signals and to obtain toll data from moving vehicles, as well as other monitoring functions.

More about Fixed Microwave

2 GHz Microwave Relocation

The AWS Relocation and Cost Sharing Report and Order (pdf) established procedures for the relocation of Fixed Microwave Service (FS) operations from the 2160-2175 MHz band and modified existing relocation procedures for the 2110-2150 MHz and 2175-2180 MHz bands. In addition, the Commission adopted cost sharing rules to identify the reimbursement obligations for Advanced Wireless Service (AWS) and Mobile Satellite Service (MSS) entrants benefiting from the relocation of incumbent FS operations in the 2110-2150 MHz and 2160-2200 MHz bands and AWS entrants benefiting from the relocation of BRS incumbents in the 2150-2160/62 MHz band. More information about relocation, negotiation periods, permissible modifications, etc. are contained in Sections 101.69 - 101.82 of the Commission's Rules.

Frequency Coordinators

A list of microwave coordinators is provided for information purposes only.

Special Temporary Authorization

Applications filed to obtain Special Temporary Authority (STA) in the services described in 47 C.F.R. §1.913(d) may be filed electronically, or manually.

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Construction/Coverage Requirements

The FCC requires most wireless telecommunications services licensees 1) to construct their authorized system or meet specific coverage requirements within a given time period and 2) to notify the Commission that the requirement has been met. This time period varies depending on the radio service in which the license is held.

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Service At A Glance

Fixed Microwave Services:
Also Known As FMS, POFS, Backhaul, Backbone
Microwaves are very short waves in the upper range of the radio spectrum used mostly for point-to-point communications systems.
Service Rules:
Part 101
Related Services:
24 GHz Market Area
39 GHz Market Area
70-80-90 GHz
Local Multipoint Distribution Service
Multichannel Video Distribution and Data Service
Band Plan Band(s):
930 MHz
940 MHz
950 MHz
2 GHz
4 GHz
6 GHz
10 GHz
11 GHz
12 GHz
18 GHz
23 GHz
31 GHz
38 GHz
70 GHz
80 GHz
90 GHz
See 47 C.F.R. Part 101.101
Licensing System:
ULS Radio Service Codes:
CF – Common Carrier Fixed Point-to Point Microwave Service
MG – Private Operational Fixed Point-to Point Microwave Service
MW – Private Operational Fixed Point-to-Point Microwave - Public Safety Service


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