The Narrowband Personal Communications Service (PCS) is in the 901 – 902, 930 – 931, and 940 – 941 MHz spectrum range. The most common use of Narrowband PCS spectrum is two-way paging and telemetry. Telemetry includes services such as monitoring utility meters from an off-site location.
The Narrowband Personal Communications Service (PCS) dates back to 1990 when the FCC released a Notice of Inquiry. In 1993, the FCC announced service rules for the Narrowband PCS Service.
The FCC uses an auctions process to issue initial Narrowband PCS licenses. You can also gain access to Narrowband PCS licenses through the secondary market, which allows licensees to sell or lease spectrum.
You can find information about Narrowband PCS licenses in the Universal Licensing System (ULS). The ULS radio service code and description for Narrowband PCS licenses is CN – PCS Narrowband.
The FCC service rules for Narrowband PCS are located in 47 C.F.R. Part 24.
Market Areas and Channel Blocks
Narrowband PCS licenses are issued by FCC market areas and channel blocks.
FCC market areas consist of one or more counties. The market areas for Narrowband PCS are:
- Nationwide Areas (NWA) – There is one NWA
- Regional Narrowband PCS Areas (RPC) – There are five RPCs
- Major Trading Areas (MTA) – There are 51 MTAs
Channel blocks are groups of frequencies. There are 32 channel blocks for Narrowband PCS. The channel blocks are:
|1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 18, 19, 20||100 kHz||NWA|
|6, 7, 8||62.5 kHz||NWA|
|10, 11||50 kHz||NWA|
|14, 15, 16, 17||62.5 kHz||RPC|
|21, 22||200 kHz||NWA|
|23, 24, 25||150 kHz||NWA|
|26, 27, 28||50 kHz||MTA|
The first of five Narrowband PCS auctions started on July 25, 1994 and ended on July 29, 1994. The five auctions are: