The UHF/VHF bands were the first designated public safety bands. The Commission licenses the frequencies in these bands on a site-by-site basis, using frequency coordination to maximize frequency re-use. These bands also contain the T-band, frequencies allocated for land mobile communications operations in eleven urban areas in the United States.
Pursuant to the FCC’s narrowbanding mandate, as of 2013, UHF/VHF licensees on all bands other than T-Band must satisfy the following channel bandwidth efficiency standards:
- For voice operations, a licensee must use equipment capable of transmitting at least one voice channel per 12.5 kHz of bandwidth. In other words, voice equipment operating on a channel bandwidth of up to 25 kHz will be permitted if the equipment supports two or more voice channels.
- For data operations, licensees must use equipment capable of supporting a minimum data rate of 4800 bits per second per 6.25 kHz of channel bandwidth.