Rule Part

47 C.F.R, Part 101


Radio Service Code(s)

  • 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

Fixed Microwave Services

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.

About Fixed Microwave Services

Early technology limited the operations of these systems to radio spectrum in the 1 GHz range; but due to improvements in solid state technology, commercial systems are transmitting in ranges up to 90 GHz. In recognition of these changes, the Commission adopted rules allowing the use of spectrum above 40 GHz (See Millimeter Wave 70-80-90 GHz). This spectrum offers a variety of possibilities, such as use in, among other things, short range, high capacity wireless systems that support educational and medical applications, wireless access to libraries or other information databases.

For years the Commission regulated point-to-point microwave services essentially under two distinct parts of it rules: Part 21 governed common carrier users and Part 94 served the same purpose for private operators. Since these services have much in common, e.g., they share many frequency bands, use the same type of equipment, and now a single Commission office process the applications, the rules were consolidated into a single rule part, Part 101.

Private Operational Fixed Microwave

In 1963 the FCC reallocated certain microwave bands to the Safety and Special Radio Services, ending the necessity for private users to share those frequencies with common carriers. Provisions for microwave operations were added to the rule parts governing Marine, Aviation, Public Safety, Industrial, and Land Transportation Radio Services. The FCC consolidated and updated those provisions into Part 94 in 1975, creating the Private Operational-Fixed Microwave Service. In 1996, the Private Operational-Fixed Microwave Service was combined with the Common Carrier Microwave Service to form Part 101.

The Private Operational-Fixed Microwave Service can be used by persons eligible under Parts 80, 87 or 90 for communications related to their activities. Stations in this service are called operational-fixed to distinguish them from common carrier and public fixed stations. The licensee may use an operational-fixed station, for communications related to the licensee's commercial, industrial, or safety operations, may share the station on a for profit or not for profit basis with other entities who are eligible under Part 80,87 or 90, or may lease it’s facilities to common carriers.

Private operational-fixed microwave systems serve many different purposes. They are meant to carry or relay voice, teletype, telemetering, facsimile and digital communications associated with Aviation, Marine, Public Safety, Industrial, and the Land Transportation Radio Services. For example, these systems are used to operate unattended equipment; open and close switches or valves; record data like pressure, temperature, or speed of machines; telemeter voltage and current in power lines; and perform other control or monitoring functions. Microwave systems are especially useful for controlling and monitoring various operations along installations like pipelines, railroads, and highways.

Common Carrier Microwave

Common Carrier microwave stations are generally used in a point-to-point configuration for long-haul backbone connections or to connect points on the telephone network which cannot be connected using standard wire line or fiber optic because of cost or terrain. These systems are also used to connect cellular sites to the telephone network, and to relay television signals.

Common Carrier microwave stations are licensed to applicants who intend to provide communications service to the public. Whereas, Private Operational Fixed stations are licensed to applicants for their own internal communications requirements.

2 GHz Microwave Relocation

Fixed Microwave Service (FS) operations from the 2160-2175 MHz band and modified existing relocation procedures. Relocation procedures for some portions of these bands (early PCS bands) have sunset while relocation procedures for the AWS bands are on-going. More information about relocation, negotiation periods, permissible modifications, etc. are contained in Sections 101.69 - 101.82 of the Commission's Rules. Additional information can also be found in the Commission’s orders in ET Docket 00-258, WT Docket No 02-353, ET Docket No. 10-142, and GN Docket No. 13-185.

Frequency Coordinators

The following list of microwave coordinators is provided for information purposes only, and may not constitute a complete list of available frequency coordinators. The Federal Communications Commission does not license or endorse any microwave frequency coordinators. Additional information regarding microwave frequency coordination is also available from the National Spectrum Managers Association (NSMA). NSMA is a voluntary, not-for-profit organization providing an industry forum for microwave frequency coordinators.    

A

ACD Telecom, LLC
103 Commerce Street, Unit 180
Lake Mary, FL 32746
P: 407-333-2300
F: 407-333-2310
E: ali.shahnami@acdtelecom.com

B

Beyran, Inc.
14027 Weeping Cherry Drive
Rockville, MD 20850
P: 301-408-8874
E: ahmad@beyran.com

Black & Associates
2052 Bridgegate Court
Westlake Village, CA 91361
P: 805-495-7619
F: 805-495-7371
E: mcs@bamicrowave.com

C

Comsearch
19700 Janelia Farm Boulevard
Ashburn, VA 20147
P: 703-726-5500
F: 703-726-5595
E: customersupport@comsearch.com

Consolidated Spectrum Services
231 Sagamore Road
Gilford, N.H. 03249
P: 603-293-0002
P: 603-362-5977
F: 603-293-0002
E: Sales@FCC1.biz

CTI
16W215 83rd Street, Suite D
Burr Ridge, IL 60527
P: 773-667-4585
F: 773-326-4641
E: cwu@converge-tech.com

E

EMR Consulting, Inc
8801 Sargent Road
Indianapolis, IN 46256
P: 317-436-8877
F: 317-436-8874
E: slblack@emrconsults.com

EMR (EMR Consulting Group, LLC)
500 North Michigan Ave, Suite 300
Chicago, IL 46256
P: 312-321-4776
F: 312-321-4776
E: slblack@emrconsulting.com

Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA)
2121 Cooperative Way, Suite 225
Herndon, VA 20171
P: 703-528-5115
P: 800-482-8282
F: 703-524-1074
E: customerservice@enterprisewireless.org

I

Intelpath
16 W 575 79th St., Suite 102
Willowbrook, IL 60527
P: 312-841-9188
E: sales@intelpath.com

K

Kessler and Gehman Associates, Inc.
507-C NW 60th Street
Gainesville, FL 32607
P: 352-332-3157
F: 352-332-6392
E: bill@kesslerandgehman.com

M

Micronet Communications, Inc.
720 F Avenue, Suite 100
Plano, TX 75074
P: 972-422-7200
F: 972-422-1900
E: micronet@micronetcom.com

Multicomm Sciences International, Inc.
266 West Main Street
Denville, NJ 07834
P: 973-627-7400
F: 973-215-2168
E: victor@MulticommSciences.com

Munn-Reese, Inc.
385 Airport Drive
Coldwater, MI 49036
P: 517-278-7339
F: 517-278-6973
E: sarah@munn-reese.com

R

Radyn, Inc.
6701 Democracy Blvd, Suite 300
Bethesda, MD 20817
P: 301-493-5171
F: 301-576-4553
E: info@radyn.com

T

Terrestrial RF Licensing, Inc.
2625 South Memorial Drive, Suite A
Tulsa, OK 74129
P: 888-373-4832
F: 918-664-3066
E: contact@rflicensing.com

U

Utilities Telecom Council Spectrum Services (UTC)
1129 20th Street NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20036
P: 202-872-0030
F: 202-872-1331
E: spectrumservices@utc.org

W

Wireless Applications, Corporation
111 108 Avenue NE, Suite 160
Bellevue, WA 98004
P: 425-643-5000
F: 425-649-5675
E: fcc@wacorp.net

Wireless Infrastructure Association
500 Montgomery St., Suite 500
Alexandria, VA 22314
P: 800-759-0300
F: 703-836-1608
E: don.andrew@wia.org

Bureau/Office: 

Updated: 
Friday, July 7, 2017