Later this summer, the Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) will launch an “Exclusive-Use Channel Validation” program that will verify the accuracy of all Business/Industrial applications that certify exclusive-use channels in the bands below 470 MHz. Every Business/Industrial application filed at the FCC, no matter which frequency advisory committee certified the application, will be processed through EWA’s automated frequency coordination system. Any application that appears to have violated FCC Rule Section 90.187 will be identified and reviewed for compliance. If an FB8 certification was not issued in accordance with the FCC rules, parties responsible for the application will be notified by EWA and requested to amend that application. If an incumbent system’s FB8 channel is violated, parties responsible for the application will be notified by EWA and requested to amend that application. Of course, any affected incumbent licensee will also be informed of the potential risk to their radio system investments.
In the 150-470 MHz private land mobile bands, the coveted channel designation is an FB8 which signifies that the channel, whether in use within a private carrier or private internal trunked system, need not be monitored prior to use as it is exclusively assigned within the predicted service area (39 dBu at 450-470 MHz or 37 dBu at 150-174 MHz) based on specific technical information unique to the transmitter site. It is a reciprocal analysis, an incumbent system’s predicted interfering contour (21 dBu at 450-470 MHz or 19 dBu at 150-174 MHz) must not overlap an FB8 applicant’s proposed service area, and the FB8 applicant’s proposed interfering contour must not overlap incumbent system predicted service areas. The rules are fairly simple and defined within FCC Rule Section 90.187. These technical analyses may be overruled with incumbent concurrences, and several propagation software tools may be used for more precise modeling in terrain-challenged locations.
Why would EWA undertake a program at its own expense to verify the validity of applications certifying the use of exclusive use channels? It’s simple. EWA members who are fortunate to have a channel or channels designated as FB8s, need to be assured that all new certified applications recognize the existence of their system and do not corrupt their protected, exclusive service area. Further, since FB8 designated channels are not required to monitor before transmitting, it is imperative that the newly certified FB8 channels were properly assigned, otherwise the potential for harmful interference dramatically escalates. Proper frequency coordination, consistent with FCC rules, protects the applicant and incumbents. Plus, since EWA is the FCC’s first line of defense in responding to instances of interference on behalf of Business/Industrial licensees, we would just as soon mitigate the potential for interference beforehand.
For further information about this new EWA spectrum management program capability, please contact Robin Cohen at 703-797-5112; or at [email protected].