Alan Tilles

Brace yourselves
Activity goes far beyond changes brought about by the most recent election. At 700 MHz alone, the buildout of LTE systems by the municipalities that obtained waivers represents new, interesting and exciting uses of spectrum and technology.
The need for balance
What is the proper relationship between a government agency and the industry it regulates? In the big picture, the answer is not always so cut-and-dry.
Buzzing in your ears
Sometimes buzz covers up other important stories. One such story concerns the upcoming changes by insurance company FM Global to the intrinsically safe (IS) standard for land-mobile radios. Those guidelines include a reduction of maximum power output for IS units from 3 watts to 0.5 watts for Class 1, Division 1 devices as of Jan. 1, 2012.
Stuck in the middle
If every licensee waits until the last minute to implement the process, there is a significant danger that there will not be enough manpower and/or equipment available to implement the change-out by Jan. 1, 2013.
More isn't merrier
As 800 MHz rebanding moves along, an issue that many expected to crop up during the transition has reared its ugly head — more interference.
New day, new problem
The good news is that the Canadian authorities agreed to grandfather approximately 80% of the erroneously granted systems. The bad news is that numerous public-safety licensees now face a drastic reduction of their ERP, which unquestionably will result in a loss of coverage.
Mother knows best
Our world is a complicated place. As such, the communications that support the continued functionality of society must be the first thought, not an afterthought.
Stand up for broadband
Now that the FCC has issued its national broadband plan, the hard work begins (again) with regard to a nationwide public-safety system in the 700 MHz band. Part of that heavy lift for public-safety folks will be convincing the outside world of the need and viability of such a network.
Pass it on
Since narrowbanding at UHF and VHF is not something that Nextel is paying for, it is important that agencies thoroughly review the credentials of potential vendors, and spend scant funds wisely.
Do yourself a favor
While the Jan. 1, 2011, deadline does not prohibit the sale of wideband-mode radios (it certainly will take some time to delete stock), the availability of new 25 kHz radios post-2010 is a planning issue for licensees.
Broadcast disclaimers
I was struck by a recent article in this magazine that related the difficulty of reallocating vacant TV spectrum. It was pointed out how the broadcasters had to "relinquish some of their UHF spectrum — channels 52 through 69 — for wireless services."
An unlevel playing field
The primary problem with the current configuration of the TA Metrics is that the only differentiation of systems is based on the number of mobile units operating on the system. Unfortunately, this results in the grouping of extremely divergent systems.
Listening to 'lone' voices
Dear Editor: In your online column of Sept. 17, "A fine line exists between consensus and repression," you stated that "... those who opposed the plan were vilified. We were among them. We argued that there was no way to know whether $850 million would be enough." I'm not sure who you believe vilified you, but it certainly didn't come from this corner.
Worry not on jamming
The FCC must get input from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration, must establish rules and criteria for the approval of jamming systems, and must conduct field testing of all devices submitted for approval.
Licensees beware
A number of issues have been distorted on the Web. Narrowbanding, rebanding, construction rules, carrier obligations are but a few of the confused issues. When industry members rely on these misinterpretations of law, licenses can be lost, fines can be imposed and opportunities can be missed.

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