Legal Matters

FCC clarifies rules for TETRA use

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Recent FCC order clarifies that TETRA and other technologies can be used on non-NPSPAC frequencies in the 800 MHz band.

Last week, the FCC provided an important clarification on the use of TETRA equipment in the 800 MHz band.

In September of 2012, the FCC released a Report and Order that permitted the use of TETRA equipment in the 450-470 MHz and 854-869 MHz bands, subject to meeting adjacent-channel-interference criteria. However, that order excluded certain public-safety channels in the 800 MHz band. There was confusion whether the TETRA prohibition was exclusive to the NPSPAC portion of the band, or whether the interleaved Public Safety Pool (non-NPSPAC) also was precluded from TETRA use.

Last week’s order clarifies that the commission only meant to restrict TETRA use on NPSPAC frequencies. Thus, TETRA equipment will be permitted to be used on 800 MHz in the swaths for the business/industrial pool, SMR pool and non-NPSPAC public-safety pool.

In addition, the FCC clarified that its new rule did not pertain only to TETRA equipment. Rather, any technology meeting the same interference criteria would be acceptable.

The commission’s action ends a significant debate in the land-mobile-radio industry, providing certainty to those that are considering the deployment of TETRA equipment.

Discuss this Blog Entry 1

Anonymous (not verified)
on Jul 9, 2013

iDEN turned off 7/1. TETRA gets a green light a couple days later. Is there an FCC mandate that the 800 MHz band must be messed up by digital/analog interference at all times?

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Alan Tilles

Alan Tilles is counsel to numerous entities in the private radio and Internet industries. He is a partner in the law firm of Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker and can be reached at atilles@...
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