With Nextel's acceptance of the FCC's order to reband the 800 MHz airwaves to eliminate the interference that has been plaguing public-safety communications for several years, everyone in the food chain is wondering how to proceed. While answers are beginning to emerge (see the cover story in the First Responder Communications supplement to this issue) many questions still persist.

In order to provide some of the answers, the organizers of IWCE 2005 — which will be held next month at the Las Vegas Convention Center and which is sponsored by MRT — have carved out a “rebanding zone” on the exhibits floor. The FCC-appointed Transition Administrator (TA) — consisting of system integrator BearingPoint, radio frequency (RF) consultancy Baseline Telecom and the law firm of Squires, Sanders and Dempsey — will be one of the rebanding zone exhibitors.

However, the highlight of the rebanding zone promises to be the series of Q&A sessions that will be held throughout IWCE in a special arena erected on the exhibits floor.

At IWCE 2005, the focus will be on the next steps. A special session moderated by MRT columnist Alan Tilles, an attorney with the law firm of Shulman, Rogers, Gandal, Pordy & Ecker, “800 MHz Rebanding Update” — to be held Thurs., April 7 from 8:30 to 10 a.m. — will provide an overview of where matters currently stand, with a focus on the TA-established schedule.

In addition, the five Q&A sessions will focus on the role equipment vendors, engineers and consultants will play as rebanding plays out over the next three years. Members of the TA and FCC staff are scheduled to participate in each of these sessions.

Commercial wireless carriers represent just one source of harmful interference; sometimes the problems come from within. Consequently, one IWCE conference session will provide tips on how public-safety agencies can manage interference between adjacent analog and digital two-way radio systems.

Other sessions will examine emerging or evolving technology solutions such as radio-over-IP, voice-over-Wi-Fi, radio frequency identification — a segment that will generate annual worldwide revenues between $3.1 billion and $3.8 billion by 2008, according to ABI Research — software-defined radio and digital encryption.

Two topics that have been in the spotlight over the past year — tower safety and interoperability — also will be given significant attention during IWCE 2005.

A session led by David Boyd, director of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Project SAFECOM, and featuring Steve Proctor, executive director of the Utah Communications Agency Network (UCAN) — a quasi-state agency that operates and maintains a 10-county regional communications system serving 109 separate public safety agencies — will provide insight concerning how to achieve interoperable communications across agencies and levels of government.

While tower safety appears to be getting better (see “Rising Fortunes,” MRT February 2005), there are some who believe the improved safety record over the past year is more an aberration than a trend. A session, led by attorneys and engineers (Thurs., April 7 from 10:00 to 10:50 a.m.), will examine the FCC's and OSHA's tower-safety rules and offer strategies to achieve compliance.

Many believe that more time should be spent by public-safety agencies to train first responders on how to use today's increasingly complex radios. IWCE 2005 is putting a spin on radio training with an all-day workshop on Mon., April 4 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., that will offer a primer on how to create and implement an RF radiation-training program. While FCC rules governing RF exposure levels have been in place for a while, no standard exists to govern such training programs. This session will tell how to create an RF safety program or update an existing one, with an emphasis on finding a balance between classroom and hands-on instruction.

The FCC has been criticized often over the past couple of years for its deliberate — some would say sloth-like — approach to policy decisions. Should the FCC be reorganized and split into separate segments governing broadcasting and telecommunications? Should it merge with other government entities such as the National Telecommunications and Information Administration? These questions and more will be addressed by an expert panel that includes Dale Hatfield, adjunct professor in the department of interdisciplinary telecommunications at the University of Colorado — and the former chief of the FCC's office of engineering and technology — and Edmond Thomas, chief of the FCC's office of engineering and technology. This session will be held Fri., April 8 from 8:30 to 10 a.m.

IWCE 2005 Basics

Dates: Technology workshops: Mon., April 4 to Tues., April 5; Conference and exhibits: Wed., April 6 to Fri., April 8

Location: Las Vegas Convention Center

Keynote: Adrian Cronauer, upon whom the movie “Good Morning, Vietnam!” was based, and currently special assistant to the director of the Pentagon's POW/MIA Office, Wed., April 6 from 8:30 to 10:00 a.m.

Welcome reception: Wed., April 6, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. (located in the Las Vegas Hilton, Ballroom C)

Exhibit hours:
Wed., April 6 to Thurs., April 7, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.; Fri., April 8, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Workshop hours:
Mon., April 4; Tues., April 5, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Conference hours:
Wed., April 6, 1:00 to 4:50 p.m.
Thurs., April 7, 10:00 a.m. to 3:50 p.m.
Fri., April 8, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

9-1-1 MAGAZINE 14027
A.W. Enterprises 1012
A/F CommSupply 1036
AC/DC Industries 4067
Access Spectrum 12020
ACE Technology 12075
AD Products Co. 9058
Adtran 8060
Advanced Charger Technology 4028
Advanced Labeling Solutions 4054
AdvanceTec Industries Inc. 6050
AEA Wireless 1008
Aeroflex 9021
AFL Inc. 6068
Agiosat Global Communications 3075
AGL-Above Ground Level Publishing Magazine 14025
Airaya 11060
Airwaves Licensing Assistance Inc. 9044
Allied Moulded Products Inc. 5076
American Association of Paging Carriers (AAPC) 3064
American International Radio 9065
Amphenol Connex 12071
Amrel Systems Inc. 11027
AMTA 12033
Anchor Graphics Inc. 5067
Anritsu Co. 9055
Antcom Corp. 6077
Antenex Inc. 6044
Antenna Specialists - a brand of PCTEL Antenna Pro 8049
APCO International 12027
AR Worldwide 5065
ARINC 9040
Astron Corp. 5039
ATI Wireless 3071
Atlantic Scientific Corp. 11051
Avcomm International 14045
Avtec Inc. 8040
Axtech Batteries 3038
Bard Manufacturing Co. 6075
BEE Electronics Inc. 4018
Bird Electronic Corp. 7041
Bird Technologies 7041
Bluewave Antenna Systems Ltd. 1042
Bridgecom Systems 9060
Bruncom Inc. 14055
Cable X-Perts Inc. 5069
Cadex Electronics Inc. 9054
Calamp Corp. 3054
Call24 Wireless Call Box Systems 3042
Canyon Ridge Communications Inc. 3067
Cape Communications International 4019
Catalyst Communications Technologies Inc. 8070
Cellular Fantasy 14040
Cellular Specialties 11050
Centurion Wireless Technologies Inc. 8013
CES Wireless Technologies 6019
ChargeGuard Inc. 11021
Childs Antennas Corp. 9037
Cimarron Technologies Corp. 12018
Citel Inc. 10050
CML Emergency Services 13030
Cobalt A/V 1054
Commtech 14039
Commtech Wireless Pty Ltd. 4061
Communication Applied-AT 13050
ComProd Communications 3009
Computer Resources Inc. 3048
Comsource Int. Pty. Inc. 3051
Comsystems 11045
Comtelco Industries Inc. 5045
Connect Systems Inc. 7067
Cook's Communications Corp/FleetStat AVL 1020
CPI Communications Inc. 3026
Crescend Technologies 1037
CTA Communications 13045
CVDS Inc. 8065
CX2 Technologies 14038
Dalman Technical Services Ltd. 13046
Daniels Electronics Ltd. 10032
Dantherm HMS Inc. 5061
Dataradio Corp. 5025
Dataradio Corp. 12050
Datron World Communications Inc. 6060
David Clark Company Inc. 4012
David Levy Company Inc. 11034
dbSpectra 9061
Delta Electronics Mfg. Corp. 9051
Dielectric 14021
Digital Antenna Inc. 10046
Digital Dispatch Systems 2037
Digital Paging Co. 3059
Double Summit 12074
Draka NK Cables USA Inc. 6064
DS Technologies 2028
DuPont Building Inc. 8075
DuraComm Corp. 5049
DX Radio Systems Inc. 12037
Dynamic Instruments Inc. 1026
EADS 10067
EarHugger Safety Equipment 8069
Earmark LLC 1048
Eartec/Porta Phone 12044
EFJohnson 4037
Electro-Comm Distributing 13013
Electronic Systems Technology Inc. 1046
Eltek Energy LLC 7075
Empire Scientific 8063
EMR Corporation 5033
Engenius Technologies Inc. 13051
Enviro - Buildings Inc. 9074
EPCOM 13001
Etherstack 7077
Eventide Inc. 1004
Exacom Inc. 10015
Exocomm Technology Group /Lifecel Batteries 1055
Federal Communications Commission 1049
Fiber-Span LLC 14012
Fibrebond 7074
FleetBoss GPS 8077
Forestry Conservation Communications Assoc. 1058
Fred A. Nudd Corp. 3046
Freelinc 14004
Futurecom Systems Group Inc. 4055
GAI-Tronics Corp. 6061
Gamber-Johnson 6033
General Dynamics - Decision Systems 9062
Genesis Group 10051
GPS Networking Inc. 12047
Granger Telecom 1018
Harger Lightning & Grounding 3074
Harris Corp. 8035
Havis Shields Equipment Corp. 2051
Honeywell Batteries/Global Technology Systems Inc. 6069
Honeywell Obstruction Lighting 6065
Hutton Communications Inc. 11011
I.S.C. Technologies 3070
Icom America Inc. 5001
ICT 9041
IMSA 11033
Industrial Telecommunications Association Inc. 13043
Infinimode Systems Inc. 11049
IP MobileNet Inc. 2031
Jotto Desk 11054
JV USA Communications 11071
Kathrein Inc, Scala Division 10041
Kaval Wireless Technologies Inc. 10013
Keller and Heckman LLP. 9076
Kenwood USA Corp. 1001
Klein Electronics 8031
Koss Communications 1028
KR Nida Communications 1024
Kullman Industries Inc. 1033
Kyocera 7069
Kyosey Co. Limited 7062
Leathersmith 2054
LEDCO 12069
Lind Electronics Inc. 5071
Link Communications Inc. 8055
Locus Location Systems 12060
LPN Wireless Inc. 13047
Lyman Brothers 14048
M/A COM Inc. 4009
Marketing Connection 4071
Maxon Chongho Systems 10075
Maxrad-a brand of PCTEL Antenna Products Group Inc. 8049
McKay Communications Inc. 12064
Memory Link 14015
Mentor Engineering 10055
Merry Electronics USA Co. Ltd. 2026
MicroPulse - a brand of PCTEL Antenna Products Group 8049
Microwave Data Systems 13010
Midian Electronics Inc. 8001
Midland Radio Corp. 3001
Mobile Mark 10070
Mobile Radio Technology 14054
Mobile Satellite Ventures 14037
Modular Communications Systems (MODUCOM) 11065
Motorola Inc. 7019
Mountain Union Telecom 4064
Multiplier Industries Corp. 7049
Multitone Electronics 7031
NARDA Safety Test Solutions 2030
Nearson 10060
Nemko USA Inc. 14000
New Communications Solutions LLC 11075
Newmar 7061
New-Tronics Antenna Corp/Hustler Inc. 4022
NexTek 13039
Nextel Communications 14049
Nighthawk Systems Inc. 3062
North American Battery Corp. 14024
Oldcastle Communications 13032
Omnitronics Pty Ltd. 8068
Opt-In Wireless 1022
Optoelectronics Inc. 14033
Orbacom Systems Inc. 6047
Ormandy Software 3030
OSI Batteries 14010
OTTO Engineering Inc. 4051
PCTEL Antenna Products Group Inc. 8049
Peltor Communications 10047
Penta Corp. 5074
PEPRO LLC (Pioneer Energy Products) 14013
PolyPhaser Corporation/Transtector Systems 9033
Positron Public Safety Systems Inc. 4050
Power Products 9047
Power Up 5077
PPC 1031
Primus Electronics Corp. 11040
Prism Systems International 3065
Project 25 Technology Interest Group 5063
Prolificx 11062
Prostar Batteries 1038
Pryme Radio Products 1027
PTMW 11055
Pyramid Communications 2027
Racing Electronics 8059
Radiall/Larsen Antenna Technologies 3013
Radio Club of America Inc. 4069
Radio IP Software Inc. 14014
RadioResource Media Group 10035
RadioSoft 13041
Raine Inc 11025
RAM Mounting Systems 11046
Raytheon JPS Communications Inc. 11037
Reliant Electronics 11069
RELM Wireless Corp. 7001
Replacement Headsets.com 14031
Rescom/Quala-Tel 1050
RF Imaging and Communications 14030
RF Industries/Connectors Division 9002
RF Industries/Neulink Division 9000
RF Technology Pty. Ltd. 5029
Ritron Inc. 5019
Sabre Towers and Accessories 1043
Safecom c/o Axiom Communications 14009
Safetran Systems Corp. 4075
SAMLEX America Inc. 10027
SandCherry Inc. 2049
San-tron 2045
Satel Oy 13025
Savox Communications 2050
SCA 11029
Schwaninger & Associates 4026
Seimac Ltd. 8061
Shelter One 2042
Shenglu Antenna Co. Ltd.. 14036
Shenzhen HYT Science and Technology Co. Ltd. 9075
Sierra Technology Inc. 4070
Signal Intelligence 1010
Simulcast Solutions 11038
Sinclair Technologies 9027
SiteSafe Inc. 12031
Smartlink Radio Networks Inc. 12019
SmarTrunk Systems Inc. 10021
SoftWright 10039
Southwest PV Systems Inc. 2075
SpectraSite Communications Inc. 1056
Spectrum Fir, Inc. 1045
Spinner North America Inc. 12026
SPS Energy Solutions 12024
Stancil 5068
STI-CO Industries Inc. 4030
Stone Mountain Design 13009
Sunwize Technologies LLC 5066
Survey Technologies Inc. 9071
Syniverse Technologies 2043
Sytech Corporation 7037
TAD Radio of Canada 8066
Tait North America Inc. 11001
Taiwan Coiler International Corp. 7076
Talkfar LLC 6074
Talley Communications Corp. 6039
TCC Industries Inc. 8044
TEKK Inc. 4008
Televate 10057
Telewave Inc. 3021
Telex Communications Inc. 3037
Teracom Components 14019
Tessco Technologies 9013
TGM Digital Inc. 10065
Thales Communications Inc. 5055
Thermax 14029
Thermo Bond Buildings 5075
Times Microwave Systems 3025
TMC Radio Pty. Ltd. 8074
TPL Communications 8007
Transcrypt International Inc. 13031
Trident Micro Systems 6025
Trilogy Communications 6055
Troy Products (Div of Troy Sheet Metal) 13026
Trylon TSF4 13019
TWR Lighting Inc. 3033
TX RX Systems Inc. 7041
Unimo Technology Co. Ltd. 2039
Uniross Batteries 8062
United Communications 7015
United Telecom Council 12030
Unitel Development Technology Corp. 13049
Universal Tracking Technologies Inc. 14008
USAlert LLC 10061
V-Comm LLC 13066
VCP International Inc. 3036
Vertex Standard 9001
VFP Inc. 1032
Voice Factor/PCS Inc. 13037
W&W Manufacturing Co. 7055
WaveRider Communications Co. 9069
Whelen Engineering Co. 11061
Wilson Electronics 2048
World Tower Co. 7060
Zetron 3055
Zetron Inc. 4027
*Current as of Feb. 22, 2005