Most 800 MHz licensees do not need to conduct drive tests to verify that their systems’ coverage after rebanding is comparable to its coverage prior to the frequency reconfiguration process, according to a Transition Administrator (TA) fact sheet released this week.

The appropriate testing method is “the one that requires the minimum cost to determine comparability,” according to the fact sheet, which also emphasizes that coverage tests should be conducted “immediately before and after” reconfiguration.

Repeater-site measurement methods can be used when rebanding does not require “substantial changes to the antenna or coax feed line,” according to the fact sheet. Where such changes are made, line-of-sight measurements generally are appropriate.

A drive test is “the most complex and expensive method … and is typically only appropriate for complex systems using simulcast technology or where extensive changes are made to the antenna and other transmission subsystem elements,” the fact sheet states.

As with all aspects of rebanding, comparable-coverage methods are determined on a case-by-case basis—a licensee can cite specific circumstances in its particular system in an effort to justify a more expensive method, TA Director Brett Haan said.

The fact sheet can be view on the TA web site, www.800ta.org.