FCC: Global Microwave Systems Marketed Uncertified 4.9 GHz Transmitters
March 14, 2008
When the FCC opened the 4.9 GHz band for public safety use six years ago, municipalities had an alternative to shared 2.5 GHz microwaves for high-bandwidth communications such as surveillance video. The new spectrum came with restrictions, one of which prohibited aeronautical transmitters. Last week the FCC admonished Global Microwave Systems Inc. (GMS) for selling uncertified 4.9 GHz aeronautical transmitting equipment.
In response to an FCC letter, GMS admitted selling one microwave radio system to a municipality in December 2005, after it said it obtained verification from the municipality that it had obtained a license authorizing its aeronautical operation in the 4.9 GHz band.
But the microwave was not certified for aeronautical use. The FCC said that “the fact that it believed that the municipality had a license to operate the equipment does not obviate the need for GMS to obtain an equipment certification prior to marketing the equipment.”
The FCC Enforcement Bureau said that while it believed “a monetary forfeiture would be warranted for this violation, there is no evidence in the record that GMS marketed these devices after 2005.” The statute of limitations in these cases is one year from the date of violation, preventing the FCC from issuing a fine for the violation.