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700 MHz Broadband Public Safety Nets Must Use LTE

Under the FCC's Third Report and Order and Fourth Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 11-6) all 700 MHz public safety mobile broadband networks must use a common air interface–Long Term Evolution (LTE) to support roaming and interoperable communications between public safety agencies.

The Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking seeks public comment on the architectural vision of the network; the effectiveness of open standards; interconnectivity between networks; network robustness and resiliency; security and encryption; coverage and coverage reliability requirements; roaming and priority access between public safety broadband networks; and interference coordination and protection.

The FCC Report and Order and FNPRM is quite specific on the LTE implementation. It could almost serve as a tutorial on LTE. For example, the Order and FNPRM discusses what bandwidths should be allowed and in-building signal level requirements, including use of Distributed Antenna Systems.

The deadline for comments is 45 days after publication in the Federal Register. The deadline for reply comments is 75 days after publication in the Federal Register.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.