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FCC Allows Fixed Service Microwave Operators to Use Smaller 11 GHz Antennas

Earlier this week, the FCC released a Report and Order approving the use of smaller antennas in the 10.7-11.7 GHz band. Nextlink Wireless, First Avenue Networks, Telecom Transport Management, Inc. and Conterra Ultra Broadband, LLC requested the change. In granting the rule changes, the FCC said, “We find that these modifications would serve the public interest by facilitating the efficient use of the 11 GHz band while protecting other users in the band from interference.”

Applicants wanting to use smaller antennas will have to coordinate their facilities with other users in the band. The smaller antennas were approved despite opposition from satellite operators concerned the smaller antenna might increase interference to their gateway earth stations. The FCC said “it expected FS applicants in the 11 GHz band to carefully coordinate their operations with the authorized feeder link operations of any licensed geostationary (GSO) Mobile Service Satellite (MSS) gateway earth station in the 11 GHz band so as to avoid harmful aggregate interference.”

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.