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New Spectrum for Medical Devices

In a Report and Order (FCC 09-23) released last Friday, the FCC added spectrum at 401-402 MHz and 405-406 MHz to the existing Medical Implant Communications Service spectrum at 402-405 MHz. The name of the service has also been changed to the Medical Device Radiocommunications Service (MedRadio).

In a separate Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) (FCC 09-20) the FCC sought comment on allowing up to 24 megahertz of spectrum in the 413-457 MHz band to be used on a secondary basis by MedRadio under Part 95 of the FCC rules. The spectrum would share frequencies with government and amateur radio services in four band segments: 413-419 MHz, 426-432 MHz, 438-444 MHz, and 451-457 MHz.

"In particular, we are interested in providing access to spectrum for wireless MMNs (medical micro-power networks) that would be comprised of multiple networked implanted devices that employ wideband functional electrical stimulation – or FES – techniques," the commission said. "Use of MNNs could make FES technology more accessible to patients with paralyzed/impaired limbs and organs."

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.