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NTIA Requests UHF Spectrum Sharing Comments

One of the provisions of the "Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012" is reallocation of public safety spectrum in the 470-512 MHz band. The National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) recently issued a Notice and request for comments on "the types and depth of testing that the NTIA intends to conduct in Phase II/III of the Spectrum Sharing Innovation Test-Bed pilot program to access whether devices employing Dynamic Spectrum Access (DSA) techniques can share the frequency spectrum with land mobile radio systems."

The spectrum being shared is the land-mobile spectrum in the 410-420 MHz federal band and the 470-512 MHz non-federal band.

The devices sharing the spectrum would use DSA spectrum sensing and/or geo-location capabilities. After testing and evaluation at NTIA's Institute for Telecommunications Science facility in Boulder, Colo., the NTIA plans to allow the DSA equipment to transmit in an actual RF environment. NTIA and the participants plan to establish a point-of-contact to stop Test-Bed operations if interference is reported.

Spectrum sensing technologies did not work well for TV band white space devices, so I question how well they will work with land mobile systems with lower antennas and much less power. Geo-location looks more promising. It will be interesting to see the results of the Phase II/III testing. In the Notice, NTIA said it will publish the final version of the Phase II/III test plan on its Website.