Service Rules for Advanced Wireless Services

In the Report and Order (FCC 03-251) released Nov. 25, the FCC set service rules for the Advanced Wireless Services (AWS) in the 1.7 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands. While most of the Report and Order is devoted to licensing issues, the potential for interference to Broadcast Auxiliary Service stations operating adjacent to the 2110-2155 MHz AWS band is addressed. The FCC Report and Order said, "We are concerned that base or fixed stations operating in the 2110-2155 MHz band, if situated too close to BAS/CARS receive stations, could cause interference to such stations. This interference could be due to out-of-band emissions falling in the 2025-2110 MHz BAS band or due to overload of the receivers operating in that band."

The FCC, however, declined to adopted stricter out-of-band emission limits than those that currently exist for PCS facilities, concluding "the best way to deal with the possibility of AWS base stations causing interference to BAS and CARS stations is to require AWS and BAS/CARS licensees to coordinate the location and technical parameters of their stations. We shall therefore require AWS licensees to coordinate the location of any base or fixed stations operating in the 2110-2155 MHz band with BAS/CARS licensees operating in their area. Before constructing and operating a base or fixed station, AWS licensees shall be required to determine the location and licensee of any BAS or CARS station authorized in their area of operation, and coordinate their planned stations with that licensee. We shall expect BAS/CARS and AWS licensees to work together to develop ways to mitigate interference, whether it be through locating their stations as far as possible from one another or by implementing one or more technical solutions."

In the event BAS/CARs and AWS licensees cannot agree on a mutually satisfactory coordination agreement, they may seek assistance from the FCC, which may "impose requirements on one or both parties." However, the Report and Order clearly states, "AWS operators will be required to protect previously licensed BAS and CARS operations in the adjacent 2025-2110 MHz band."