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FCC Allocates 2 GHz Spectrum Chunk to Wireless Broadband

At Thursday's Open Meeting the FCC adopted a Report and Order (FCC 13-88) outlining service rules for the Advanced Wireless Services H Block. The AWS H Block consists of 10 MHz of paired spectrum: 5 MHz at 1915-1920 MHz and the rest at 1995-2000 MHz. The rules authorize flexible use of 1915-1920 MHz for mobile and low-power fixed operations (uplink) and 1995-2000 MHz for base and fixed stations (downlink). The rules contain restrictions on power and out-of-band emissions to protect operations in adjacent spectrum, particularly broadband PCS at 1930-1995 MHz.

While it is possible base station operations in 1995-2000 MHz band could cause brute force overload problems to nearby 2 GHz ENG receive antennas with little filtering, the 25 MHz separation from the BAS band should greatly reduce the potential for interference. Stringent out-of-band emission limits (70 + 10*LOG10(P) dB) designed to protect operations in the 2005-2020 MHz band will also help protect ENG receive sites. The Report and Order does not mention interference to broadcast auxiliary service (BAS) operations.

Because the 1995-2000 MHz band was part of the original 2 GHz BAS band reallocated by Sprint-Nextel, Block H licensees will have to reimburse Sprint for the cost of reallocating this part of the ENG band. The Report and Order puts total 1995-2000 MHz Block H relocation costs at $94,875,516, and provided formulas for calculation of each licensee's share.

Doug Lung

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.