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FCC Issues Large Number of Experimental Licenses

The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology released a lengthy listing of all of the experimental licenses granted between 8/1/12 and 2/1/13. A few items caught my attention.

Several licenses were granted for white space device testing. Metric Systems Corp. received WG2XHQ for testing white space devices in the 54-698 MHz band, mobile, in Vista, Calif. Spectrum Bridge will be verifying the viability of white space technology for use in agricultural production in Wasco (Kern County), Calif. under license WG2XLD using 470-488 MHz (Channels 14-16) and 512-530 MHz (Channels 21-23). TV Band Services LLC will be testing fixed and mobile white space devices on UHF TV channels in Wilmington, N.C. under license WG2XJW. MEOW Networks received license WG2XJF for fixed and mobile white space testing in San Francisco and Mountain View, Calif. using TV Channels 22 and 24.

Two stations received experimental licenses to test digital 450 MHz RPU radios. WLS Television received WG2XLY for experimental operations on 450.0875, 450.3875, 450.5875, 455.0875, 455.15 and 455.5875 MHz “to test a digital system in the high noise urban environment typical in the broadcast news service” fixed and mobile in Chicago, Ill.

Scripps Media was granted experimental license WG2XIX to operate on 450.1625 MHz, 450.4875 MHz, 455.1625 MHz and 455.4875 MHz for “WFTS Motorola “Mototrbo” fixed and mobile testing in Riverview and Tampa, Fla.

(WLS and WFTS required experimental licenses as the “Mototrbo” radios they specified use 7K60FXD and 7K60FXE emissions in their digital mode, neither of which is allowed under Part 74 RPU rules. WLS appears to be making a major investment in the experiment. Its application specifies a total of 83 units.

Amateur radio operators may want to check the list, as there are several experimental license grants not related to amateur radio in the shared 420-450 MHz amateur band. The FCC also granted several licenses for research using frequencies below 500 kHz that appear to be closer aligned with amateur radio experimentation in this spectrum.

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.