1. 698-746 MHz (TV channels 52 - 59) Band. This spectrum is allocated in Region 2, which includes the United States, on a primary basis to the Broadcasting and on a secondary basis to the Fixed and Mobile Services. In addition, within the 698-746 MHz band segment, assignments may be made to television stations using frequency modulation in the Broadcasting-satellite Service subject to agreement between administrations concerned and those having services that might be affected. This spectrum is currently designated as TV channels 52-59 and is used by existing analog full service stations, Low Power TV stations, TV translator and booster stations, and new DTV television stations. In the United States, this band is allocated on a primary basis to the Broadcasting Service. This band is also allocated to the Fixed Service to permit subscription television operations. Further, TV broadcast licensees are permitted to use subcarriers on a secondary basis for both broadcast and non-broadcast purposes. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 requires this spectrum to be reallocated and auctioned by September 30, 2002. Existing TV service and the service of new digital television (DTV) stations will continue on channel allotments in this band until at least December 31, 2006, when the transition to DTV service is scheduled to end and all television stations are to be located on channels in the DTV core spectrum (Channels 2-51). Television stations will cease operations on these channels at the end of the DTV transition, or possibly later on a market-by-market and channel-by-channel basis, depending on the availability of DTV television service and receivers. The rules for any new services on 698-746 MHz frequencies provide for the protection of those stations during the DTV transition. The WRC results recognize that some administrations may choose to provide for 3G services in this spectrum.
2. 746-806 MHz (TV Channels 60-69) Band. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has reallocated this spectrum in accordance with the 1997 Balanced Budget Act. Specifically, the 36 megahertz of spectrum at 746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz (TV channels 60-62 and 64-66) was reallocated for fixed, mobile and new broadcast services for commercial uses. The 24 megahertz of spectrum at 764-776 MHz and 794-806 MHz (TV channels 63-64 and 68 - 69) were reallocated to the fixed and mobile services for use by public safety. Segments of the 746-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz bands, totaling 6 megahertz and referred to as the public safety guard bands, were recently auctioned. Cellular-type systems are prohibited in the guard bands in order to protect public safety operations against adjacent channel interference, and therefore this spectrum is not suitable for 3G systems. However, the remaining 30 megahertz of spectrum may be used for 3G services. This spectrum is planned for auction by March 6, 2001. The WRC results recognize that some administrations may choose to provide for 3G services in this spectrum.
3. 806-960 MHz Band. WRC 2000 adopted a footnote S5.XXX to the international table of frequency allocation stating that Administrations wishing to implement International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) may use those parts of the band 806-960 MHz which are allocated to the mobile service on a primary basis and are used or planned to be used for mobile systems (see Resolution 224 (WRC-2000)). The footnote also states that this identification does not preclude the use of these bands by any application of the services to which they are allocated and does not establish priority in the Radio Regulations. In keeping with its principle that existing mobile operators should be free to evolve to IMT-2000 and beyond as the market demands, any band available for 1st or 2nd generation systems is also available in the United States for IMT-2000 or other advanced communications applications. In the United States, these bands include 806-821 / 851-866 MHz for the Specialized Mobile Radio Services (SMRs) and 824-849 / 869-894 for the cellular radio service. The Commission's planned Notice of Proposed Rule Making is expected to consider the extent to which the existing SMR and cellular radio services may meet the demand for 3G services. The Notice may also consider parts of the 806 - 960 MHz band that are used by other radio services.
4. 1710-1755 MHz Band. This band is currently allocated on a primary basis for Federal Government Fixed and Mobile Services. In addition, radio astronomy services may use the 1718.8-1722.2 MHz band segment on an unprotected basis. This band is currently used for Government point-to-point microwave communications, military tactical radio relay, and airborne telemetry systems. NTIA identified this spectrum for transfer to the FCC for non-government use, effective in 2004, to satisfy the requirements of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (OBRA 93). NTIA indicates that, as required under OBRA 93, all microwave communication facilities in the 1710-1755 MHz band that are operated by Federal power agencies will continue to operate in the band and must be protected from interference. A list of exempted Federal power agency microwave systems, as well as 17 Department of Defense sites, is presented in Appendix E of the 1995 NTIA Spectrum Report. The Balanced Budget Act of 1997 (BBA 97) requires this spectrum to be assigned for commercial use by competitive bidding, with the auction to commence after January 1, 2001 and to be completed by September 30, 2002.
5. 1755-1850 MHz Band. The 1755-1850 MHz band supports four main Federal functions; space telecommand, tracking and control (TT&C, or space operations), medium capacity fixed microwave, tactical radio relay training, and aeronautical mobile applications such as telemetry, video and target scoring systems. This band is allocated on an exclusive basis to the Federal Government for fixed and mobile services, and in the 1761-1842 MHz portion, used for space operations. Fixed links are operated by federal agencies for voice, data, and/or video communications where commercial service is unavailable, excessively expensive, or unable to meet required reliability. Applications include law enforcement, emergency preparedness, supporting the National air space system, military command and control networks, and control links for various power, land, water, and electric-power management systems. Other specified fixed links include video relay, data relay, and timing distribution signals
Probably the most critical system in the band is the USAF Space Ground Link Subsystem (SGLS). This system, via Earth-to-space uplinks in the 1761-1842 MHz band, controls the U.S. military satellites, including telecommunications satellites, intelligence gathering satellites, the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite constellation, and satellites of other Government agencies and U.S. allies. These satellites provide space-based capabilities that are critical to the execution of all US military operations. The satellites already in use that are associated with SGLS are not capable of being modified to operate to accommodate another frequency and would have to be replaced by new satellites. SGLS operations must continue to control these on-orbit assets for the duration of their life spans; which for some may extend beyond 2017.
Air Combat Training (ACT) systems are also used extensively in this band segment. ACT systems are more complex by the nature of their operations, as both fixed and aeronautical mobile equipment are used. Air Force and Navy operate ACT systems. The DoD has stressed that training support systems such as these are key elements in the military's effort to provide realistic simulation and combat preparedness for pilot training in a peacetime environment.
Fixed links are operated by federal agencies for voice, data, and/or video communications where commercial service is unuseable. Applications include law enforcement, emergency preparedness, support for the National air space system, military command and control networks, and control links for various power, land, water, and electric-power management systems. Other specified fixed links include video relay, data relay, and timing distribution signals.
The Mobile Subscriber Equipment is a multi-band, tactical line-of-sight microwave radio system, more accurately described as a "system-of-systems", because it is composed of several components which are fully operational systems. The individual components that make up the Mobile Subscriber Equipment are dependent upon several portions of the radio frequency spectrum (e.g., 30-88 MHz, 225-400 MHz, 1350-1850 MHz, and 14.5-15.35 GHz). The inability of any of these components to operate successfully would result in the failure of the overall Mobile Subscriber Equipment "system". One critical component of Mobile Subscriber Equipment, the AN/GRC-226(V)2 Radio, is dependent on the 1755-1850 MHz band. It is used to connect Radio Access Units (RAU) in the AN/TRC-190 series, to the Node Center Switch (AN/TTC-47) of the network. Operational use plans call for 465 units per Army Corps, giving a total of 2,325 units for 5 Corps.
6. 1850-1990 MHz Band (present PCS bands). RR S5.388, which was adopted at WRC-92, states that the band 1885-2025 MHz is intended for use, on a worldwide basis, by administrations wishing to implement IMT-2000, and that such use does not preclude the use of the band by other services to which it is allocated. In the United States the band 1850 - 1990 MHz is allocated for the Personal Communications Service (PCS). The Commission's planned Notice of Proposed Rule Making is expected to consider the extent to which the PCS may meet the demand for 3G services. The 1990 - 2025 MHz band was recently reallocated for mobile satellite services that are expected to partly satisfy the satellite component of 3G services.
7. 2110-2150 MHz Band. RR S5.388, which was adopted at WRC-92, states that the band 2110-2200 MHz is intended for use, on a worldwide basis, by administrations wishing to implement IMT-2000, and that such use does not preclude the use of the band by other services to which it is allocated. Domestically, the FCC has identified the 2110-2200 MHz band for reallocation from the fixed service for new emerging technologies. The 2165-2200 MHz segment of this band was recently reallocated for the mobile satellite service. BBA-97 requires reallocation of the 2110-2150 MHz band and assignment by competitive bidding by September 30, 2002.
8. 2500-2690 MHz Band. The two major services in the 2500-2690 MHz band are the Multichannel Multipoint Distribution System (MDS), and the Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS). There are currently thirty-three 6 MHz channels, or 198 MHz of spectrum, allocated to MDS and ITFS. MDS utilizes two channels in the 2150 to 2160 MHz band. MDS and ITFS share spectrum in the 2500 to 2686 MHz band.
MDS licensees transmit programming from one or more fixed stations, which is received by multiple receivers at various locations. Nation-wide, there are over 2500 licenses for MDS in the band. Licenses are granted on an area-wide basis, utilizing Basic Trading Areas. Formerly, MDS licensees used their channels to provide a multichannel video programming service, so-called "wireless cable." Approximately one million homes currently receive multichannel video programming service from MDS/ITFS-based wireless cable systems. However, the MDS frequencies, located in the 2.1 and 2.5-2.7 GHz bands, also are suited for the high-speed, high-capacity delivery of broadband access to data, voice and Internet service. The primary current and future uses of MDS will be to deliver this access. Rather than being hardwired like the local telephone companies and local cable systems, MDS uses microwave frequencies. Like broadcast television, MDS is transmitted from a broadcast tower, usually located on a mountain or tall building, to special antennas on residences or businesses throughout a local market. In the two-way environment, system configurations will be based on a "cellularized" plan, using series of hub and booster stations to link various main stations to individual subscribers and to relay transmissions throughout the system.
The other major service in the band is the ITFS, which is regulated under Part 74, Subpart I of the Commission's Rules. ITFS channels are from 2500 to 2596 MHz, and interleaved with MDS channels above 2644 MHz. Of the 31, six-megahertz channels in the MDS/ITFS spectrum band, the FCC licenses twenty of these channels to non-profit educational entities. ITFS stations are currently utilized for a wide variety of educational services by schools, hospitals and other educational facilities. In addition, ITFS unused channels can be used for the same kind of broadband services discussed above and excess capacity on those channels may be leased to MDS operators. Partnerships have developed between ITFS spectrum holders and MDS companies that provide expertise, revenue, and access to hardware and software to ITFS partners, to better enable them to build their distance learning programs.
In the last two years, the spectrum has undergone significant changes.
In September 1998, the FCC amended its rules to facilitate the provision
of two-way communication services by MDS and ITFS licensees. When MDS is
used for two-way service, it becomes a viable broadband service delivery
option. Implemented two-way systems can provide advanced, ultra-high speed,
high-capacity broadband data and Internet services to households and business
subscribers, as well as voice service to households in competition with
local exchange carriers. The new rules still contemplate fixed service,
even for two-way operations. The initial filing window for two-way service
occurred from August 14, 2000 until August 18, 2000 and approximately 3,000
applications were received.