The Federal Communications Commission allocated 12.9 GHz of spectrum in the 71–95 GHz range, thus enabling high quality multi-gigabit point-to-point communications. When making their decision, the FCC recognized that the 71–76, 81–86, and 92–95 GHz bands were undeveloped and available for new uses. These are the highest bands yet licensed by the FCC. Possible uses for the bands include a fiber substitute for last mile connectivity, local loop access, central office bypass, as well as local, metro, and wide area network access.
Links can operate at ranges of approximately 1 mile and are characterized by their highly directional “pencil beams.” These characteristics allow for excellent frequency reuse since systems can be engineered to operate in close proximity to one another without causing interference.
The FCC adopted a non-exclusive nationwide licensing approach for these bands. After obtaining a nationwide license, licensees must also register their individual point-to-point links. The registration allows for “light” licensing, which is less burdensome and quicker than the typical FCC licensing process, providing for instant registration in most cases.
FCC Files & Documents:
A nationwide license must be granted by the FCC in order to register links with a Database Manager. To obtain a national license for the 70–90 GHz bands, an applicant would need to file FCC Form 601 Main Form and Schedule B. You would specify that you are filing for an application in the MM - Millimeter Wave 70/80/90 Radio Service and specify the purpose of the application as New (NE). Because the non-exclusive nationwide license serves as a prerequisite for registering links, you will initially receive a single license for all frequency bands (71–76, 81–86, 92–94, 94.1–95 GHz). Applications to provide non-common carrier service or for private, internal communications may be granted anytime after they are accepted for filing. Applications that request a common carrier regulatory status will not be granted prior to the 31st day following the issuance of a Public Notice of the acceptance of filing. Upon grant, the FCC will issue a nationwide call sign.
Once you obtain the license, you then register your individual links through a Database Manager. Comsearch is an FCC-designated Database Manager. You would just need to set up an account through our web-based system to obtain a login and password. You can then access the database for searches or to register a link. Once you log into our system, you may be directed to our Interactive Solutions page. Select 70–90 GHz Link Database or 70–90 GHz Link Registration to proceed.
Link registration includes an up-front interference analysis with non-Government links, instant coordination with NTIA with respect to Federal Government links, FCC checks (including international coordination requirements, radio astronomy observatories, and environmental assessment) and FAA approval verification. In most cases, registration is instantaneous. However, if NTIA returns a yellow light or the FCC checks are flagged, a FCC Form 601, Schedule M will need to be filed. You can also learn more about the process through the article in MissionCritical Communications, "71–95 GHz Registration"—published in September 2005.