2017 Q4 Regulatory Updates


Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS), 3550-3700 MHz Band

  • FCC opened GN Docket No. 17-258 and issued an NPRM on October 24 proposing rule changes in response to the CTIA and T-Mobile rulemaking petitions
    • Proposes increasing PAL license term from three to ten years with possibility of renewal
    • Asks for input on performance requirements for renwal and on auction design
    • Seeks comment on increasing geographic license areas from census tracts to PEAs as requested by the petitioners, or to an intermediate size such as counties
    • Proposes changes to the emission limits to facilitate use of channels wider than 10 MHz
    • Comments due December 28, 2017 and replies January 24, 2018

FCC opened GN Docket No. 17-183 on Expanding Flexible Use in Mid-Band Spectrum Between 3.7 and 23 GHz (“Mid-Band NOI”, adopted August 3)

  • Comments were received October 2 and replies were received November 15
  • NOI explores options to allocate additional spectrum for wireless broadband between 3.7 and 24 GHz
  • Particular focus on 3.7-4.2 GHz and 5.925-7.125 GHz
  • Fixed and mobile use of 4 GHz band would need solutions for sharing with large number of C-band earth station receivers
  • A number of commenters supported unlicensed sharing in 6 GHz provided the incumbent and future licensed microwave links could be protected; however, viable methods to accomplish this protection have not been spelled out

FCC adopted a Second R&O, Second FNPRM, etc. in Spectrum Frontiers (Above 24 GHz) GN Docket No. 14-177) on November 16

  • This complex item includes the following
    • Makes available the 24.25-24.45, 24.75-25.25, and 47.2-48.2 GHz bands under the Upper Microwave Flexible Use Service (UMFUS)
    • Proposes co-primary FSS sharing in the 24.75-25.25 GHz segment
    • Declines to authorize mobile or indoor unlicensed use in the 70/80 GHz bands
    • Modifies siting rules and other limitations on earth stations in the 28 and 38 GHz bands
    • Preserves unlicensed status of 64-71 GHz band
  • Comments due January 23, 2018, Replies due February 22, 2018

Encina Communications filed applications for a point-to-multipoint service using a 90 degree sector antenna in 6 GHz under Part 101, including request for waiver of the Section 101.115 directional antenna requirements (ULS File No. 0007928686). Several licensees and organizations filed objections.

In ET Docket No. 15-170, the FCC adopted Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity to replace Verification as the usual procedure for approval of microwave radio equipment. These rules are now in effect as of November 2.