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June 26, 2012 / advwirelesscomm

8 Things You Need to Know to Stay Compliant with Narrowbanding

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The world of radio use is changing next year. After January 1, 2013, wideband equipment will no longer be available. It is important to be prepared beforehand. Here are eight things to know that will help you stay compliant:

  1. All Public Safety and Industrial/Business licensees in the 150-174 MHz (VHF) and 421-512 MHz (UHF) bands are required to become narrowband-compliant. Paging-only channels are exempt from narrowbanding, but remember there are only fourteen paging-only channels.
  2. First, determine how new narrowbanding will affect your current system. Then, develop a compliance plan.
  3. All certified VHF/UHF equipment produced since 1997 has 12.5 kHz capability. To make sure your equipment has this capability, check with the vendor or manufacturer.
  4. Licencees are welcome to operate in either analog or digital formats, as long as they are operating at the mandatory 12.5 kHz efficiency.
  5. It is important for licensees to modify their licenses to add a narrowband emission designator before beginning narrowband operations.
  6. Preparation is key, but not difficult. There is still plenty of time to become compliant to the new regulations.
  7. The Federal Communications Commission understands that there are unique circumstances at times. Licensees may request waivers to be considered exempt. Waivers are rarely granted, and must meet a high standard. 
  8. Become familiar with the FCC’s requirements and take them seriously. Non-compliance could lead to penalties. Non-compliant equipment may not work, and could lead to communication system disruption.
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