FCC Allows Ohio to License SMR Frequency Pairs for Public-Safety System (7/25/12)
The FCC denied a waiver request of the 800 MHz inter-category sharing freeze, but, on the commission’s own motion, granted Ohio a waiver of Section 90.617(d)4 of the commission’s rules and granted the state’s request for waiver of the 800 MHz Wave 4 application freeze, subject to certain conditions.
Ohio currently operates a statewide 800 MHz Multi-Agency Radio Communications System (MARCS), which includes more than 200 sites and 48,000 radio units used by more than 700 local, state and federal
Ohio asked to license the SMR frequency pairs under the criteria established for inter-category sharing whereby the FCC allows an applicant to license channels outside its pool category, provided that the applicant demonstrates that no channels are available for licensing in the pool category for which it is eligible. The FCC Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, however, placed a freeze on the filing of new applications for inter-category sharing. Ohio sought a waiver of the freeze.
The FCC said that Ohio’s use of these SMR frequencies will have no significant effect on the future availability of vacated spectrum to other public-safety eligible entities. The FCC conditions its short-spacing concurrence on Ohio providing Sprint 60-day notice prior to commencing operations on the SMR channels and Ohio submitting an updated election form to the TA. The FCC also conditioned Ohio’s grant on it updating its expansion band election form with the 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA).
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