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FCC released an order on clarification for Tetra

The commission released an order on clarification, responding to petitions for clarification of a waiver allowing the use of TETRA technology in the United States. In April, the FCC granted partial approval of a waiver request that will allow products conforming to the TETRA communications standard to be available in the United States for business, industrial and transport sectors. The technology was not approved for use in the U.S. public-safety spectrum bands.

Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA), Motorola Solutions, the National Public Safety Telecommunications Council (NPSTC) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) requested clarification of certain aspects of the waiver order. In response, the FCC clarified four issues related to the licensing and equipment authorization of TETRA devices.

1. The commission clarified that the waiver order does not permit operation of TETRA equipment in the 821 - 824/866 - 869 MHz portion of the band in any public-safety region where 800 MHz reconfiguration is still under way. Once the FCC releases a notice announcing the completion of band reconfiguration in a public-safety region, licensees may operate TETRA equipment in the 821 - 824/866 - 869 MHz portion of the band in that region in accordance with the waiver order.

2. The FCC also clarified that frequency coordination is not required for TETRA modification applications if the only proposed change to the station’s technical parameters is the emission bandwidth. For example, a change from emission designator 20k0D1W to a TETRA emission designator of 21k0D1W would not require coordination. As with narrowbanding modification applications, however, a proposal to change the emission designator type requires frequency coordination.

3. The FCC said that TETRA equipment operating pursuant to the waiver order, like any other Part 90 equipment operating in the 450 - 470 MHz band, is required to meet the requirements of Section 90.425.31.

4. As requested by Motorola, the FCC clarified that the waiver applies only to low-power TETRA devices that already had been certified. Therefore, low-power equipment certified subsequent to the release of the waiver order may not be approved for full power by means of a permissive change; instead, a new equipment authorization application must be filed, based on the highest power to which the user can set the equipment.

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