Today the FCC turned down most petitions for reconsideration of its novel rules in the 3650-3700 MHz band.


The band is licensed on a shared, nationwide, non-exclusive basis. Licensees must register the locations of their fixed and base stations in the FCC’s ULS licensing system. Licensees planning new stations are expected to consult the database to avoid causing interference to existing stations. All operations must use a "contention-based protocol," defined as one that allows multiple users to operate when two or more try to access the same channel at the same time. If interference does occur, the interferor and the victim are expected to cooperate in resolving it.

Mobile and portable units may operate only if they can receive an enabling signal from a base station. Mobile units can communicate with one another, so long as each receives an enabling signal from a base station (not necessarily the same one).

Fixed and base stations may not be located within 150 km of 86 grandfathered earth stations without consent, or within 80 km of three federal radar facilities without successful coordination. The rules give the locations of these facilities.

Reconsideration Petitions

The FCC turned down several petitions seeking conversion of all or part of the band to conventional licensing, and rejected other proposals generally aimed at giving users better interference protection. It also refused to change the emissions limits, or to increase the protection for satellite earth stations that share the band.

The FCC did, however, refine its rules on contention-based protocols. It separated those into two categories. An "unrestricted" protocol is one that prevents interference even with signals using different protocols. "Listen-before-talk" is one example. A "restricted" protocol, in contrast, works only with other devices using the same protocol — e.g., the Wi-Max scheduling protocol. The newly amended rules confine restricted-protocol devices to the lower half of the band, while allowing unrestricted protocols to operate anywhere in the band.

The reconsideration order is at this link.