The FCC announced last week, 32 months after adopting rules, that it is accepting applications for the 3650-3700 MHz band. 

All applicants receive a nationwide, non-exclusive license for the entire band, and must register their fixed and base stations in a database that is part of the FCC’s ULS licensing system. Licensees planning new stations are expected to consult the database to avoid causing interference to existing stations. If interference does occur, the interferor and the victim are expected to cooperate in resolving it. 

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.

FCC certification requires equipment for the band to be capable of a "contention-based protocol." In the FCC’s words, this is a protocol that "allows multiple users to share the same spectrum by defining the events that must occur when two or more transmitters attempt to simultaneously access the same channel and establishing rules by which a transmitter provides reasonable opportunities for other transmitters to operate."

There are temporary restrictions on the types of contention-based protocols the FCC will accept for licensing (but not for certification).

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).

Complete rules are at 47 C.F.R. Sections 90.1301-1337.

Last week’s public notice is available here.