Band Reconfiguration Overview
800 MHz Band
Numerous public safety radio systems (such as those used by police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians) operate at 806-824 MHz/851-869 MHz - conventionally known as "the 800 MHz band." A number of private mobile radio systems also operate in the 800 MHz band; for example, many utility companies use the band for internal communications. The band is also home to Specialized Mobile Radio (SMR) systems that provide commercial mobile service to businesses and the public. Some of these SMR operators, particularly Nextel Corporation (now Sprint Nextel) operate high-density cellular-type networks in the band.
800 MHz Rebanding Plan
In July 2004, the Commission ordered the reconfiguration of the 800 MHz band to migrate incompatible technologies to separate segments of the band. [link to Report and Order] The new band plan requires public safety and other high-site systems to relocate to the lower portion of the band, while cellular-architecture SMR systems relocate to the upper portion of the band:
The Commission provided for a 36-month transition to the new band plan, and required Sprint to pay all reasonable relocation costs incurred by public safety and other 800 MHz incumbents, including costs associated with remaining fully operable during the transition. The 36-month rebanding transition period began on June 27, 2005 and ends on June 26, 2008.
To facilitate the rebanding process, the Commission has provided for the creation of an independent 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) to administer the transition and review expenditures. The Commission tasked the TA with administering the technical and financial aspects of the band reconfiguration process to ensure that the Commission's goals would be achieved with minimal disruption to licensees, particularly public safety entities. For further information on the Transition Administrator, visit the TA's website at www.800ta.org.