Earlier this month, the FCC’s Wireless Telecommunications Bureau implemented a temporary freeze on applications for new and modified authority for Land Mobile systems operating in the 896-901/935-940 MHz band. The freeze was effective as of September 13, 2018.
The freeze stems from a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) issued by the FCC in 2017, seeking input on possibly reconfiguring this band to accommodate a Petition for Rulemaking filed by Pacific Data Vision (PDV) in December 2014. The FCC delayed PDV’s vision for the band in 2017 when it issued an NOI – which generally seeks information from the public – as opposed to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) – which is a vehicle through which the FCC could have changed its rules to accommodate PDV’s request.
By issuing the licensing freeze last week, however, it appears the Commission is likely considering the issuance of an NPRM to modify the rules governing this 900 MHz land mobile band. The stated purpose of the freeze is to allow the Wireless Bureau to examine the band and determine what changes, if any, can be made.
One other important clarifying point: the portion of the 900 MHz band that currently is frozen by the FCC differs from the portion of the 900 MHz band that is used by critical infrastructure entities for Multiple Address Systems (MAS).