FCC Approves Progeny’s Commercial Location Service in 902-928 MHz Band; May Cause Interference to Devices Used for Utility Grid Operations

On June 6, 2013, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued an Order authorizing Progeny to commence commercial operation of its position location service network in the 902-928 MHz band.  The FCC acknowledged that Progeny’s operations may cause interference to a variety of licensed and unlicensed operations in this band, including automatic meter reading (AMR) systems, Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems, and other devices used by utilities for grid operations.     

Progeny’s operations in this band will be subject to the following conditions:

  • Progeny must submit a notification by June 21, 2013, of the specific geographic license areas in which it has already completed the initial buildout of its network and is operating, and must submit similar notifications for each additional area within 15 days after it begins operating in that area;
  • Progeny must establish a website and toll-free help desk to enable users of unlicensed devices in the 902-928 MHz band to notify Progeny and seek assistance in investigating and mitigating potential interference issues; and
  • Progeny must file reports with the FCC by December 6, 2013, June 6, 2014, and December 6, 2014, regarding any interference complaints it has received.

The FCC urged Progeny and Part 15 unlicensed users of this spectrum to work cooperatively to establish a process to identify and correct problems.  The FCC also stated that it will closely monitor developments on an ongoing basis, and will assess what action, if any, would be appropriate under the circumstances for the parties to take to promote co-existence.  For example, the FCC suggested that Progeny will be expected to take reasonable steps to minimize, avoid, or remedy interference – such as adjusting the transmitter height, radiation pattern, reducing power, or altering duty cycle – at locations where a significant number of unlicensed users are affected.  Similarly, Part 15 users will be expected to take steps such as adjusting the operating frequency of the device or adding additional links as necessary to achieve a desired level of performance.

The FCC’s Order provides more information.