When it comes to public safety, Americans expect results from first responders. The first-of-its-kind FirstNet network will carry high-speed data, location information, images, and streaming video to public-safety users, so they can have the best information to make critical decisions quickly. FirstNet will ensure interoperability among first responders and will take advantage of existing telecommunication assets, vendor competition and economies of scale to drive down costs to offer a dedicated public safety service. 

The First Responder Network Authority (FirstNet) will be showcased at International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE), which will take place March 27-31, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

IWCE has been providing FirstNet with a platform for education since its inception. In fact, even before FirstNet was established Morgan O’Brien, former Nextel Communications co-founder, proposed this idea for a nationwide public safety broadband network during a keynote at IWCE in 2006. 

On Wednesday, FirstNet CEO, Michael Poth will provide a keynote address to update the IWCE audience on FirstNet’s progress with the nationwide public safety broadband network. In addition, the IWCE Conference Program will offer over a dozen educational sessions in its FirstNet track, giving attendees the opportunity to find the critical information they need on FirstNet, whether they are a public safety professional, a vendor, a government official, or even an app developer.   

To register to attend IWCE’s 2017 Conference Program, visit: www.iwceexpo.com/register.

International Wireless Communications Expo (IWCE), the premier annual event for communications technology professionals, offers the most comprehensive education program in the communications technology industry. IWCE will celebrate its 40th anniversary when it takes place March 27-31, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

IWCE’s conference program offers over 100 sessions in a variety of formats, giving flexibility to build a schedule. The week of learning includes Workshops, Power Sessions, Short Courses, Multi-Day Training Classes and Special Events including Keynote Addresses, General Sessions and Town Hall Meetings.

In addition, two keynote sessions will be held on Wednesday morning. The opening keynote will be presented by Dr. Preston Marshall, Technical Program Manager, Spectrum Access Technology, Google. Dr. Marshall will discuss the US experience in deploying shared spectrum services in the 3.5 GHz Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) band and what it may warn for future wireless architectures and technology. Additionally, FirstNet leadership will provide a keynote address to update the IWCE audience on the nationwide public safety FirstNet network.

Thursday’s General Session entitled “Everything is Changing – The Next Generation of Connectivity” will forecast what the future holds for communications technology including applications, devices, networks, technology and connectivity.

Town Hall Meetings are also free to attend and is where government and association partners will present their latest initiatives.

To register to attend, visit: www.iwceexpo.com/register

Dr. Preston Marshall, Technical Program Manager, Spectrum Access Technology, Google will keynote International Wireless Communication Expo (IWCE), which takes place March 27-31, 2017 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

The IWCE General Session Everything is Changing – The Next Generation of Connectivity is scheduled for Thursday, March 30. Donny Jackson, Editor, IWCE’s Urgent Communications will moderate and panelists will forecast what the future holds for communications technology including applications, devices, networks, technology and connectivity.

IWCE offers five days of professional development opportunities through keynote addresses, workshops, short courses and training and an Exhibit Hall with 380 exhibitors showcasing the latest products and trends in the industry.  

For additional information on IWCE and to sign up for email updates, visit iwceexpo.com. Stay connected with us on Twitter, Facebook @iwceexpo and follow our IWCE company page on LinkedIn.

Back in March Drock Gaming LLC (Drock), through its radio service shop, approached Forest Industries Telecommunications (FIT) with a proposal to license exclusive spectrum in Las Vegas Nevada. According to David Smith, Executive Vice President of FIT, “our analysis of both the location, power requirements and emission mask led us to believe that a conventional solution was not possible…”. According to Smith the lack of available spectrum made it necessary to look “outside the box”. The only viable frequencies existed in the Airport Terminal Use (ATU) pool. FIT prepared the waiver and engineering studies and the FCC granted Drock’s request to utilized the ATU channels at its facilities in Las Vegas on October 17th, 2016.

Since the filing of Drock’s application there have been tangible efforts by the FCC to open up spectrum to PLMR applicants. To that end the Commission has proposed to add additional channels to its table of allocations under 90.35. The FCC’s aim is to eliminate “… unnecessary impediments to the most efficient use of this scarce resource.”. On September 23rd the FCC’s proposal was codified in the Federal Register. You can preview this release here. You can also review Drock’s granted waiver notice here.

For more information about licensing possibilities you can email FIT at license@landmobile.com or call toll free 888-583-2-WAY(929)

Fri, 07/08/16
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is poised to raise its filing and waiver fees for Part 90 Land Mobile and a host of other services. Currently the FCC filing and regulatory fees for a ten year license are $165. Those fees will go up $5 to $170. Likewise, waiver fees will increase from $195 to $200. The rate change has not occurred as of yet. The public notice indicates the change will become effective 30 days from its publication in the Federal Register

Link to story here

The FCC COmmission REgistration System (CORES) and FCC Registration Number (FRN) will get a face lift this year. Proposed changes will add additional layers to license management. This will allow FRN numbers to have multiple logins with varying levels of administrative control. The plan is to start a pilot program to test upgrades until the end of August. The start date for the new system is slated for September 1st, 2016.

To link to the story click here

The Land Mobile Communications Council (LMCC) elected its Board of Directors at its annual meeting in Washington D.C. The new officers are:

  • President—Farokh Latif (Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International),
  • Vice President—Michele Farquhar, Esq. (Association of American Railroads), and
  • Secretary/Treasurer—Mark Crosby (Enterprise Wireless Alliance).

Also elected to the Board of Directors as At-Large members were:

  • Jim Goldstein (International Association of Fire Chiefs),
  • Ralph A. Haller (Forestry Conservation Communications Association), and
  • David Smith (Forest Industries Telecommunications).

To find out more about the LMCC visit their website at lmcc.org

On February 29th, 2016 scores of licensees recieved an email from the FCC urging action regarding the status of their license. For many this may mean a simple modification to remove outlawed wideband emission designators. For others a chance to become compliant with the current FCC narrowband mandate. Since January 1st, 2013 all VHF/UHF Business and Public Safety pool licensees were required to operate with a maximum bandwidth not to exceed 12.5 kilohertz (occupied bandwidth of 11.25 kHz or less). FIT can audit your license and let you know what steps you can take to ensure compliance. Current members of FIT will recieve the standard narrowbanding conversion free of charge. Email us at license@landmobile.com or call FIT toll-free at 888-583-2-WAY

The United Kingdom introduced lifetime amateur radio licenses back in 2006. Now the FCC is looking into that possibility for U.S. Ham radio operators. The Commission is seeking comment on the proposed rule change (see PRM 11760). This will involve a revision of CFR 47 97.25.  The ARRL is reporting that Mark F. Krotz, N7MK, of Mesa, Arizona, filed a request with the FCC for the rule change last November. General Radiotelephone Operator Licenses are already issued on a lifetime basis.

Individuals may submit comments via the FCC’s Electronic Comment Filing System

Petition for Rule Making (RM 11760)


Scores of licensees are receiving very official looking solicitations in the mail warning that their licenses are in peril. One notice even states, “After 2/16/16 all two-way radio licenses that have not updated/modified to comply with the narrowbanding mandate will be dismissed.” Nothing could be further from the truth. The FCC did release a public notice that clarified radio licensee’s responsibility to comply with the narrowbanding mandate, which became effective January 1st, 2013. Let’s separate fact from fantasy:

FACT: Applications filed for updates, license transfers, renewals or general modifications (frequencies that are 150-174 MHz / 421-470 MHz) that contain only wideband emissions, without a waiver, will be dismissed.

FACT: The FCC has no master plan to summarily dismiss, in bulk, active Licenses on 2/16/16

FACT: The Commission has added tools to assist licensees with modifying their authorizations.

FACT: Operating with an occupied bandwidth in excess of 11.25 kHz is prohibited.

FACT: Applications filed to remove wideband designators do not require frequency coordination or payment of FCC fees.

FACT: For more information call FIT at 888-583-2-WAY or visit the FCC’s overview here https://www.fcc.gov/general/narrowbanding-overview

There are numerous agencies that endlessly track license data through the FCC’s publicly available database. This information is then tendered into massive mail merge lists and licensees are hammered mercilessly with solicitations for every service imaginable. The Commission does not sanction these agencies. In fact, it’s important to note, that the Federal Communications Commission rarely solicits money.  Do not be fooled, if it looks like “spam mail” it probably is. Make sure that any correspondence originates from the FCC and bares its seal.

For the official narrowbanding release click here: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0113/DA-16-36A1.pdf

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