Birch's Communications

5720 Main St

Mays Landing NJ 08330



Who is required to narrowband?
All Public Safety and Industrial/Business licensees in the 150-174 MHz (VHF) and 421-512 MHz (UHF) bands

What is required?
By January 1, 2013, licensees must migrate their systems from 25 kHz (wideband) to 12.5 kHz (narrowband) channel bandwidth or a technology that achieves equivalent efficiency Narrowbanding ensures more efficient use of the spectrum and greater spectrum access for public safety and non-public safety users. Will relieve congestion in and result in increased channel availability for public safety VHF/UHF systems. Narrowbanding has been consistently supported by the public safety community, including APCO, NPSTC, and other organizations.

All licensees must complete narrowbanding to 12.5 kHz by January 1, 2013
FCC will also no longer allow manufacture or importation of equipment that includes a 25 kHz mode.
Some interim requirements take effect on January 1, 2011: 12.5 kHz operation required for all new VHF/UHF systems or expansion of existing systems. FCC will not certify new equipment that includes a 25 KHz mode.

After January 1, 2013, FCC interference rules will not protect non-compliant wideband systems from harmful interference
Systems that fail to narrowband by the deadline could create interference or interoperability problems for systems that have narrow banded. Wideband equipment will not be available after January 1, 2013. The Commission has recently reaffirmed the January 1, 2013 deadline. Licensees facing unique circumstances may request waivers, but waiver requests must meet a high standard and are not routinely granted. Licensees concerned about meeting the deadline should focus on planning and preparation. Informal contact with the Bureau is encouraged prior to any filing.

Narrowbanding rules provide for eventual migration from 12.5 kHz to 6.25 kHz bandwidth. Intended to further increase efficiency and channel availability. The FCC has not set a deadline for 6.25 kHz implementation. No deadline will be established without further notice and comment. Licensees may narrowband to 6.25 kHz voluntarily. All 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz equipment certified after January 1, 2013 must include 6.25 kHz capability.

bullet Prepare NOW – January 1, 2013 is approaching fast!
bullet Determine how narrowbanding will affect your system 
bullet Will existing equipment need replacement/retuning?  
bullet Will additional sites be needed to maintain coverage?
bullet Is coordination with neighboring systems required?
bullet Develop a compliance plan
bullet Timeline 
bullet Funding requirements 
bullet Contact us at 609-625-1915 or fill out the form below for a free consultation.

All VHF/UHF equipment certified since 1997 has 12.5 kHz capability. Many systems have equipment with dual 25 kHz/12.5 kHz capability, making the narrowbanding transition easier. Check with Dallas Mobile to determine whether your existing system equipment is narrowband-capable or needs modification/replacement.

Cost of narrowbanding will vary depending on the nature of each licensee’s existing system
Narrowbanding generally does not require a system upgrade, though licensees may combine narrowbanding with other scheduled upgrades or modifications. Narrowbanding costs may be more substantial for older systems that require replacement of existing equipment. Funding to support narrowbanding may be available through federal grant programs.

Licensees should modify their licenses to add a narrowband emission designator prior to commencing narrowband operations. Licensees may maintain both narrowband and wideband designators on their licenses while they are transitioning their systems. Once the narrowband transition is complete, licensees should modify their licenses by removing the wideband emission designator.