FCC Launches Rulemaking on Mobile Equipment Interoperability
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (Notice) regarding mobile equipment interoperability in the 700 MHz spectrum band. Comments and Reply Comments will be due on June 1, 2012 and July 16, 2012, respectively. The Notice was issued in response to a Petition for Rulemaking filed by four Lower 700 MHz A Block licensees in 2009. The Petition sought a rulemaking to require that all devices in the Lower 700 MHz band be capable of operating over all frequencies in the band and to freeze the authorization of mobile equipment that is not interoperable in the Lower 700 MHz band. Lower A Block licensees contend that the development of two distinct classes within the 700 MHz band, Band Class 12 and Band Class 17, has made it more difficult for them to have meaningful access to a wide range of advanced devices and to use their spectrum effectively.