November 17, 2015

FCC Announces Medical Body Area Network (MBAN) Frequency Coordinator, Clearing the Path for Use of MBAN Equipment

Digital Health Download

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently announced that it had selected Enterprise Wireless Alliance (EWA) as the frequency coordinator for Medical Body Area Network (MBAN) operations in the 2360-2390 MHz band. The selection of EWA clears the way for the deployment of MBAN technology, which will allow for the short-range wireless networking of multiple body transmitters used for gathering patient information or for performing diagnostic or therapeutic functions. The United States is the first country to allocate wireless spectrum for MBANs.

As the frequency coordinator, EWA will ensure interference-free sharing of the band. In particular, EWA will be responsible for recording and managing the deployment of MBAN systems in healthcare facilities, as well ensuring that MBAN devices do not interfere with aircraft testing facilities authorized to operate in the same frequencies. EWA will maintain a database of MBAN transmitter locations and operational parameters and is developing an online system for MBAN registration.

Before deploying MBAN equipment capable of operating in the 2360-2390 MHz band, all healthcare providers must first register with and secure frequency coordination from EWA. To do so, healthcare providers should be prepared to provide the following detailed information about their proposed deployment:

  1. the specific frequencies or frequency range(s) within the 2360-2390 MHz band to be used, and the capabilities of the MBAN equipment to use the 2390-2400 MHz band;
  2. the effective isotropic power;
  3. the number of control transmitters in use at the health care facility, including manufacturer name(s) and model numbers and FCC identification number;
  4. the legal name of the healthcare facility;
  5. the location of control transmitters (e.g., geographic coordinates, street address, building);
  6. the point of contact for the healthcare facility (e.g., name, title, office, phone number, fax number, email address); and
  7. a point of contact for the healthcare facility that is responsibility for ensuring that an MBAN ceases operating in all or a portion of the 2360-2390 MHz band in the event of interference.

A copy of the FCC's Public Notice, which includes contact information for EWA, is available here.

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