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FCC Narrowband Mandate


Be aware of the FCC narrowband mandate!

On January 1, 2013 the FCC began to enforce its mandate that all business, industrial, educational, health care and construction users of business radio frequencies must migrate to 12.5 kHz spread spectrum equipment from legacy radios operating at 25 kHz spread. This mandate applies to all radios operating at 2 watts and above using VHF bands 150-174 MHz and UHF bands 421-512 MHz. Motorola radios affected by the mandate were introduced or produced prior to 1998. Since 1998 Motorola radios have been narrowband compliant with the ability to operate at 25 kHz or 12.5 kHz spread. All current radios are set to 12.5 kHz spread. The reason for the mandate is to tighten the spread between licensed bands in order to free up additional band width for more users. If your radios are narrowband capable but are currently operating at 25 kHz spread; you will need to have them re-programed in order to operate at the 12.5 kHz spread. You must ensure that the 25 kHz is disabled on your dual mode 25/12.5 kHz radios. Two radios operating on the same frequency but at different spreads will communicate with each other but the audio quality and range will be degraded; in addition to being in violation of FCC rules. Once your radios are compliant you will still have to apply for changes to your FCC license to reflect the narrowband changes. Older legacy equipment that is not capable of being narrowband compliant will HAVE TO BE REPLACED. Violators will be subject to fines, loss of license and other charges not yet stipulated. Donít get caught in the rush at year end to be compliant; inventory your equipment NOW, make plans to have narrowband capable equipment re-programed to be compliant, budget to replace non-compliant equipment and apply for the required license changes. All of these actions require TIME to be completed and the clock is ticking toward January 1st.

Q. Is there a way to get around the FCC mandate?

A. No, all users of analog equipment 2 watts and higher will need to be compliant.

Q. Is digital equipment affected by the FCC mandate?

A. No, digital equipment operates at 900MHz and spectrum hops so it is not affected and does not require an FCC license.

Q. How can I tell if my Motorola equipment is 12.5 kHz capable?

All Motorola radio equipment certified by the FCC since February 14, 1997 is 12.5 kHz efficiency capable. To review the list of Motorola 12.5 kHz capable products please visit Motorola.com/narrowbanding.

Q. Where and how do I go about having my license changed to comply with the FCC mandate?

A. Contact Axcess Technology Source and we will assist you in the process to apply for the changes to your existing license.

Q. How can I determine if my existing radios are narrowband capable?

A. Most all radios will have a manufactured date on the radio; usually under the battery. If the date code is prior to 1998 you will need to contact Axcess Technology Source to determine whether or not the radio is capable of being narrowband compliant.

Q: Which radios have a dual band that may need to be disabled?

A: These radios have pre-programmed frequencies with the dual band option.

Quick List of Dual Mode (25/12.5 kHz): RDX Series (RDV2020, RDV2080d, RDV5100, RDU2020, RDU2080d, RDU4100, RDU4160d); XTN Series (XV1100, XV2100, XV2600, XU1100, XU2100, XU2600); M-Series (MV11C, MV21CV, MV22CV, MV24CVS, MU21CV, MU22CV, MU24CVS); AX Series (AXV5100, AXU4100) Spirit GT (Spirit GT, Spirit GT+)

Quick List of 12.5 kHZ Only: This will not need any re-programming. CLS Series (CLS1110, CLS1410); CLP (CLP1010, CLP1040)

Quick List of 25 kHz Only: These will need to be replaced. S-Series (SU or SV models); Spirit Series (Spirit I, Spirit II, Spirit III)

Q: How do I upgrade my existing 12.5 kHz capable equipment?

A: IF you have a new radio already set at the 12.5 kHz spread and on the correct frequency that you operate on, you can clone your existing radios to match this radio.

Q: Does Narrowbanding require me to change frequencies?

A: This depends on which frequencies you are currently operating on. Below is a quick chart to assist you in determining if you need to reprogram your radios.

MODEL FREQUENCY ACTION
RDV2020, RDV2080d, RDV5100  5,6,10,22,25,27 All set – no action required
1-4,7-9,11-21,23,24,26 Need to change to Freq. 5,6,10,22,25 or 27

XV1100, XV2100, XV2600, MV11C, MV21CV, MV22CV, MV24CVS  5,6,7,8 Need to change bandwidth to 12.5
1-4,10-27 Freq. 5 or 6 and bandwidth to 12.5

RDU2020, RDU2080d, RDU4100, RDU4160d, XU1100, XU2100, XU2600, MU21CV, MU22CV, MU24CVS, Spirit GT, Spirit GT+  3,4,9-89 All set – no action required
1,2,5,6,7,8 Need to change bandwidth to 12.5
Q. What happens if I don’t comply?

A. You will be fined and possibly lose your license to operate 2-way radio equipment.

Q. What do I need to do again?

A. Take inventory of your equipment to determine what may have to be replaced, budget for the cost of the replacement equipment, have your narrowband capable equipment re-programed and apply for the necessary license changes.

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