⚠ We would appreciate if you would disable your ad blocker when visiting our site! ⚠

VHF/UHF Narrowbanding... Verify Compliance before the January 1 Deadline or Risk Enforcement

Order a reprint of this story
Close (X)


To reprint an article or any part of an article from Hospitality Upgrade please email geneva@hospitalityupgrade.com. Fee is $250 per reprint. One-time reprint. Fee may be waived under certain circumstances.


October 01, 2012
Jeremy Rock

View Magazine Version of This Article

Attention engineer department!  If you are using two-way radios from before 2004 read this:

In December 2004, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ordered all VHF (150-174 MHz) and UHF (421-512 MHz) PLMR (private land mobile radio) licensees operating legacy wideband (25 kHz bandwidth) voice or data/SCADA systems to migrate to narrowband (12.5 kHz bandwidth or equivalent) systems by Jan. 1, 2013.

On January 1, all public safety and business industrial land mobile radio systems (including hotels and resorts) who are operating in the above referenced radio bands must cease operating using 25 kHz efficiency technology, and begin operating using at the narrowband 12.5 kHz efficiency technology. While this initiative has been underway for almost two decades, it has gone relatively unnoticed in the industry. Most hotels who have replaced equipment in the last 10 years have effectively migrated to equipment that can operate on 12.5 KHz technology. The initiative is necessary to ensure more efficient use of the spectrum and provide greater access for public safety and non-public safety users. Also, it will create additional channel capacity within the same radio spectrum and support more users.

At the APCO Annual Conference a representative from the FCC Public Safety and Homeland Security Bureau indicated that while great strides had been made over the course of the past few years by licensees in converting from the 25KHz to the 12.5 KHz licenses, there were still approximately 35 percent, or roughly 37,000 licenses in the FCC database that were still 25 kHz emission-only licenses. Given that hotels are prolific users of mobile radios for operationally driven communications, one has to assume that a fair portion of these 37,000 licenses pertain to the hospitality industry.

Even though the FCC issued and Enforcement Advisory (No. 2012-05) to license holders on Aug. 22 2012, there may be hotels still unaware of the pending deadline and that failure to meet the January deadline is considered a violation of the commission’s rules subject to FCC enforcement action, which may include admonishment, monetary fines, or loss of license. The FCC has indicated that it intends to audit the remaining license holders who have not converted soon after the January deadline and those who have not complied with the conversion date may lose their licenses. 

Hotels are urged to review their current radio equipment and licensing status to verify usage of the 12.5 KHz and application filing for the 12.5 KHz license. Most hotels work with a radio solutions partner/provider who maintains and services their equipment. If a property is unsure of its license status, it should contact the radio support provider immediately to ascertain the current license status and verification of equipment configured to the 12.5 KHz spectrum.

Properties effectively have two choices to remain in compliance:

(1.) Make the transition to narrowband technology , or

(2.) Obtain a waiver from the FCC, which may be difficult to obtain at this point in time.

It is important to note that the FCC has indicated that they will be enforcing the new requirement. Hotels are encouraged to verify compliance with the new mandate before the deadline.
©2012 Hospitality Upgrade
This work may not be reprinted, redistributed or repurposed without written consent.
For permission requests, call 678.802.5302 or email
info@hospitalityupgrade.com .

Articles By The Same Author

want to read more articles like this?

want to read more articles like this?

Sign up to receive our twice-a-month Watercooler and Siegel Sez Newsletters and never miss another article or news story.