Narrowbanding Myths and Realities
Myth: The Narrowbanding Mandate requires licensees to "go digital" (i.e. P25; NXDN; MotoTRBO, TETRA)
Myth: The Narrowbanding Mandate requires licensees to use 6.25 KHz emissions
Myth: The Narrowbanding Mandate requires licensees to change to a new frequency or band
Myth: The Narrowbanding Mandate requires licensees to use trunking technology

The above claims are false in the context of any of them actually being required to comply with the
narrowbanding mandate. They may, however, be valid OPTIONS for consideration by individual
licensees or certain types of radio system user groups (i.e. Public Safety) when comparing the features, capabilities, benefits and added value those advanced technology options offer with those provided by
existing radio systems and/or, in determining whether present systems still effectively meet a licensees
current and future communications needs and requirements.

It is imperative that licensees thoroughly discuss, analize, and understand how these OPTIONS may
(or may not) be beneficial to their specific radio system operations. Using the services of qualified radio communications professionals when planning and implementing any narrowband migration project is highly recommended.

Myth: Wideband licensees may continue to operate on a "secondary user" basis after 01/01/2013

Not true
. ALL Part 90 VHF and UHF two way voice dispatch, data, SCADA, and private radio paging systems must be operating in a 12.5 KHz narrowband (or equivalent) mode on or before the 01/01/2013 date unless -- and only if -- a Narrowbanding Waiver  has been issued to the licensee.

Myth: Everybody must narrowband again by 2017

This myth is inaccurate
. This date applies only to Part 90 Public Safety 700 MHz systems which must be operating with 6.25 KHz emissions/equivalency by January 1, 2017.  Part 90 VHF (150-174 MHz) or UHF (421-470 MHz) licensees are NOT required to migrate to 6.25 KHz emissions/equivalency by this or any other date  

Myth: 3rd Party narrowbanding "kits" may be used to modify equipment to comply with the Mandate

.  "To be compliant with the commission's rules, the radio must be specifically certificated for
        narrowband use under Part 90" (Ira Keltz, deputy chief, FCC's Office of Engineering and
        Technology -  01/20/2010
        and  02/02/2010)

            Also see the FCC's responses to FAQ's regarding other Narrowbanding scenarios
            Also see VHF/UHF FAQ's

Reality: Part 90 narrowbanding is NOT optional

Reality: Do NOT ignore the narrowbanding compliance date of January 1, 2013

Reality: Failure to comply without an FCC Waiver WILL result in license revocation and/or monetary penalties

Reality: Narrowbanding is not complete until all subscriber and infrastructure radios in a system have been
                  either replaced or re-programmed to operate in the narrowband mode.  Many existing radio systems are
                  still operating in the wide-band mode - do you know the status of YOUR system?

Reality: Interference WILL occur to wideband systems as new narrowband systems are
              deployed on narrowband frequencies adjacent to those used by wideband systems

Reality: After 01/01/2013, any Part 90 system still operating in the wideband mode that causes
              interference to compliant narrowband systems will be subject to several FCC enforcement
              actions, including the immediate shut down of the offending system

Reality: Low, potentially distorted, or unintelligible audio or, corrupted data, WILL occur
              between wideband and narrowband devices operating in the same system

Reality: Narrowbanding WILL require well-planned and coordinated implementation strategies
              to avoid disruption of normal day-to-day radio communications and operations

Reality: After 01/01/2013, all dual-mode capable 25/12.5 KHz radio equipment must be operated
              only in the 12.5 KHz narrowband mode

Reality: The Narrowbanding Mandate does NOT apply to Low Band (30-50 MHz) 220, 700, 800 or 900
              MHz Part 90 systems, nor to FRS, GMRS, MURS, Amateur, Marine VHF, or CB radio users

 Copyright 2012 -
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