In an effort to promote more efficient use of spectrum, the FCC mandated all VHF and UHF Industrial/Business licensees using 25 kHz Land mobile radio (portables) migrate to narrowband 12.5 kHz efficiency technology by January 1, 2013.
Currently the UHF and VHF frequency bands are congested and often there is not enough spectrum available for licensees to expand their existing systems or implement new systems. This mandate requires licensees to operate more efficiently, either on narrower channel bandwidths or increased voice paths on existing channels. This will allow creation of additional channels within the same spectrum, thereby supporting more users.
After January 1, 2011, users who apply for a new license or modify their existing license must specify 12.5 kHz efficiency. If you need to expand your service area for your existing 25 kHz efficiency system, you will need to submit an application before January 1, 2011.
Manufacturers can no longer certify new product or import equipment capable of operating at 25 kHz efficiency after January 1, 2011. While providers can still sell 25 kHz equipment after that date, if it was manufactured/imported prior to January 1, 2011, it may be increasingly difficult to match your existing radios. You should consider either purchasing additional 25 kHz radios before 2011, or accelerate your system migration to 12.5 kHz efficiency. By January 1, 2013 all licensees must convert to and operate in at least 12.5 kHz efficiency. You must ensure that the 25 kHz is disabled on your dual mode 25/12.5 kHz radios. And you must replace all radios only capable of operating at 25 kHz efficiency.
No. The FCC will prohibit licensees from operating 25 kHz efficiency equipment. Non-compliance will be considered a violation subject to FCC Enforcement Bureau action, which may include admonishment, monetary fines and loss of license.