0
$\begingroup$

If I obtain a license to a chunk of spectrum, are there any limitations on what I can do in that spectrum?

For example, would I need to declare to the FCC my intentions for using the spectrum (e.g. point-to-point links, mesh networks, etc), or can I use it for whatever? Can whoever I authorize transmit on this chunk of spectrum? If I lease the spectrum to another user, do I need to declare this sub-lease to the FCC? Are there any transmit power limitations?

$\endgroup$
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Can you please be more specific? What did you have in mind? In any case, there are always limitations. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Apr 27 at 16:38
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Interesting question. In broad terms and without doing further research to support a full answer here, I think the FCC usually licenses uses of spectrum, rather than "chunks" — and so yes you'd need to declare your intentions and the rest would follow from that. $\endgroup$ – natevw - AF7TB Apr 27 at 17:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MikeWaters I want to know about licensed spectrum in general. How much does it cost? What is the process to obtain a license? How long do the licenses last and what are the typical terms of the license? In this case I tried to narrow my question to fit the spirit of stack exchange, but I'm afraid I don't really have enough knowledge to make it more specific. I'd like to know, if I were to win an auction for a license, what general rules do I need to follow when I make use of that license? $\endgroup$ – awelkie Apr 27 at 18:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is a pretty broad question. I think it needs more focus, and it might even be off-topic. But since nobody has flagged it as such, I'll leave it alone. Please review this section of the rules about asking questions. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Apr 27 at 19:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MikeWaters appears to have stated it correctly: the FCC allocates spectrum by use; e.g., land or aeronautical mobile, radionavigation, research, etc. Use the FCC's "Universal Licensing System" to apply for a license. $\endgroup$ – Brian K1LI Apr 27 at 19:19
9
$\begingroup$

The FCC issues licenses for a particular service (e.g. broadcast, amateur, land mobile, common carrier, etc.). Each service is regulated by a specific part of the FCC regulations (e.g., Part 97 for Amateur Radio Service). These regulations determine the limitations on a licensees use of spectrum. There may also be license specific limitations.

In effect, when you apply for a license in a specific service, you are declaring the type of use you intend. In the Amateur Service, as long as you follow the regulations, you do not normally need to notify the FCC of any particular use as long the use is allowed by Part 97.

Whether you can authorize others to use the frequencies you are licensed for depends on the service. A Land Mobile (Part 90) license will allow for a number of mobile units. The licensee (e.g. a fire department) gets to decide who can operate radios under that license. But the use has to be appropriate to the license (e.g., fire dispatch). An Amateur Radio licensee has no authority to allow others to use radio spectrum. Each operator needs their own license.

License term, power limits, etc. are determined by the service and possibly the specific license. Cost of applying for and getting a license also depends on the service. Costs: Amateur Service - a few dollars for test and time for study; Land Mobile - maybe a couple hundred for coordination or maybe more for big systems; common carrier (cell phone)- Megabucks, maybe Gigabucks (I don't know).

Note: Spectrum auctions mostly (AFAIK) apply to spectrum allocated for common carrier use. And large sums of money are involved.

What you really need to do is think about what you want to do with any radio spectrum, then come back and ask a "How do I..." question.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for a very helpful answer to a very vague question. $\endgroup$ – awelkie Apr 28 at 7:28
0
$\begingroup$

Short answer: yes, there are limitations.

You'll actually be applying for a license for spectrum in a particular service each of which has use requirements and/or restrictions.

| improve this answer | |
$\endgroup$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.