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You probably know that all wireless communications in the United States are regulated under the authority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). But did you also know that an FCC License is required for any and all individuals, businesses, and government agencies that operate radio communications equipment? This license authorizes the exact frequencies you can use and where, the amount of output power allowed, your specific antenna height, and a host of other communications parameters.

That’s right, businesses and governments are required to maintain an FCC License and to ensure their radio systems are operating within the limitations of their granted licensed authorization. The FCC enforces these requirements to maximize access to the finite wireless spectrum, and to minimize potential interference between users. This means your critical wireless business communications can run smoothly and your employees can easily be in touch with each other, without worrying about harmful interference from other companies’ users.

This also means that FCC enforcement could lead to serious fines and penalties for un-licensed users, or users operating outside the limits of their approved authorization. Communication Specialist Contracting Inc Communications makes it easy for you to acquire and maintain your required FCC authorization. We provide advice and assistance regarding most FCC matters, including:
New License Applications
Existing License Modifications and Renewals
Construction Notification Filing
FCC Database Searches
Spectrum Acquisitions and Brokerage
Regulatory Counsel
RF Coverage Analysis
Frequency Interference Analysis

Why you are asked to get an FCC license for Business Radios

Professional two-way radios operate on radio frequencies that are regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). In order to transmit on these frequencies, you are asked to have a license issued by the FCC. This license is not required to purchase the radios.

What is Narrowbanding?

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.

What is spectrum efficiency?

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.

What do I need to do before January 1, 2011 versus January 1, 2013?

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, 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.

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 www.


What will happen if I fail to comply with the FCC Narrowbanding mandate? Can I continue to operate at 25 kHz efficiency after January 1, 2013?

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.

Will migration to 12.5 kHz change my system coverage area?

Maybe. Conduct tests during conversion to ensure your radios continue to provide similar coverage.

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