[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 136 (Wednesday, July 16, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 41448-41454]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-16616]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 27

[WT Docket No. 03-66; FCC 14-76]


Facilitating the Provision of Fixed and Mobile Broadband Access, 
Educational and Other Advanced Services in the 2150-2162 and 2500-2690 
MHz Bands

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Commission adopted rules that relax the 
out-of-band emissions (OOBE) limits for Broadband Radio Service (BRS) 
and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) digital mobile stations 
(broadband mobile devices) operating in the 2496-2690 MHz radio 
frequency (RF) band (2.5 GHz band). These changes will enable operators 
to use BRS and EBS spectrum more efficiently and provide higher data 
rates to consumers. These changes will also promote greater consistency 
between the Commission's BRS/EBS technical rules and global standards 
for broadband mobile devices in the 2.5 GHz band, potentially making 
equipment more affordable and furthering the proliferation of broadband 
mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets that operate in the 2.5 
GHz band.

DATES: Effective August 15, 2014.

ADDRESSES: Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20554.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Nancy M. Zaczek, Broadband Division, 
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, at (202) 418-0274 or 
[email protected].

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Fifth 
Report and Order, FCC-14-76, adopted on June 6, 2014, and released on 
June 9, 2014. The full text of this document is available for 
inspection and copying during normal business hours in the FCC 
Reference Information Center, Room CY-A257, 445 12th Street SW., 
Washington, DC 20554. The complete text may be purchased from the 
Commission's duplicating contractor, Best Copy and Printing, Inc. 
(BCPI), Portals II, 445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 
20554, (202) 488-5300, facsimile (202) 488-5563, or via email at 
[email protected]. The complete text is also available on the 
Commission's Web site at http://fjallfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-14-76A1.docx. To request materials in accessible 
formats for people with disabilities (Braille, large print, electronic 
files, audio format), send an email to [email protected] or call the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
418-0432 (tty).

I. Introduction

    1. In this Fifth Report and Order (BRS/EBS OOBE R&O), the 
Commission relaxed the OOBE limits for Broadband Radio Service (BRS) 
and Educational Broadband Service (EBS) digital mobile stations 
(broadband mobile devices) operating in the 2496-2690 MHz radio 
frequency band (2.5 GHz band). These changes will enable operators to 
use BRS and EBS spectrum more efficiently and provide higher data rates 
to consumers. These changes will also promote greater consistency 
between the Commission's BRS/EBS technical rules and global standards 
for broadband mobile devices in the 2.5 GHz band, potentially making 
equipment more affordable and furthering the proliferation of broadband 
mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets that operate in the 2.5 
GHz band.

II. Background

    2. General: To enable commercial operators to develop and deploy 
new and innovative wireless services, in 2004, the Commission 
fundamentally transformed the licensing and technical rules for the BRS 
and EBS. The Commission reconfigured the 2.5 GHz band into upper and 
lower-band segments (UBS and LBS, respectively) for new two-way low-
power operations, such as mobile and fixed wireless broadband services, 
and a mid-band segment (MBS) for legacy one-way video high-power 
operations, such as long-distance learning. In addition, the Commission 
reallocated and assigned an additional 5 megahertz to the BRS/EBS band 
at 2495-2500 MHz, and permitted BRS and EBS services to share the 2495-
2500 MHz portion of the band on a co-primary basis with operators in 
the part 25 Mobile Satellite Service (MSS), as well as grandfathered 
part 74 Broadcast Auxiliary Service (BAS) and part 90 mobile service 
(MS) and part 101 fixed service (FS) stations. Under the new band plan, 
BRS Channel 1 (BRS1) was relocated to 2496-2502 MHz from 2150-2156 MHz. 
BRS1 was the channel most affected by the Commission's decision to 
allow BRS/EBS operators and MSS, BAS channel A10, MS, and FS radio 
services to share the 2496-2500 MHz portion of the 2.5 GHz band. To 
reduce the potential for harmful interference to operations above and 
below 2495 MHz, the Commission created a one megahertz guard band at 
2495-2496 MHz.
    3. To protect against adjacent channel interference and to 
facilitate mobile operations in the band, the Commission's 2004 
decision also revised the OOBE limits for BRS and EBS licensees 
operating in the LBS and UBS, consistent with a proposal made by a 
coalition of organizations representing BRS and EBS licensees. The 
Commission retained the existing OOBE limits for MBS analog operations, 
but applied the new OOBE limits to MBS digital operations with the 
result that all digital operations throughout the 2.5 GHz band would be 
subject to the same OOBE limits. For mobile broadband devices, the 
Commission

[[Page 41449]]

required that emissions outside the licensee's channel, or channels if 
combined, be attenuated below the transmitter power (P) by a factor of 
43 + 10 log (P) decibels (dB) at the channel's edge, and 55 + 10 log 
(P) dB at 5.5 megahertz from the channel edge, where (P) is the 
transmitter power measured in Watts. The Commission noted that MSS 
licensees operating in the adjacent band could seek tighter OOBE limits 
for BRS1 operations in cases of documented harmful interference.
    4. Since the Commission adopted these OOBE limits and other changes 
to the BRS/EBS services in 2004, Clearwire Corporation (Clearwire) has 
become the predominant operator in the band. Clearwire and other 
operators in the 2.5 GHz band use equipment designed according to the 
Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access (WiMAX) version 802.16e 
standard, a technology based on the Institute of Electrical and 
Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.16 standard, to provide wireless 
broadband service. Sprint, which now controls 100 percent of Clearwire, 
has announced its intent to deploy a Time Division Duplex (TDD) system 
based on Long Term Evolution (LTE), another global standard for 
wireless broadband technology, in the 2.5 GHz band as part of its 
Sprint Spark service, which is currently available in 11 markets. The 
Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), a consensus-driven 
international partnership of telecommunications standards bodies, 
developed LTE. 3GPP has identified three band classes for LTE 
applicable to the 2.5 GHz Band:
     Band Class 7 (Frequency Division Duplex (FDD) operation 
with uplink operation in 2500-2570 MHz and downlink operation in 2620-
2690 MHz);
     Band Class 38 (TDD operation in 2570-2620 MHz); and
     Band Class 41 (TDD operation throughout the 2496-2690 MHz 
band).
    5. Sprint estimates that 100 million customers will have Sprint 
Spark or 2.5 GHz band coverage by the end of 2014. IEEE and 3GPP state 
that they are refining their respective standards into new versions: 
WiMAX 2 (based on the 802.16m standard) and Advanced-LTE (3GPP Release 
10 and beyond).
    6. To cope with increased demand for Fourth Generation (4G) 
services while using spectrum efficiently, WiMAX2 and LTE-Advanced 
equipment will use channels that have bandwidths up to 40-100 
megahertz. In contrast, current WiMAX equipment typically uses channels 
that have a maximum bandwidth of 10 megahertz. Although channels in the 
LBS and UBS, except for BRS1 and BRS Channel 2 (BRS2), are 5.5 
megahertz, operators generally combine multiple channels to provide 
service.
    7. WCAI Petition: To permit operators to realize the full benefits 
of 4G technologies, such as WiMAX2 and Advanced-LTE, which can use 
wider bandwidth technologies, on October 22, 2010, the Wireless 
Communications Association International (WCAI) filed a petition for 
rulemaking asking the Commission to revise the OOBE limits for mobile 
broadband devices operating in the 2.5 GHz band to accommodate channel 
bandwidths of 20 megahertz and wider. WCAI stated that it is difficult 
for mobile broadband devices operating in the 2.5 GHz band to meet the 
OOBE limits for 10 megahertz channels because of the limits of power 
amplifier efficiency inherent in current technology. WCAI also asserted 
that it would be difficult or impossible to develop a smartphone that 
both complies with current out-of-band emissions standards and that 
could fully use a 20 megahertz channel bandwidth. WCAI thus asked the 
Commission to relax the OOBE limits for mobile broadband devices 
operating in the 2.5 GHz band by modifying the attenuation factors that 
these devices must meet. WCAI argued that this increase would allow 
operators to provide the full uplink capacity available in 20 megahertz 
or wider channels, and would align the Commission's OOBE limits with 
international standards developed by 3GPP for OOBE limits in the 2.5 
GHz band.
    8. BRS/EBS OOBE Further Notice of Proposed Rule Making (FNPRM): In 
response to WCAI's petition, on May 27, 2011, the Commission released 
the BRS/EBS OOBE FNPRM, in which it found that enabling the use of 
wider channels in the 2.5 GHz band would enhance spectrum efficiency 
and throughput of mobile broadband devices operating in the 2.5 GHz 
band, and that aligning the Commission's rules with international 
standards could benefit both operators and consumers. The Commission 
sought comment on whether it should modify the OOBE limits for mobile 
broadband devices operating in the 2.5 GHz band, and specifically 
sought comments on the OOBE limits (i.e., attenuation factors) 
requested by WCAI, and outlined below.
     40 + 10 log (P) (where (P) is the transmitter power in 
Watts) dB at the channel edge, measured using a resolution bandwidth of 
2 percent of the emission bandwidth of the fundamental emission in the 
1 megahertz bands immediately outside and adjacent to the frequency 
block;
     43 + 10 log (P) dB beyond 5 megahertz from the channel 
edges; and
     55 + 10 log (P) dB attenuation factor at a separation of X 
megahertz from the channel edges, where X is the greater of 6 megahertz 
or the actual emission bandwidth as defined in Sec.  27.53(m)(6) of the 
Commission's rules.
    9. In addition to seeking comment on the specific OOBE limits 
proposed by WCAI, the Commission also inquired about the following 
issues:
     Whether the proposed rule changes are necessary to permit 
mobile broadband devices to operate in the 2.5 GHz band using channel 
bandwidths wider than 10 megahertz;
     Whether the proposed rule changes would result in 
insufficient protection against harmful interference within the 2.5 GHz 
band, and if so, whether additional protections against such harmful 
interference would be needed;
     Whether the proposed rule changes would increase the 
potential for harmful interference into the MSS and BAS below 2495 MHz;
     Whether the Commission should adopt a fixed limit for OOBE 
below 2495 MHz or above 2690 MHz;
     Whether the proposed rule would work for channels wider 
than 20 megahertz without causing harmful interference to operations in 
adjacent bands;
     Whether the proposed rule changes would be consistent with 
IEEE's continuing development of WiMAX2, as well as other evolving 
standards; and
     Whether any additional changes to the OOBE limits 
applicable to digital mobile stations in the 2.5 GHz band are necessary 
or desirable to promote greater efficiency and flexibility in the 
provision of broadband services in these bands.
    10. Comments and Clearwire Ex Parte: Most commenters supported the 
BRS/EBS OOBE FNPRM's proposed rule changes. They argued that the 
proposed changes to the OOBE standard would allow faster data rates in 
the 2.5 GHz band, align the Commission's rules with international 
standards, maximize spectral efficiency and broadband throughput, and 
permit manufacturers and network operators to realize enormous 
economies of scope and scale. However, four commenters opposed the 
proposed changes, including Globalstar Corporation (Globalstar), the 
Engineers for the Integrity of Broadcast Auxiliary Services Spectrum 
(EIBASS), IP Wireless, Inc. (IP Wireless), and Northrop Grumman Systems 
Corporation (Northrop Grumman).

[[Page 41450]]

    11. On October 18, 2012, in response to the opposition comments of 
Globalstar and EIBASS, Clearwire proposed a modification of the BRS/EBS 
OOBE FNPRM's proposal. Under Clearwire's suggested approach, the 
relaxation of the OOBE limits proposed by WCAI would be implemented 
except for at and below the lower band edge of the 2.5 GHz band at 2496 
MHz, where the current OOBE limits applicable to a channel with a lower 
edge at 2496 MHz would apply to all BRS/EBS channels. Under our 
existing rules, a mobile broadband device using a 10 megahertz 
bandwidth channel in the 2496-2506 MHz band (the bottom of the 2.5 GHz 
band) must have an OOBE attenuation factor below the transmitter power 
(P) by a factor of 43 + 10 log (P) dB at 2496 MHz (the channel edge), 
and 55 + 10 log (P) dB at 2490.5 MHz (5.5 megahertz below the channel 
edge. Under this modified approach, the attenuation factors for mobile 
broadband devices operating in the 2.5 GHz band would be as follows:
     40 + 10 log (P) (where (P) is the transmitter power in 
Watts) dB at the channel edge;
     43 + 10 log (P) dB beyond 5 megahertz from the channel 
edges;
     55 + 10 log (P) dB attenuation factor at a separation of X 
megahertz from the channel edges, where X is the greater of 6 megahertz 
or the actual emission bandwidth as defined in Sec.  27.53(m)(6) of the 
Commission's rules;
     43 + 10 log (P) dB at 2496 MHz; and
     55 + 10 log (P) dB at or below 2490.5 MHz.
    12. Clearwire also proposed that the Commission modify WCAI's 
proposal to change the way compliance with the OOBE limits is measured 
for BRS/EBS mobile digital stations. Under the Commission's current 
rules, compliance is measured using a resolution bandwidth of 1 
megahertz or greater, except in the 1 megahertz bands immediately 
outside and adjacent to the frequency block, where a resolution 
bandwidth of at least 1 percent of the transmitter's fundamental 
emission may be used. In its petition, WCAI had requested that the 
resolution bandwidth be changed to 2 percent in all portions of the 2.5 
GHz band. Clearwire proposed that, except for the 2495-2496 MHz band, 
in the 1 megahertz bands immediately outside and adjacent to the 
frequency block under use, a resolution bandwidth of at least 2 percent 
of the fundamental emission be allowed to measure compliance. In the 
2495-2496 MHz band, the existing resolution bandwidth requirement of at 
least 1 percent would still apply. Globalstar does not object to the 
modified Clearwire proposals. No other commenting party objected to 
Clearwire's proposed modification.

III. Discussion

    13. We find that the public interest will be served by a 
modification of the OOBE limits for BRS and EBS mobile broadband 
devices as proposed in the BRS/EBS OOBE FNPRM, with the modifications 
proposed by Clearwire. The rules adopted by the Commission are slightly 
different than the rules proposed by Clearwire. The main purpose of the 
changes we make is to make clear where the OOBE standards apply over a 
range of frequencies. Specifically, while Clearwire proposes to adopt 
the 55 + 10 log (P) dB attenuation factor at a distance of X megahertz 
from the channel edges, the rule applies that factor at X megahertz or 
more from the channel edges. These changes will produce several 
benefits for operators and consumers.
    14. First, by adjusting our OOBE standards, we can facilitate the 
use of wider channels, which will result in faster data rates and allow 
the use of advanced wireless technologies such as LTE-Advanced. 
Commenters unanimously tout the benefits of wider channels. The record 
shows that changes to our OOBE standards are necessary to facilitate 
development of a device ecosystem that would fully take advantage of 
wider channels in the 2.5 GHz band. To that end, most equipment 
manufacturers support the proposed changes. While IP Wireless states 
that it has developed a universal serial bus (USB) stick that can 
operate with 20 megahertz channels and comply with the existing OOBE 
requirements, it does not appear, given the state of current 
technology, that such performance can be cost-effectively replicated 
with highly mobile, highly integrated, multi[hyphen]mode, 
multi[hyphen]band smartphones. Furthermore, there is a benefit in 
having a wide variety of equipment manufacturers providing devices that 
can operate on wider channels.
    15. Second, the changes will conform our 2.5 GHz band OOBE limits 
to the emission mask standards established by 3GPP for 20 megahertz 
channels. Specifically, the adopted rules will make our OOBE standards 
consistent with the general OOBE standards adopted by 3GPP for 20 
megahertz channels. The 3GPP standards provide for an OOBE power of -10 
dBm (-40 dBW), which corresponds to an OOBE attenuation factor of 40 + 
10 log (P) dB up to 5 megahertz away from the channel edge, and an OOBE 
power of -13 dBm (-43 dBW), which corresponds to an OOBE attenuation 
factor of 43 + 10 log (P) dB up to 20 megahertz away from the channel 
edge. Adopting internationally harmonized OOBE standards for the 2.5 
GHz band will result in several advantages for manufacturers, 
operators, and consumers. For example, internationally harmonized 
standards will allow manufacturers to produce equipment that can be 
used worldwide, lowering their development and production costs, 
thereby increasing consumer choice and supply and decreasing the cost 
of mobile broadband devices available for use domestically. In 
addition, harmonizing the standards will facilitate international 
roaming by consumers since there will be a consistent set of technical 
standards that will apply to broadband mobile devices.
    16. Third, our action will facilitate the continued development of 
mobile wireless broadband services in the 2.5 GHz band. These changes 
will facilitate the use of TDD technologies, since TDD operations use a 
single wider channel, as opposed to the two narrower channels that are 
used in FDD operations. Our action will provide operators with 
additional flexibility to use the 2.5 GHz band more efficiently and 
more intensively.
    17. Fourth, we can change our 2.5 GHz band OOBE rules without 
materially increasing the potential for harmful interference to other 
authorized services in bands adjacent to the 2.5 GHz band. In the BRS/
EBS OOBE FNPRM, the Commission asked whether the proposed OOBE changes 
would materially increase harmful interference into the adjacent bands, 
and, if so, whether the Commission should establish a fixed limit on 
out-of-band emissions below 2495 MHz or above 2690 MHz. In response, 
Globalstar and EIBASS originally argued that amending the BRS/EBS 
mobile OOBE rule would greatly increase the probability of harmful 
interference to Big LEO MSS and BAS operations below 2495 MHz, 
especially in rural and remote areas. Since that time, however, 
Clearwire proposed retaining the existing OOBE limits at and below 2496 
MHz, which are currently applicable to a channel with a lower edge at 
2496 MHz (e.g., Channel BRS1), as band edge limits for all BRS/EBS 
channels, and Globalstar has stated that it has no objection to that 
proposal. Retaining the existing Channel BRS1 OOBE limits at and below 
2496 MHz for all BRS/EBS channels would also address EIBASS' concerns 
about increased interference to BAS Channel A9 (2467-2483.5 MHz) 
because BRS/EBS mobile units will not be allowed to increase OOBE below 
2496 MHz. While several parties had expressed concern

[[Page 41451]]

that establishing different limits at lower edges of the 2.5 GHz band 
would negate many of the advantages of allowing wider channels, we 
agree with Clearwire that the revised OOBE limits that we adopt today 
will allow licensees to provide enhanced broadband services to their 
subscribers by operating with wider channels throughout most of the 2.5 
GHz band, as well as support international roaming, without materially 
increasing the potential for harmful interference to other authorized 
services in adjacent bands.
    18. EIBASS also expressed concern about increased interference to 
BAS Channel A10 (2483.5-2500 MHz). With respect to the 2491-2500 MHz 
portion of that channel, that portion could, in theory, be subject to 
increased interference from certain adjacent channel BRS/EBS mobile 
units' increased OOBE. Under Clearwire's relaxed OOBE parameters, the 
theoretical increase in potential interference would result because 
mobile units operating with a 20 megahertz channel at 2511-2531 MHz 
would only be required to attenuate OOBE by a factor of 43 + 10 log (P) 
dB above 2491 MHz, while under the current rules, they are required to 
attenuate OOBE by a factor of 55 + 10 log (P) dB. For mobile units 
operating with a 20 megahertz channel at 2502-2522 MHz, a theoretical 
increase in potential interference would result because they would only 
be required to attenuate OOBE by a factor of 40 + 10 log (P) dB from 
2497-2500 MHz, while under the current rules they are required to 
attenuate OOBE by a factor of 43 + 10 log (P) dB from 2497-2500 MHz. 
However, we believe the chance of harmful interference to BAS Channel 
A10 is very low for several reasons. First, we note that BAS Channel 
A10 is currently subject to OOBE from BRS/EBS base stations, which can 
operate at higher power than mobile units. Notwithstanding this fact, 
we are unaware of any allegation or complaint that BRS/EBS operations 
have caused harmful interference to BAS Channel A10 operations. Second, 
there are many fewer operations on BAS Channel A10 (56 active licenses) 
than on any other BAS channel. EIBASS is correct that multiple 
transmitters can be authorized under a single license. It is 
nonetheless true that BAS Channel A10 is much more lightly utilized 
than BAS Channel A9, which has 788 active BAS licenses. BRS/EBS mobile 
stations are unlikely to be operated in close proximity to BAS 
receiving antennas, which are typically located on the same or similar 
structures as TV broadcasting antennas. Third, because the primary use 
of the 2.5 GHz band is for TDD operations, we believe BRS/EBS operators 
are unlikely to use channels at or near the lower edge of the 2.5 GHz 
band in situations where base stations may cause harmful interference 
to BAS or MSS operations. We therefore conclude that any potential 
increase in OOBE is highly unlikely to result in harmful interference 
to the BAS.
    19. Under Clearwire's suggested approach, any BRS or EBS channel 
can operate under the relaxed OOBE limits except at 2496 MHz, where the 
existing OOBE limits applicable to a channel with a lower edge at 2496 
MHz would apply. Under our existing rules, a mobile broadband device 
with a 10 megahertz bandwidth in the 2496-2506 MHz band (the bottom of 
the 2.5 GHz band) must have an OOBE attenuation factor below the 
transmitter power (P) by a factor of 43 + 10 log (P) dB at 2496 MHz 
(the channel edge), and 55 + 10 log (P) dB at 2490.5 MHz (5.5 megahertz 
below the channel edge). Under the rules we have adopted, all 2.5 GHz 
band mobile broadband devices must maintain an OOBE attenuation factor 
of at least 43 + 10 log (P) dB on all frequencies between 2490.5 MHz 
and 2496 MHz and 55 + 10 log (P) dB at or below 2490.5 MHz. Thus, under 
the Commission's actions, the current OOBE limits applicable to a 
channel with a lower edge at 2496 MHz will apply, inter alia, to 
channel BRS1 and EBS Channels A1 and A2, assuming a channel with a 
bandwidth of 20 megahertz. By adopting Clearwire's proposed 
modification, we ensure that Globalstar's operations, BAS operations on 
channels A9 and A10, and part 90 MS and part 101 FS stations will 
continue to be protected, that BRS and EBS operators may operate 
broadband mobile devices at optimal power and with wider channel 
bandwidths in most of the 2.5 GHz band, and that the 2.5 GHz band will 
be able to support international roamers.
    20. The relaxed OOBE limits for broadband mobile equipment 
operating in the 2.5 GHz band will not materially increase the 
potential for harmful interference within the 2.5 GHz band. While we do 
not casually adopt looser OOBE standards, modest relaxing of our OOBE 
rules in line with the 3GPP standards is not likely to result in 
harmful interference to other BRS/EBS stations. Furthermore, as noted 
above, most operators and equipment manufacturers support the proposed 
standard. IP Wireless is concerned about the coexistence of multiple 
unsynchronized TDD systems operating with relaxed OOBE in the same 
area. As WCAI pointed out, however, the potential for harmful 
interference among uncoordinated TDD systems or between TDD and FDD 
systems already exists in the 2.5 GHz band because, in the BRS/EBS R&O, 
the Commission sought to maximize flexibility for licensees in the band 
by allowing them to use the technology of their choice. Furthermore, 
WCAI stated that the Commission has provided mechanisms for licensees 
to resolve documented interference complaints. IP Wireless has not 
shown that increased OOBE in the 2.5 GHz band will materially change 
the interference environment for BRS and EBS stations. In addition, IP 
Wireless has not shown that our existing rules for interference 
resolution between BRS/EBS licensees, which remain in place, together 
with coordination practices developed by BRS and EBS operators, are not 
sufficient to allow licensees to mitigate the potential for harmful 
interference that could result from increased OOBE in the 2.5 GHz band. 
Our existing rules and industry practices together will enable BRS and 
EBS licensees to mitigate any increase in the potential for harmful 
interference that results from increasing the OOBE limits for BRS/EBS 
digital mobile transmitters.
    21. Northrop Grumman has experienced base-to-base adjacent channel 
interference, which was resolved by adding supplementary filtering to 
the relevant base stations. Northrop Grumman expressed concern that as 
the customer base of the adjacent commercial carrier grows, the 
potential for commercial broadband mobile devices to interfere with a 
system for which Northrop Grumman is the systems integrator will 
increase significantly. We find Northrop Grumman's concerns to be 
speculative. As WCAI has pointed out, the practical output power 
limitations of industry transmitter designs for 4G mobile broadband 
devices mitigate the potential for harmful interference. Moreover, 4G 
mobile broadband devices using orthogonal frequency-division multiple 
access (OFDMA) technology will typically not be allocated all available 
bandwidth while at the same time operating at full transmit power. 
Motorola Mobility agreed, and argued that interference concerns are 
merely hypothetical because to maximize battery life and minimize 
intra-system interference, 4G mobile broadband devices operate under 
stringent power control. The likelihood of harmful interference 
actually occurring is very small, Motorola Mobility continues, because 
typical 4G system design specifications limit the bandwidth that

[[Page 41452]]

is typically used at full power, which in turn limits the OOBE.
    22. We also adopt Clearwire's proposed changes to the procedures 
for measuring compliance with the OOBE limits. Revising the resolution 
bandwidth used for measuring compliance with the OOBE limits will help 
ensure that our limits are consistent with international standards. 
Clearwire's proposal was not opposed by any party. Therefore, we will 
change the rules to specify that, except for the 2495-2496 MHz band, in 
the 1 megahertz bands immediately outside and adjacent to the frequency 
block under use, a resolution bandwidth of at least 2 percent of the 
fundamental emission be allowed to measure compliance. In the 2495-2496 
MHz band, the existing resolution bandwidth requirement of at least 1 
percent would still apply.
    23. With respect to the remaining questions raised in the BRS/EBS 
OOBE FNPRM, the answers to those questions support the rule changes we 
have adopted. In response to the question of whether the changes would 
work for channels wider than 20 megahertz, every commenter that 
addressed the issue supported allowing channels wider than 20 
megahertz. Moreover, keeping the existing protections to operations 
below 2496 MHz will eliminate any impact on adjacent channel licensees. 
Other than the Clearwire Ex Parte, we did not receive any proposals in 
response to our inquiry whether any additional changes to the OOBE 
limits applicable to digital mobile stations in the 2.5 GHz band are 
necessary or desirable.

IV. Procedural Matters

Final Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    24. The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) requires that an agency 
prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis for notice and comment 
rulemakings, unless the agency certifies that the rule will not, if 
promulgated, have a significant economic impact on a substantial number 
of small entities. As required by the RFA of 1980, we incorporated an 
Initial Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (IRFA) of the possible 
significant economic impact on a substantial number of small entities 
by the policies and rules proposed in the Fourth Further Notice of 
Proposed Rule Making (FNPRM). Accordingly, we have prepared a Final 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis (FRFA) concerning the possible impact 
of the rule changes contained in this Fifth Report and Order on small 
entities. Because we amend the rules in this Fifth Report and Order, we 
have included a FRFA. This present FRFA conforms to the RFA.

Need for, and Objectives of, the Rules

    25. In this Fifth Report and Order, we relax the OOBE limits for 
mobile digital devices operating in the BRS and EBS in the 2496-2690 
MHz band (2.5 GHz band), which limit the amount of energy that can be 
radiated outside a licensee's authorized bandwidth, but retain the 
current OOBE rules for operations at the lower edge of the 2.5 GHz band 
as band edge limits for all BRS/EBS channels. This change will enable 
smartphone, tablet computers, and other mobile broadband devices to use 
wider channel bandwidths, which could potentially allow higher data 
rates and more efficient use of spectrum. It would also increase the 
range of applications and devices that can benefit from mobile 
broadband connectivity, generating a corresponding increase in demand 
for mobile broadband service from consumers, businesses, public safety 
entities, health care institutions, educational institutions, and 
energy companies. The change also harmonizes standards in the equipment 
market for mobile devices in the 2.5 GHz band, which would make 
equipment more affordable and further the development of advanced 
wireless broadband devices. Retaining the current OOBE rules applicable 
to operations at the lower edge of the 2.5 GHz band for all BRS/EBS 
channels, however, helps protect co-primary operations in and adjacent 
to the 2496-2500 MHz portion of the band.

B. Summary of Significant Issues Raised by Public Comments in Response 
to the IRFA

    26. No comments were submitted specifically in response to the 
IRFA.

C. Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities to Which 
the Rules Will Apply

    27. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, 
where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be 
affected by the proposed rules and policies, if adopted. The RFA 
generally defines the term small entity as having the same meaning as 
the terms small business, small organization, and small governmental 
jurisdiction. In addition, the term small business has the same meaning 
as the term small business concern under the Small Business Act. A 
small business concern is one which: (1) Is independently owned and 
operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and (3) 
satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA. Here, we 
describe the small entities to which the rule will apply.
    28. Broadband Radio Service and Educational Broadband Service. 
Broadband Radio Service systems, previously referred to as Multipoint 
Distribution Service (MDS) and Multichannel Multipoint Distribution 
Service (MMDS) systems, and wireless cable, transmit video programming 
to subscribers and provide two-way high speed data operations using the 
microwave frequencies of the Broadband Radio Service (BRS) and 
Educational Broadband Service (EBS) (previously referred to as the 
Instructional Television Fixed Service (ITFS). In connection with the 
1996 BRS auction, the Commission established a small business size 
standard as an entity that had annual average gross revenues of no more 
than $40 million in the previous three calendar years. The BRS auctions 
resulted in 67 successful bidders obtaining licensing opportunities for 
493 Basic Trading Areas (BTAs). Of the 67 auction winners, 61 met the 
definition of a small business. BRS also includes licensees of stations 
authorized prior to the auction. At this time, based on our review of 
licensing records, we estimate that of the 61 small business BRS 
auction winners, based on our review of licensing records, 48 remain 
small business licensees. In addition to the 48 small businesses that 
hold BTA authorizations, there are approximately 86 incumbent BRS 
licensees that are considered small entities (18 incumbent BRS 
licensees do not meet the small business size standard). After adding 
the number of small business auction licensees to the number of 
incumbent licensees not already counted, there are currently 
approximately 133 BRS licensees that are defined as small businesses 
under either the SBA or the Commission's rules. In 2009, the Commission 
conducted Auction 86, the sale of 78 licenses in the BRS areas. The 
Commission offered three levels of bidding credits: (i) A bidder with 
attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $15 million and do 
not exceed $40 million for the preceding three years (small business) 
received a 15 percent discount on its winning bid; (ii) a bidder with 
attributed average annual gross revenues that exceed $3 million and do 
not exceed $15 million for the preceding three years (very small 
business) received a 25 percent discount on its winning bid; and (iii) 
a bidder with attributed average annual gross revenues that do not 
exceed $3 million for the preceding three years (entrepreneur) received 
a 35 percent

[[Page 41453]]

discount on its winning bid. Auction 86 concluded in 2009 with the sale 
of 61 licenses. Of the ten winning bidders, two bidders that claimed 
small business status won 4 licenses; one bidder that claimed very 
small business status won three licenses; and two bidders that claimed 
entrepreneur status won six licenses.
    29. In addition, the SBA's placement of Cable Television 
Distribution Services in the category of Wired Telecommunications 
Carriers is applicable to cable-based educational broadcasting 
services. Since 2007, Wired Telecommunications Carriers have been 
defined as follows: This industry comprises establishments primarily 
engaged in operating and/or providing access to transmission facilities 
and infrastructure that they own and/or lease for the transmission of 
voice, data, text, sound, and video using wired telecommunications 
networks. Transmission facilities may be based on a single technology 
or a combination of technologies. Establishments in this industry use 
the wired telecommunications network facilities that they operate to 
provide a variety of services, such as wired telephony services, 
including VoIP services; wired (cable) audio and video programming 
distribution; and wired broadband Internet services. By exception, 
establishments providing satellite television distribution services 
using facilities and infrastructure that they operate are included in 
this industry. The SBA has developed a small business size standard for 
this category, which is 1,500 or fewer employees. Of those 31,996, 
1,818 operated with more than 100 employees, and 30,178 operated with 
fewer than 100 employees. Thus under this category and the associated 
small business size standard, the majority of such firms can be 
considered small. In addition to Census data, the Commission's 
Universal Licensing System indicates that as of July 2013, there are 
2,236 active EBS licenses. The Commission estimates that of these 2,236 
licenses, the majority are held by non-profit educational institutions 
and school districts, which are by statute defined as small businesses.

D. Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other 
Compliance Requirements

    30. This Fifth Report and Order imposes no new reporting or 
recordkeeping requirements and does not establish other compliance 
requirements.

E. Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Economic Impact on Small 
Entities, and Significant Alternatives Considered

    31. The RFA requires an agency to describe the steps it has taken 
to minimize any significant economic impact on small entities 
consistent with the stated objectives of applicable statutes. We see no 
potential burden on small entities that hold BRS or EBS licenses. We 
believe our action today provides benefits to small businesses that 
hold BRS and EBS licensees, who would be able to use wider channel 
bandwidths to provide faster service and use their spectrum more 
efficiently.
    32. The main alternative considered was to adopt the proposed rule 
changes without maintaining the current level of interference 
protection to adjacent channel licensees below 2495 MHz. That 
alternative was rejected because it could have increased the potential 
for harmful interference to licensees operating below 2495 MHz and 
because it is possible for licensees in the 2.5 GHz band to get the 
benefits of wider channel bandwidths in most of the band without 
changing the out-of-band emission limits that apply below 2495 MHz.

Paperwork Reduction Analysis

    33. This document does not contain information collection 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Public Law 
104-13. In addition, therefore, it does not contain any information 
collection burden for small business concerns with fewer than 25 
employees, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, 
Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).

V. Ordering Clauses

    34. Accordingly, it is ordered, pursuant to sections 1, 2, 4(i), 7, 
10, 201, 214, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 319, 324, 332, 333 and 
706 of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 157, 
160, 201, 214, 301, 302, 303, 307, 308, 309, 310, 319, 324, 332, 333, 
and 706, that this Fifth Report and Order is hereby adopted.
    35. It is further ordered pursuant to section 4(i) of the 
Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), that the Commission's 
Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, 
shall send a copy of this Fifth Report and Order, including the Final 
Regulatory Certification, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the 
Small Business Administration.

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 27

    Communications common carriers--radio.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 27 as follows:

PART 27--MISCELLANEOUS WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES

0
1. The authority citation for part 27 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 301, 302, 303, 307(a), 309, 332, 336, 
337, 1403, 1404 and 1451 unless otherwise noted.


0
2. Amend Sec.  27.53 by revising paragraphs (m)(4) and (m)(6) to read 
as follows:


Sec.  27.53  Emission limits.

* * * * *
    (m) * * *
    (4) For mobile digital stations, the attenuation factor shall be 
not less than 40 + 10 log (P) dB on all frequencies between the channel 
edge and 5 megahertz from the channel edge, 43 + 10 log (P) dB on all 
frequencies between 5 megahertz and X megahertz from the channel edge, 
and 55 + 10 log (P) dB on all frequencies more than X megahertz from 
the channel edge, where X is the greater of 6 megahertz or the actual 
emission bandwidth as defined in paragraph (m)(6) of this section. In 
addition, the attenuation factor shall not be less that 43 + 10 log (P) 
dB on all frequencies between 2490.5 MHz and 2496 MHz and 55 + 10 log 
(P) dB at or below 2490.5 MHz. Mobile Satellite Service licensees 
operating on frequencies below 2495 MHz may also submit a documented 
interference complaint against BRS licensees operating on channel BRS 
Channel 1 on the same terms and conditions as adjacent channel BRS or 
EBS licensees.
* * * * *
    (6) Measurement procedure. Compliance with these rules is based on 
the use of measurement instrumentation employing a resolution bandwidth 
of 1 megahertz or greater. However, in the 1 MHz bands immediately 
outside and adjacent to the frequency block a resolution bandwidth of 
at least one percent of the emission bandwidth of the fundamental 
emission of the transmitter may be employed; for mobile digital 
stations, in the 1 megahertz bands immediately outside and adjacent to 
the frequency block a resolution bandwidth of at least two percent may 
be employed, except when the 1 megahertz band is 2495-2496 MHz, in 
which case a resolution

[[Page 41454]]

bandwidth of at least one percent may be employed. A narrower 
resolution bandwidth is permitted in all cases to improve measurement 
accuracy provided the measured power is integrated over the full 
required measurement bandwidth (i.e. 1 megahertz or 1 percent of 
emission bandwidth, as specified; or 1 megahertz or 2 percent for 
mobile digital stations, except in the band 2495-2496 MHz). The 
emission bandwidth is defined as the width of the signal between two 
points, one below the carrier center frequency and one above the 
carrier center frequency, outside of which all emissions are attenuated 
at least 26 dB below the transmitter power. With respect to television 
operations, measurements must be made of the separate visual and aural 
operating powers at sufficiently frequent intervals to ensure 
compliance with the rules.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-16616 Filed 7-15-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P