Communications: 800 MHz Public Safety Rebanding: A Solution for Commercial Mobile Radio Service Interference to Public Safety Radio Systems and Its Effect on Public Safety Agencies

Starting later this year, and continuing for the next several years, many public safety radio communications systems will be required to modify their radio frequencies as part of a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) plan to prevent interference problems. The affected radio operations are in the 800 MHz band, where Nextel and other cellular-type commercial radio service (CMRS) providers operate alongside public safety and Private Wireless radio systems, such as those used for internal business operations. Unfortunately, that interleaving of CMRS and non-CMRS systems has led to dangerous interference during many public safety operations. The FCC’s solution, supported by IACP, APCO International, and others, is to reband 800 MHz to separate public safety channels from CMRS channels.