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Negotiating Spectrum Usage and Rights

The use of the electromagnetic spectrum in the United States is managed using a dual organizational structure; National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) manages the federal government’s use of the spectrum while the FCC manages all other uses.

The Communications Act of 1934 provides for the functions of developing classes of radio service, allocating frequency bands to the various services, and authorizing frequency use. However, the Act does not mandate specific allocations of bands for exclusive Federal or non-federal use; all such allocations stem from agreements between NTIA and the FCC.

In other words, there are no statutory “federal” or “non-federal” bands.

NTIA and the FCC manage their particular constituents’ uses of the spectrum; however, both must keep in mind the overall general interest since 93.1% of the spectrum below 30 GHz is shared, with only 5.5% and 1.4% allocated respectively to the private sector and the Government on exclusive bases.

Traditionally, spectrum management has been performed globally through international agreements and nationally by individual government administrations. Bands of spectrum are divided into allocations that are designated to support particular services.

The allocations are subdivided into allotments that may be used by administrations in specified geographic areas. National administrations may further allot the spectrum into channels, specify the conditions of their use, and assign (or license) them to users.

Historically, the growth in spectrum requirements was accommodated through technology that made the higher-frequency bands available for use. Little unassigned spectrum remains, so now spectrum management involves reallocating and reassigning spectrum.

Effective spectrum management is needed to:

  • Protect frequencies used by critical services by preventing harmful interference
  • Identify opportunities to maximize efficiency
  • Allow new technologies to develop and deploy within flexible frameworks; and,
  • Reduce the cost of telecommunication equipment

The rapid advancement of technology, coupled with the increasing demand for wireless communication, has resulted in an evolving landscape of spectrum management.

Want to learn more? Tonex offers nearly three dozen courses in Spectrum Management designed for anyone who wants to gain advanced knowledge of how to use an effective and systematic approach to manage and monitor spectrum, from engineers, analysts, to program and project managers, and more.

Some of the more popular Spectrum Management courses include:

Emerging Spectrum Technologies

Overview of Spectrum Sharing Techniques

Negotiation Spectrum Uses and Rights

Fundamentals of Electromagnetic Threats

Spectrum Engineering in Wireless Communication Systems

For more information, questions, comments, contact us.



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