Farmers, fleet operators, schools and government agencies operating business band or Private Land Mobile Radio (PLMR) systems are facing a critical Jan. 1, 2013, deadline. By that date, the FCC has mandated that all private PLMR licensees operating below 512 MHz move to 12.5 kHz narrowband voice channels.
Nex-Tech Mobile Radio Supervisor Ryan McClung urges PLMR operators to act soon, as the narrowbanding licensing process can be time consuming. “The required FCC paperwork can take anywhere from six to nine months to process. Since everyone is required to make this change, the FCC’s approval process continues to lengthen,” he said.
While the narrowbanding mandate may have caught some licensees off-guard, McClung said many operators are taking action now.
“Many of our law enforcement customers are aware of the changes and are well on their way to being narrowband compliant,” said McClung. “They have either purchased the equipment to become narrowband compliant or we have already transferred them over. Several schools are in the process now as well,” he added.
McClung said operators most significantly impacted by the narrowbanding mandate will be those who are using older radio equipment. “Most radios purchased within the last five years will be narrowband compliant,” stated McClung. “The manufacturers have known since 1997 that this date was coming and that these mandates were going into effect in 2013.”
Nex-Tech Mobile Radio will provide free narrowband walkthroughs for all customers, law enforcement agencies and schools, and will provide them with a current list of radios they have, indicate which radios are compliant or non-compliant, and provide them a solution to become narrowband compliant by the 2013 deadline.”
With the narrowbanding deadline less than 17 months away, McClung encourages all PLMR operators to visit www.nex-tech.com/narrowbanding or to call Nex-Tech Mobile Radio toll free at (800) 542-1315 for more information.