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Narrowbanding: A Federal Communications Commission (FCC) mandate that will increase the efficiency of available spectrum by narrowing the width of radio channels.



As wireless communications has become more and more important to our society, including both business use and public safety operations, the available unassigned spectrum has been shrinking. The FCC began initiatives during the early 1990's to allow more users by limiting the width of channels, hence making use of the radio spectrum more efficient. Initially radio manufacturers were required to reduce channel widths from 25 kHz per channel to 12.5 kHz per channel. As of January 1, 2011 (with very few exceptions) manufactured or imported 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz band equipment operating on a channel bandwidth greater than 12.5 kHz are not allowed. In addition, since January 1, 2011 licenses are only being approved for channels widths of 12.5 kHz or 6.25 kHz.


The FCC has mandated that all radio operations using 25 kHz channel widths cease by January 1, 2013.


How This Effects You

  • Radios using 25 kHz wide channels need to be replaced
  • Need to re-license your frequencies
  • Continued use of 25 kHz channels may result in fines and/or loss of license

Old radios using 25 kHz channels will need to be replaced by January 1, 2013. All radios sold by S.J. Jablonski are 12.5 kHz Narrowbanding compliant.


As your organization moves to narrowband operations, you must apply for new frequencies or modify your existing licenses. Holding a license for 25 kHz operations does not guarantee the licensee the same frequencies divided into two channels, nor does it guarantee the licensee twice the number of channels; licensees will have to justify their need for additional channels beyond their current allocation. This change must take place prior to the January 1, 2013 FCC deadline.


Licensees are prohibited from operating 25 kHz efficiency equipment after January 1, 2013. Non-compliance will be considered a violation that could lead to FCC enforcement action, which may include admonishment, monetary fines, or loss of license.


S.J. Jablonski and Associates Can Help

There is cost associated with replacing old radios. Purchasing low cost, high quality 2-way business radios from SJJA saves your organization money. We also offer a special Lease-to-Own program that makes purchases even more affordable.


Our trained and experienced technicians will program your new radios with your new/changed frequencies prior to delivery. And of course, our friendly customer support staff is always available to assist with any questions or issues that might arise.


More Information

FCC VHF/UHF Narrowbaning Information.


An excellent article from "The Police Chief".


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