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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of December 6, 2019

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter DPart 101Subpart C → §101.141

Title 47: Telecommunication
Subpart C—Technical Standards

§101.141   Microwave modulation.

(a) Microwave transmitters employing digital modulation techniques and operating below 25.25 GHz (except for MVDDS stations in the 12,200-12,700 MHz band) must, with appropriate multiplex equipment, comply with the following additional requirements:

(1) The bit rate, in bits per second, must be equal to or greater than the bandwidth specified by the emission designator in Hertz (e.g., to be acceptable, equipment transmitting at a 20 Mb/s rate must not require a bandwidth of greater than 20 MHz), except the bandwidth used to calculate the minimum rate may not include any authorized guard band.

(i) Stations authorized prior to December 1, 1988 may install equipment after that date with no minimum bit rate. Equipment applied for or authorized prior to April 1, 2005 in the 21.2-23.6 GHz band may be installed with no minimum bit rate.

(ii) However, any digital equipment applied for after April 1, 2005 and equipment replacing existing equipment in the 21.2-23.6 GHz band must meet the bit rate standard.

(2) Equipment to be used for voice transmission placed in service, authorized, or applied for on or before June 1, 1997 in the 2110 to 2130 and 2160 to 2180 MHz bands must be capable of satisfactory operation within the authorized bandwidth to encode at least 96 voice channels. Equipment placed in service, authorized, or applied for on or before June 1, 1997 in the 3700-4200, 5925-6425 (30 MHz bandwidth), and 10,700-11,700 MHz (30 and 40 MHz bandwidths) bands must be capable of satisfactory operation within the authorized bandwidth to encode at least 1152 voice channels. These required loading levels may be reduced by a factor of 1/N provided that N transmitters may be operated satisfactorily, over the same radio path, within an authorized bandwidth less than, or equal to, the maximum authorizable bandwidth (e.g., the 1152 channel requirement may be reduced to 576 if two transmitters can be satisfactorily operated over the same path within the maximum bandwidth). Where certificated equipment is designed to operate on the same frequency in a cross polarized configuration to meet the above capacity requirements, the Commission will require, at the time additional transmitters are authorized, that both polarizations of a frequency be used before a new frequency assignment is made, unless a single transmitter installation was found to be justified by the Commission at the time it authorized the first transmitter.

(3)(i) Except as noted in paragraph (a)(7) of this section, the payload capacity of equipment shall meet the following minimum efficiency standards:

FrequencyEmission bandwidth ≤5 MHzEmission bandwidth >5 MHz and ≤20 MHzEmission bandwidth >20 MHz
3,700-10,550 MHz2.4 bits/second/Hertz4.4 bits/second/Hertz4.4 bits/second/Hertz.
10,550-13,250 MHz2.4 bits/second/Hertz4.4 bits/second/Hertz3.0 bits/second/Hertz.

(ii) Traffic loading payload shall exceed 50 percent of payload capacity within 30 months of licensing. During anomalous signal fading, licensees subject to the capacity and loading requirements may adjust to a modulation specified in their authorization if such modulation is necessary to allow licensees to maintain communications, even if the modulation will not comply with the capacity and loading requirements specified in this paragraph. Links that must comply with the capacity and loading requirements that use equipment capable of adjusting modulation must be designed using generally accepted multipath fading and rain fading models to meet the specified capacity and loading requirements at least 99.95% of the time, in the aggregate of both directions in a two-way link.

(4) If a transmitter is authorized to operate in a bandwidth that is not listed in paragraph (a)(3) of this section, it must meet the minimum payload capacity and traffic loading requirements of the next largest channel bandwidth listed in the table; e.g., if the authorized bandwidth is 3.5 MHz, the minimum payload capacity must be 12.3 Mbits/s.

(5) Transmitters carrying digital motion video motion material are exempt from the requirements specified in paragraphs (a)(2) and (a)(3) of this section, provided that at least 50 percent of the payload is digital video motion material and the minimum bit rate specified in paragraph (a)(1) of this section is met. In the 6, 10, and 11 GHz bands, concatenation of multiple contiguous channels is permitted for channels of equal bandwidth on center frequencies, provided no other channels are available and the minimum payload capacity requirements are met.

(6) Digital systems using bandwidths of 10 MHz or larger will be considered 50 percent loaded when at least 50 percent of their total capacity is being used. For purposes of this subsection, a Fixed Service channel is being used if it is attached to a communications system that is capable of providing data to it at a rate that is sufficient to occupy at least 50 percent of the payload capacity of the Fixed Service channel, after header compression is applied.

(7) Equipment placed in service after June 1, 1997 and prior to October 5, 2012 may comply with the provisions of §101.141(a)(3) in effect as of the date the equipment was placed in service.

(b) For purposes of compliance with the emission limitation requirements of §101.111(a)(2) and the requirements of paragraph (a) of this section, digital modulation techniques are considered as being employed when digital modulation occupies 50 percent or more to the total peak frequency deviation of a transmitted radio frequency carrier. The total peak frequency deviation will be determined by adding the deviation produced by the digital modulation signal and the deviation produced by any frequency division multiplex (FDM) modulation used. The deviation (D) produced by the FDM signal must be determined in accordance with §2.202(f) of this chapter.

(c) Analog Modulation. Except for video transmission, an application for an initial working channel for a given route will not be accepted for filing where the anticipated loading (within five years for voice, or other period subject to reasonable projection) is less than the minimum specified for the following frequency bands. Absent extraordinary circumstances, applications proposing additional frequencies over existing routes will not be granted unless it is shown that the traffic load will shortly exhaust the capacity of the existing equipment. Where no construction of radio facilities is requested, licensees must submit this evidence with their filing of any necessary authority required pursuant to section 214 of the Communications Act and part 63 of this chapter.

Frequency band (MHz) Minimum number of voice channels (4 KHz or equivalent)
3700 to 4200 (20 MHz bandwidth)900
5925 to 6425 (10 MHz bandwidth)300
5925 to 6425 (20 MHz bandwidth)600
5925 to 6425 (30 MHz bandwidth)900
6525 to 6875 (10 MHz bandwidth)300
10,700 to 11,700 (10 MHz bandwidth)300
10,700 to 11,700 (20 MHz bandwidth)600
10,700 to 11,700 (30 MHz bandwidth)900
10,700 to 11,700 (40 MHz bandwidth)900

[61 FR 26677, May 28, 1996, as amended at 62 FR 24583, May 6, 1997; 63 FR 36611, July 7, 1998; 65 FR 59358, Oct. 5, 2000; 67 FR 43039, June 26, 2002; 68 FR 4958, Jan. 31, 2003; 76 FR 59572, Sept. 27, 2011; 77 FR 54433, Sept. 5, 2012]

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