TBS Electronics has the ability to help you with frequency coordination and FCC Licensing services. We have FCC Licensing Coordinators that will assist you in all your licensing rules and regulations, including:

  • Two-way radio dispatch
  • SMR (Specialized Mobile Radio)
  • GPS
  • UHF, VHF and 800Mhz LTR (trunking system)
  • Commercial, Educational, Industrial and Public Safety Systems

For more information about FCC Licensing or questions regarding Narrowbanding compliance, please contact TBS Electronics here.

Narrowbanding Overview

Narrowbanding refers to public safety and industrial/business land mobile radio systems migrating from 25 kHz efficiency technology to at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology. Narrowbanding is also referred to as VHF/UHF narrowbanding because the frequency bands impacted by narrowbanding are in the VHF/UHF ranges.

What is the purpose of narrowbanding?

The 150-174 MHz and 421-512 MHz frequency bands are congested with limited frequency availability for implementation of new systems or expansion of existing systems. Narrowbanding to at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology will enable licensees to operate more efficiently, either with narrower channel bandwidths or an increased number of voice paths or higher data rate per channel.

Who has to narrowband?

As of January 1, 2013, all public safety and industrial/business land mobile radio systems operating in the 150-174 MHz and 421-470 MHz bands were required to cease using 25 kHz efficiency technology and begin using at least 12.5 kHz efficiency technology.

Note: The narrowbanding requirement also applies to the 470-512 MHz bands. These frequencies are sometimes referred to as the T-Band. However, on April 26, 2012, the January 1, 2013, deadline was waived while the Commission considers issues surrounding future use of the T-Band.

As of February 16, 2016, The FCC will dismiss all applications in the 150-174 MHz and 421-470 MHz bands that list wideband-only emissions; specifically, the FCC will dismiss Administrative Update, and Modification (including Renewal/Modification) applications unless: (a) the application also proposes to modify the license by replacing the wideband emission designator(s) with narrowband emission designator(s); (b) the application certifies that the station equipment meets the narrowband efficiency standard, or (c) the licensee has been granted a waiver of the January 1, 2013, narrowbanding deadline for that station. In addition, the FCC will dismiss Assignment of Authorization and Transfer of Control applications that include 150-174 MHz and 421-470 MHz band licenses that list only wideband emission designators unless the station equipment meets the narrowband efficiency standard or the January 1, 2013, narrowbanding deadline has been waived for that station, including applications that also include licenses that comply with, or are not subject to the narrowbanding requirement.

What does equivalent efficiency mean?

Any of the following meet the 12.5 kHz equivalent efficiency requirement:

  • One voice path in a 12.5 kHz channel;
  • Two voice paths in a 25 kHz channel; or
  • Data operations on channels greater than 12.5 kHz must employ data rates greater than 4.8 kbps per 6.25 kHz channel, such as 19.2 kbps per 25 kHz channel.

How do I know if I need to comply with the narrowbanding requirement?

There are three steps listed below. Please contact TBS Electronics here.

  1. Check the radio service code on your FCC license. Only radio service codes IG, IK, PW, YG, YK, and YW are part of the narrowbanding requirement.
  2. Check the frequencies on your license. Frequencies between 150-174 MHz or 421-470 MHz are part of the narrowbanding requirement.

Note: The following paging frequencies are exempt from narrowbanding:

  • 0075 and 157.4500 MHz in the Public Safety Pool (note: frequency 163.250 kHz is NOT exempt from narrowbanding); and
  • 830, 150.920, 151.070, 151.190, 151.310, 152.480, 157.740, 158.460, 462.750, 462.775, 462.800, 462.825, 462.850, 462.875, 462.900, 462.925, and 465.000 MHz in the Business Industrial Pool.
  1. Check the emission designator of the frequencies that are part of the narrowbanding requirement. An emission designator with a bandwidth of 11.25 kHz (11K3) or narrower complies with the narrowbanding requirement.

Note: If you are required to narrowband, you need to file an application in the FCC’s Universal Licensing System (ULS). 

How can I determine if I have a valid FCC license?
Please contact us.


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