[VHFcontesting] We're about to lose 3456 MHz band entirely

Keith Morehouse

RE: Probable loss of 3.4 Ghz amateur allocation.

This is a comment I sent earlier to the VHF Contesting reflector in response to a post from Wayne, N6NB who is heavily invested in the bands above 900 MHz.  I suggest you first read his original message, which is appended at the bottom of my email.

Note that there is a license-free allocation at 3.55-3.7 GHz, the 'Citizens Broadband Radio Service'.  It might be possible to petition the FCC for an alternate amateur allocation within this band when we lose our current (secondary) allocation - which we will, no doubt about it.  The 5.7 GHz band is currently shared this way and, while not optimum, seems to be workable outside major urban areas.

This has been on the horizon for several years but evidently it's the first Wayne has heard of it.  The UK, which was, I think, the only ITU Region 1 country to have a 3.4 GHz amateur allocation, lost it about 2 years ago.  The writing was then "on the wall", if you cared to read it.


Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO

---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: Jay RM <w9rm@...>
Date: Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 7:31 AM
Subject: Re: [VHFcontesting] We're about to lose 3456 MHz band entirely
To: vhfcontesting@... <VHFcontesting@...>

Anybody who has been paying attention to the impending switch from 4G to 5G cellular technology has known, or at least strongly suspected, this was going to happen.  The move to open the 3 GHz band for cellular communications has been ongoing for some time.  As a matter of fact, the spectrum from 3.4 to 3.6 GHz has been designated as "globally harmonized".  In other words, a world-wide operating band.  This spectrum was reallocated in the UK a couple years ago and most ITU Region 1 countries have reserved it for commercial use for many years.  The USA is VERY late to the 3 GHZ party.  This "harmonization" was discussed and acted upon during WRC2015.  Read all about it here:  https://www.gsma.com/spectrum/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/3-GHz-in-the-5G-era.pdf

The "MOBILE NOW Act", passed in 2017 does not specify ANY frequency bands.  It mandates the "making available" ("ripping away from current occupants" in non-Govspeak) of 255 MHz of new spectrum below 6 GHz.  One can read a summary of the bill here: https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/senate-bill/19

The old satellite C-Band (remember the big old TVRO dishes of the 1970's) is currently being ripped to shreds by this same MOBILE NOW act.  A huge number of commercial users still depend on this band

Like Wayne, I don't recall anything from the ARRL about this, but it may have been released back in 2015 after WRC.  But, anybody in Amateur Radio who thinks they can make any kind of impact or change to this FCC docket (remember, the 3456 band was virtually re-allocated at WRC 15 as GLOBALLY IMPORTANT) is deluded.  3.4 is a shared band in ITU Region 2 and I don't believe Amateurs are even primary users.  This isn't bad old UPS package delivery trying to sneak in and steal 220 MHz - this is communications GLOBALIZATION at work, sanctioned by the ITU years ago.  Maybe, just maybe, an organization could lobby for some sort of compensation for loss of equipment.  This is common in commercial reallocations.  But, since we're not a commercial entity. . . 

Why did this happen ? Who forced this change ?  If you cherish and depend on a cellular smartphone every waking minute of your life. . . well, YOU did.  Bashing the ARRL or anybody else isn't going to change anything.


Keith J Morehouse
Managing Partner
Calmesa Partners G.P.
Olathe, CO

On Mon, Nov 25, 2019 at 6:50 AM Steve(K1IIG) <stephen.tripp@...> wrote:
Hello Wayne and others,

Wayne I do not think the sky is falling but it sure is getting dark over our
amateur community. There is a long history of our ham bands being attacked
and given to others. I think it started with 11m (27mhz) to the truckers
etc, 220mhz to UPS which I don't think they are using ,then Pave Paws radar
shut down 440mhz repeaters on the East and West coast within 50mi of their
radar systems, then 900mhz shared with consumer wireless products, then
attempt to get the 40ghz band, then an attempt to get a portion of 2m in the
UK and now 3ghz. Did I miss any?
It is all about $$ and the Cell companies with deep pockets are moving up
the bands. I was in cellular since 1984 when we only had a portion of the
800mhz band and now look what they have. I think in the US, without looking
it up, they have segments in 600, 700,800,1900,2100, 2350 and moving up the
bands.  Air waves are not free and the FCC is more then willing to auction
off these bands for big bucks.  The other situation is the RFI generated by
the carriers. They are putting 4 bands under one radome fed by fiber
and one can only imagine the mixing products produced. Each one of these
antennas can weigh as much as 180lbs. Last week I  spoke with an AT&T
engineer who said he is personally managing 3000 sites doing 5g upgrades.
WOW. My point is this, they are
aggressively trying to get more bandwidth and we should protect what we have
and not give into them without a fight.

So what to do? I think the ARRL should have posted this info on this
reflector and others informing us on what we can do. I also think they
(ARRL) should notify each VHF/UHF contest club to disseminate this

I guess I will hold off finishing my 3456 beacon.


> A proposal that is on the agenda for the FCC's Dec. 12 meeting would
> remove amateur radio from the 9 cm. band entirely.  As mandated by
> Congress in the MOBILE NOW Act, the FCC is proposing to entirely eliminate
> our allocation in the 3.3-3.55 GHz band as part of a plan to make much
> more spectrum available for 5G mobile phone systems.
> The Notice of Proposed Rule Making is WT Docket 19-348.
> If enacted as proposed, this would be catastrophic for the weak signal
> community that is now on 3456 MHz.  I alone have nearly $10,000 worth of
> equipment for 3456 MHz--with receipts to prove it.  That includes
> transverters, amplifiers and antennas.  Each transverter cost me between
> $500 and $800 (U.S.) and I have seventeen (17) 3456 transverters
> manufactured by either DB6NT or DEMI.
> Where was ARRL when the "MOBILE NOW" Act was approved?   Why haven't we
> heard a lot more about this before now?  I've searched ARRL.org and can't
> find any reference to "MOBILE NOW" there.  I just bought another 3456
> transverter after the MOBILE NOW Act was signed into law (after being
> amended into another bill).  I wish I'd known that we're about to lose
> this band before spending still more money on equipment for 3456.
> I know about this now only because of Brennan Price's message on the "My
> ARRL Voice" section of Facebook.  In a comment on Brennan's posting, ARRL
> Director Ria Jairam confirmed that this docket does indeed propose to
> remove our 9 cm. allocation entirely.
> It sounds as if the sky is falling.  Can someone tell me that the sky
> ISN'T falling?
> -Wayne Overbeck, N6NB
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