FCC Proposes 20Mhz Allocation in 413-456 MHz Band

fccThe FCC Proposes to Allocate 20 MHz of Spectrum in 413-456 MHz Band For Implanted Neuromuscular Devices.

The FCC has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM – ET Docket 09-36) seeking comment on a proposal to allocate 20 MHz of spectrum in the 413-457 MHz band for use by wireless medical devices that could be implanted into the human body and used to restore sensation and mobility to paralyzed limbs and organs. The devices would act as a wireless medical micro-power network (MMN) within the patient. Among the conditions that could be treatable using MMNs include polio, ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), cerebral palsy, and spinal cord injuries.

The 400 MHz band is targeted because it is optimal for RF propagation through body tissue. The devices would require at least 5 MHz of bandwidth to function and would operate on a low power, secondary non-interference basis. Twenty MHz of spectrum in four band segments are proposed so that the device would have four options in case one band segment was already in use in a given area. The NPRM seeks comment on the feasibility of four different band segments:

  • 413-419 MHz
  • 426-432 MHz
  • 438-444 MHz
  • 451-457 MHz

Comment is also sought on:

  • Potential for interference between MMNs and incumbent users
  • Service rules (licensed or unlicensed, definitions, permissible communications, eligibility, etc.)
  • Technical rules (power limitations, bandwidth, frequency stability, channelization, antenna locations, etc.)

The text of the News Release is available at:

…. we found more info at this press release here which explains why you might want to stop being a ham radio operator if one of these devices are implanted within your body.  Key up your mike on 440mhz and oops!

Medical Device Radiocommunication Service

The FCC has established the new MedRadio Service in Part 95 of its Rules, and has incorporated into this new radio service the rules that currently govern the Medical Implant Communications Service (MICS) at 402-405 MHz.  It also allocated to the MedRadio Service two new megahertz of spectrum in adjacent “wing” bands at 401-402 MHz and 405-406 MHz.  Typical MICS operations involve a medical implant device that includes a radiofrequency transmitter operating in conjunction with an external programmer/control transmitter.  Examples of such devices include cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, and devices used for diabetic glucose monitoring and control.  The rules for MICS did not accommodate body-worn devices, and all such devices had to incorporate LBT technologies.

In response to requests from the manufacturers of such devices, the FCC has expanded both the spectrum available for such devices as well as the types of devices that may be used.


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