FCC rule changes for the 5.4 GHz band (U-NII-2C)

Equipment used in the 5.4 GHz band in the USA is approved under Part 15.407 of the FCC rules. We provide a summary of recent changes in these rules here. If you're not operating in the USA then what's to follow will probably be of only passing interest.

The FCC introduced rules changes in the First Report and Order FCC 14-30 (the "new" rules) released on April 1, 2014. The rule changes require approved devices to detect radar signals in the 5.4 GHz band over 100% of the device's operating bandwidth, compared with 80% in the previous version of the rules. At the same time, the spectrum between 5600 MHz and 5650 MHz, which was prohibited for unlicensed use by KDB 443999, is made available for devices approved under the "new" rules.

The transition arrangements are in Part 15.37 (h). Devices cannot be approved under the "old" rules after June 1, 2015. Devices approved under the "old" rules cannot be imported or offered for sale after June 1, 2016. Devices sold before June 1, 2016 can continue to be used under the old rules indefinitely.

PTP 650 was originally approved for use in the U-NII-2C band against the "old" rules. It has recently been re-approved for use against the "new" rules. The new rules are more stringent in terms of radar detection, but more relaxed in terms of the available spectrum. On balance, the "new" rules are more attractive for operators than the "old" rules.

To operate a PTP 650 link under the new rules, you will need firmware 650-01-42, and a new License Key, where the 5.4 GHz band is selected by RB 9 (and not RB 13, as in earlier times).

Be careful to use the same regulatory band (RB 9 or RB 13) at both ends of the link. Don't use RB 9 at one end and RB 13 at the other end!

Details of 650-01-42 are here: PTP 650 Release 01-42 now available for download

We also discuss FCC rule changes for 5.8 GHz here: FCC rule changes for the 5.8 GHz band (U-NII-3)

PTP 700 was approved under the "new" rules from the first release.