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FCC Technical Definitions



Listing all the definitions and abbreviations used in the technical world is too large of an effort for one website. So, we have compiled this large collection for you to use. If you have another site to suggest, please submit it using the blue link below.













Advanced wireless service (AWS). A radiocommunication service licensed pursuant to this part for the frequency bands specified in § 27.5(h).

Affiliate. This term shall have the same meaning as that for ‘‘affiliate’’ in part 1, § 1.2110(b)(5) of this chapter.

Assigned frequency. The center of the frequency band assigned to a station.

Attended operation. Operation of a station by a designated person on duty at the place where the transmitting apparatus is located with the transmitter in the person’s plain view.

Authorized bandwidth. The maximum width of the band of frequencies permitted to be used by a station. This is normally considered to be the necessary or occupied bandwidth, whichever is greater.

Average terrain. The average elevation of terrain between 3 and 16 kilometers from the antenna site.

Base station. A land station in the land mobile service.

Booster service area. A geographic area to be designated by an applicant for a booster station, within which the booster station shall be entitled to protection against interference as set forth in this part. The booster service area must be specified by the applicant so as not to overlap the booster service area of any other booster authorized to or proposed by the applicant. However, a booster station may provide service to receive sites outside of its booster service area, at the licensee’s risk of interference. The booster station must be capable of providing substantial service within the designated booster service area.


Broadband Radio Service (BRS). A radio service using certain frequencies in the 2150–2162 and 2496–2690 MHz bands which can be used to provide fixed and mobile services, except for aeronautical services.

Broadcast services. This term shall have the same meaning as that for ‘‘broadcasting’’ in section 3(6) of the Communications Act of 1934, i.e., ‘‘the dissemination of radio communications intended to be received by the public, directly or by the intermediary of relay stations.’’ 47 U.S.C. 153(6).

Documented complaint. A complaint that a party is suffering from non-consensual interference. A documented complaint must contain a certification that the complainant has contacted the operator of the allegedly offending facility and tried to resolve the situation prior to filing. The complaint must then specify the nature of the interference, whether the interference is constant or intermittent, when the interference began and the site(s) most likely to be causing the interference. The complaint should be accompanied by a videotape or other evidence showing the effects of the interference. The complaint must contain a motion for a temporary order to have the interfering station cease transmitting. The complaint must be filed with the Secretary’s office and served on the allegedly offending party.

Educational Broadband Service (EBS). A fixed or mobile service, the licensees of which are educational institutions or non-profit educational organizations, and intended primarily for video, data, or voice transmissions of instructional, cultural, and other types of educational material to one or more receiving locations.

Effective Radiated Power (ERP) (in a given direction). The product of the power supplied to the antenna and its gain relative to a half-wave dipole in a given direction.

Equivalent Isotropically Radiated Power (EIRP). The product of the power supplied to the antenna and the antenna gain in a given direction relative to an isotropic antenna.

Fixed service. A radio communication service between specified fixed points.

Fixed station. A station in the fixed service.

Guard band manager. The term Guard band manager refers to a commercial licensee in the 746–747 MHz, 762–764 MHz, 776–777 MHz, and 792–794 MHz bands that functions solely as a spectrum broker by subdividing its licensed spectrum and making it available to system operators or directly to end users for fixed or mobile communications consistent with Commission Rules. A Guard band manager is directly responsible for any interference or misuse of its licensed frequency arising from its use by such non-licensed entities.

Land mobile service. A mobile service between base stations and land mobile stations, or between land mobile stations.

Land mobile station. A mobile station in the land mobile service capable of surface movement within the geographic limits of a country or continent.

Land station. A station in the mobile service not intended to be used while in motion.

Lower Band Segment (LBS). Segment of the BRS/EBS band consisting of channels in the frequencies 2496–2572 MHz.

Middle Band Segment (MBS). Segment of the BRS/EBS band consisting of channels in the frequencies 2572–2614 MHz.

Mobile service. A radio communication service between mobile and land stations, or between mobile stations.

Mobile station. A station in the mobile service intended to be used while in motion or during halts at unspecified points.

National Geodetic Reference System (NGRS). The name given to all geodetic control data contained in the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) data base. (Source: National Geodetic Survey, U.S. Department of Commerce)

Point-to-point Broadband station. A Broadband station that transmits a highly directional signal from a fixed transmitter location to a fixed receive location.

Portable device. Transmitters designed to be used within 20 centimeters of the body of the user.

Radiodetermination. The determination of the position, velocity and/or other characteristics of an object, or the obtaining of information relating to these parameters, by means of the propagation properties of radio waves.

Radiolocation. Radiodetermination used for purposes other than those of radionavigation.

Radiolocation land station. A station in the radiolocation service not intended to be used while in motion.

Radiolocation mobile station. A station intended to be used while in motion or during halts at unspecified points.

Radionavigation. Radiodetermination used for the purpose of navigation, including obstruction warning.

Remote control. Operation of a station by a designated person at a control position from which the transmitter is not visible but where suitable control and telemetering circuits are provided which allow the performance of the essential functions that could be performed at the transmitter.

Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (satellite DARS). A radiocommunication service in which compact disc quality programming is digitally transmitted by one or more space stations.

Sectorization. The use of an antenna system at an broadband station, booster station and/or response station hub that is capable of simultaneously transmitting multiple signals over the same frequencies to different portions of the service area and/or simultaneously receiving multiple signals over the same frequencies from different portions of the service area.

Studio to transmitter link (STL). A directional path used to transmit a signal from a station’s studio to its transmitter. Temporary fixed broadband station. A broadband station used for the transmission of material from temporary unspecified points to a broadband station.

Time division multiple access (TDMA). A multiple access technique whereby users share a transmission medium by being assigned and using (one-at-atime) for a limited number of time division mulitplexed channels; implies that several transmitters use one channel for sending several bit streams.

Time division multiplexing (TDM). A multiplexing technique whereby two or more channels are derived from a transmission medium by dividing access to the medium into sequential intervals. Each channel has access to the entire bandwidth of the medium during its interval. This implies that one transmitter uses one channel to send several bit streams of information.

Unattended operation. Operation of a station by automatic means whereby the transmitter is turned on and off and performs its functions without attention by a designated person.

Universal Licensing System. The Universal Licensing System (ULS) is the consolidated database, application filing system, and processing system for all Wireless Radio Services. ULS supports electronic filing of all applications and related documents by applicants and licensees in the Wireless Radio Services, and provides public access to licensing information.

Upper Band Segment (UBS). Segment of the BRS/EBS band consisting of channels in the frequencies 2614–2690 MHz

Wireless communications service. A radiocommunication service licensed pursuant to this part for the frequency bands specified in § 27.5.
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