Broadband PCS - 47 CFR 24.202
A: 1850-1865 MHz mobile paired with 1930-1945 MHz base; licensed by MTA
D: 1865-1870 MHz mobile paired with 1945-1950 MHz base; licensed by BTA
B: 1870-1885 MHz mobile paired with 1950-1965 MHz base; licensed by MTA
E: 1885-1890 MHz mobile paired with 1965-1970 MHz base; licensed by BTA
F: 1890-1895 MHz mobile paired with 1970-1975 MHz base; licensed by BTA
C: 1895-1910 MHz mobile paired with 1975-1990 MHz base; licensed by BTA
X: 1910-1915 MHz mobile paired with 1990-1995 MHz base; Proposed Addition
1915-1930 MHz unlicensed spread spectrum devices

The 1900MHz PCS band is divided between six basic bands. The band plan has two 30MHz blocks (15 base, 15 mobile) licensed to an entire "Metropolitan Trading Area" or MTA. These blocks, A and B, were auctioned off. The C block is also a 30MHz block, but was auctioned by "Basic Trading Area", or BTA - a subdivision of the MTA. The C block was set aside for carriers with minority ownership to help open competition. The other three bands - D, E, and F - are 10MHz blocks auctioned by BTA (5 base, 5 mobile). The F block was set aside with similar restrictions as the C band.

Many licenses in the A, B, and C bands have now been subdivided - mostly by their licensees selling part of their allocation. Some are now assigned by BTA or are less than 30MHz. The C band is the most notable division, with the FCC auctioning 10MHz chunks as C3, C4, and C5, or 15MHz divisions as C2 and C1.

Note that the FCC does not divide PCS into discrete channels - leaving that to the carriers based on their choice of technology.

Nextel has requested that the 1900-1915MHz paired with 1990-1995MHz bands be granted to them in exchange for their SMR licenses due to interference between Nextel and Public Safety radio in the 800 MHz band.

CDMA CDMA frequency display.
CDMA carriers are 1.25MHz wide and in the arrangement above are allotted 25 channels each. Each block has a guard band at the top and bottom to prevent interference with neighboring carrier blocks. Each CDMA carrier can carry multiple calls through Code Division of the signal.

TDMA TDMA frequency display.
TDMA carriers are 30kHz and divide the blocks into channels. The A, B, and C blocks have a calculated 499 channels each (unless the carrier has sold of a portion of their frequency) while the D, E, and F blocks have 165 channels each.

Each TDMA channel can carry multiple calls through Time Division of the channel into slots.

GSM GSM frequency display.
GSM carriers are 200kHz and divide the blocks into channels. The A, B, and C blocks have a calculated 74 channels each (unless the carrier has sold of a portion of their frequency) while the D, E, and F blocks have 24 channels each.

Like CDMA and TDMA, GSM allows multiple users on each channel through sharing.


Lower 700MHz Spectrum
Upper 700MHz Spectrum
SMR Spectrum
Cellular Spectrum
PCS Licensing
Home