Wireless Spectrum

Spectrum in the United States and Canada
Currently in the United States there are several bands where 'wireless phones' are used.

The Lower 700MHz Band, mobile frequencies 698 to 716MHz and base frequencies 728 to 746MHz, are divided into three paired bands. (716 to 728MHz is also part of the Lower 700MHz Band, licensed unpaired.
Lower 700MHz Spectrum
This spectrum was formerly used by TV channels 52 to 59.

The Upper 700MHz Band, mobile frequencies 770 to 806MHz and base frequencies 746 to 776Mhz, are divided into four commerical bands. The largest commercial band uses mobile frequencies 770 to 787MHz and base frequencies 746 to 757MHz.
Upper 700MHz Spectrum
This spectrum was formerly used by TV channels 60 to 69.

The Cellular Band, mobile frequencies 825.030 to 844.980MHz and base frequencies 870.030 to 889.980MHz, are divided equally between two carriers in each "Cellular Mobile Area".
Cellular Spectrum

The Wideband PCS Band, mobile frequencies 1850-1910MHz and base frequencies 1930-1990MHz, are divided into six basic bands.
PCS Spectrum
(Nextel has requested 1910-1915MHz and 1990-1995MHz paired to replace their SMR frequencies.)

SMR frequencies are used primarily by one carrier to offer 'wireless phone' service. (While some dispute calling such service cellular, it does provide users the same basic function and form of cellular and PCS wireless services.)
SMR 800MHz Spectrum

Phones from Around the World
Outside of North America wireless services are offered on other bands. Phones designed for outside the US will not work in the US unless they also include either the 800MHz (850MHz GSM) or 1900MHz band. In addition, many countries use the GSM standard which has specific problems within the US. (Namely phones designed for the 1800MHz band used overseas do not usually include 1900MHz coverage used for PCS. The addition of 850MHz band GSM to international phones is helpful, but there are few cellular systems that offer GSM.)

Written / Compiled By
James Bellaire <bellaire@tk.com>
Telecom Indiana .com