Radio spectrum allocation
Prime, Jamison Office of Engineering and Technology, Federal Communications Commission, Washington, DC.
Last reviewed:January 2020
- Need for Spectrum Allocation
- Making Allocation Decisions
- Allocated Services
- Broadcasting service
- Fixed and mobile services
- Amateur radio
- Other allocations
- Unlicensed services
- Trends and Developments
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The process of identifying specific frequency bands or blocks of the radio spectrum and determining the broad category of radio communication service or services that will be permitted there, and under what specified conditions. The radio spectrum is the part of the natural spectrum of electromagnetic radiation, lying between the frequency limits of 9 kilohertz and 300 gigahertz, that has been used extensively to provide communications services by means of electromagnetic waves. To make effective use of this resource, the radio spectrum is divided in the frequency dimension into a series of discrete bands or blocks, arranged in a Table of Frequency Allocations. Because different portions of the radio spectrum are marked by different propagation features, and because the nature and scope of radio communication services vary greatly, it has become vital that allocation decisions be made in a way that permits radio communication services to operate in an efficient and effective manner and that minimizes, to the extent feasible, the potential for interference between services. This process, generally, is referred to as frequency management and involves the work of governmental and international bodies. See also: Electromagnetic radiation
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