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220 MHz Services


220 MHz Services

The spectrum for the 220 MHz services was allocated by Report and Order 87-14 on September 6, 1988 to promote the development of narrowband spectrum efficient technologies for land mobile communications. On April 17, 1991, the Commission released the Report and Order in PR Docket No. 89-552, that established service rules for the spectrum. Subsequent rulemakings changed the operational and licensing characteristics of the band. Today the band (excluding the Public Safety and Government channels) is characterized by geographical area licensing with operational flexibility (see Band Plan).
There are 2 megahertz of spectrum allocated for the 220 MHz Service. Initially spectrum was divided into 200 base side channels (220 MHz to 221 MHz) and 200 mobile side channels (221 MHz to 222 MHz) with the channels assigned in pairs and each base channel one megahertz below its corresponding mobile channel. The 200 base side channels are each spaced 5 KHz apart and were initially awarded on a first come first served site specific basis with mutually exclusive applications filed on the same day awarded via lottery. Because of the large number of applications filed in the first few weeks that the band became available, an application freeze was placed into effect. The freeze remained in effect for various reasons until new licensing rules became effective, and the channels were grouped into blocks of spectrum and awarded via geographic area auctions with the geographic area licensees required to provide protection to incumbents (Rule 90.763).


Licenses in this band, whether they were initially issued as a result of lottery or auction, are maintained through our Universal Licensing System (ULS). New licenses are issued only via auction for all 220 MHz spectrum except Public Safety or Government only spectrum.

Key Documents and Releases

The releases section provides easy and organized access to various Commission documents and releases that pertain to the 220 MHz services. The key documents section provides a list of Commission items that have molded the 220 MHz band into its current landscape.
Service At A Glance
220 MHz Services
Allocated to promote the developent of narrowband spectrum efficient technologies for land mobile communications
Service RulesCFR, Part 90
Band Plan
Band(s) 220-222 MHz
BlocksA through E, per BEA
F through J, per EAG
K through M, per NWA
Block Size A through E, 100 KHz per block
F through J, 150 KHz per block
K through M, 100 KHz per block
Channels200 paired
ULS Radio Service Codes
QT- Phase I Trunked service
QD - Phase I Data service
QO - Phase I Other service
QM - Public Safety licenses
NC - Phase I Nationwide Commercial service
QA - Phase II auctioned service
9/15/1998 - 10/22/1998
6/8/1999 - 6/30/1999
1/10/2002 - 1/17/2002
6/20/2007 - 6/26/2007
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