Air-ground radiotelephone service allows Commercial Mobile Radio Service (CMRS) providers to offer two-way voice, fax and data service for hire to subscribers in aircraft, in-flight or on the ground. The Commission currently licenses these systems by transmitter and site location, so service providers must apply for a license for each and every tower/base site.
Regulation of the service currently resides in Part 1 and Part 22 of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), Subtitle 47, on Telecommunications and may be researched or ordered through the Government Printing Office.
For forms and fee information, see Forms & Fees.
This service is not affected by the Paging Second Report and Order and FNPRM, WT Docket 96-18.
General Aviation Air-Ground systems may operate in the 454.675- 454.975 and 459.675- 459.975 MHz bands and provide service to private aircraft, i.e. small single engine craft and corporate jets. Stations operating on these channels must comply with the technical and operational requirements contained in the document, "Technical Reference, Air-ground Radiotelephone Automated Service (AGRAS), System Operation and Equipment Characteristics", dated April 12, 1985. This document is available from the FCC's copy contractor:
Best Copy and Printing, Inc.
445 12th S. S.W., Room CY-B402
Washington, DC 20554
Phone: (202) 488-5300, (800) 378-3160
Fax: (202) 488-3160
Commercial Aviation Air Ground systems may operate on 10 channel blocks in the 849- 851 and 894- 896 MHz bands and provide nationwide service to passengers aboard commercial aircraft, as well as to persons in general aviation or other aircraft, flying over North America. Some systems use analog or digital wireless technologies to connect to a base station on the ground and then to the public telephone system. Some systems have satellite calling capability as well, where the call is sent to an earth station instead of the base station. Currently, there are 3 licensed, operating systems.
Last reviewed/updated on 10/17/2005 .