FCC Definitions Pertaining to Commercial Operations in the U.S. 3550-3700 MHz Band

The definitions in this subsection are from the Federal Communications Commission’s Rules governing the Citizens Broadband Radio Service [1]. These definitions will only change as the result of FCC action.

Census Tract. Statistical subdivisions of a county or equivalent entity that are updated prior to each decennial census as part of the Census Bureau's Participant Statistical Areas Program.  Census tracts are defined by the United States Census Bureau and census tract maps can be found at http://www.census.gov. For purposes of this part, Census Tracts shall be defined as they were in the 2010 United States Census. The Commission may from time to time update this definition to reflect boundaries used in subsequent decennial Census definitions.

Citizens Broadband Radio Service Device (CBSD). Fixed Stations, or networks of such stations, that operate on a Priority Access or General Authorized Access basis in the Citizens Broadband Radio Service consistent with this rule part.  For CBSDs which comprise multiple nodes or networks of nodes, CBSD requirements apply to each node even if network management and communication with the SAS is accomplished via a single network interface.  End User Devices are not considered CBSDs.

Category A CBSD. A lower power CBSD that meets the general requirements applicable to all CBSDs and the specific requirements for Category A CBSDs set forth in sections 96.41 and 96.43.

Category B CBSD. A higher power CBSD that meets the general requirements applicable to all CBSDs and the specific requirements for Category B CBSDs set forth in sections 96.41 and 96.45.

Coastline. The mean low water line along the coast of the United States drawn according to the principles, as recognized by the United States, of the Convention on the Territorial Sea and the Contiguous Zone, 15 U.S.T. 1606, and the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, 21 I.L.M. 1261.

End User Device. A device authorized and controlled by an authorized CBSD.  These devices may not be used as intermediate service links or to provide service over the frequencies listed in section 96.11 to other End User Devices or CBSDs.

Environmental Sensing Capability (ESC). A system that detects and communicates the presence of a signal from an Incumbent User to an SAS to facilitate shared spectrum access consistent with sections 96.15 and 96.67.

Exclusion Zone. A geographic area wherein no CBSD shall operate.  Exclusion Zones shall be enforced and maintained by the SAS.  Exclusion Zones will be converted to Protection Zones following the approval and commercial deployment of an ESC and SAS consistent with this part.

Fixed Station. A CBSD or End User Device that transmits and/or receives radio communication signals at a fixed location.  Fixed Stations may be moved from time to time but Fixed CBSDs must turn off and re-register with the SAS prior to transmitting from a new location.

Geo-Location Capability. The capability of a CBSD to register its geographic coordinates within the level of accuracy specified in section 96.39. The CBSD location is used by the SAS to determine frequency availability and maximum transmit power limits for CBSDs.

General Authorized Access (GAA) User. An authorized user of one or more CBSDs operating on a General Authorized Access basis, consistent with section 96.33, et seq.

Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Licensee.  A licensee authorized to operate in the 3650-3700 MHz band consistent with section 90.1338.

Grandfathered Wireless Protection Zone.  A geographic area and frequency range in which Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Licensees will receive protection from Citizens Broadband Radio Service transmissions and defined using methodology determined by the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau and Office of Engineering and Technology. 

Incumbent User. A federal entity authorized to operate on a primary basis in accordance with the table of frequency allocations, fixed satellite service operator, or Grandfathered Wireless Broadband Licensee authorized to operate on a primary basis on frequencies designated in section 96.11.

License Area. The geographic component of a PAL.  Each License Area consists of one Census Tract.

Mobile Station. A device intended to be used while in motion or during halts at unspecified points.

Portable Station. A device designed to be used within 20 centimeters of the body of the user.

Priority Access License (PAL). A license to operate on a Priority Access basis, consistent with section 96.23, et seq.

Priority Access Licensee. A holder of one or more PALs.  Priority Access Licensees shall be entitled to protection from General Authorized Access Users and other Priority Access Licensees within the defined temporal, geographic, and frequency limits of their PAL, consistent with the rules set forth in this part.

Protection Zone. A geographic area wherein CBSDs may operate only with the permission of an approved SAS and ESC. 

Rural Area. For purposes of this Part, any Census Tract which is not located within, or overlapping: (i) a city, town, or incorporated area that has a population of greater than 20,000 inhabitants; or (ii) an urbanized area contiguous and adjacent to a city or town that has a population of greater than 50,000 inhabitants. 

Service Area. One or more contiguous License Areas held by the same Priority Access Licensee.

Spectrum Access System (SAS). A system that authorizes and manages use of spectrum for the Citizens Broadband Radio Service in accordance with subpart F.

SAS Administrator.  An entity authorized by the Commission to operate an SAS in accordance with the rules and procedures set forth in section 96.63.