ASHE - Dedicated to optimizing the healthcare physical environment

AHA Logo

About AHA | Contact AHA

Join ASHE/Renew

Registration of Equipment Operating in WMTS Band

Equipment operating in the WMTS bands (608-614 MHz, 1395-1400 MHz, and 1427-1432 MHz) is operating under primary status, and therefore, protected from interference by other devices. WMTS is the only frequency spectrum designated exclusively for wireless medical telemetry systems. Hospitals deploying telemetry systems in the WMTS bands must ensure that device registration has been completed before the equipment is operational.

FCC Requirements for WMTS Equipment Registration
The FCC Report and Order, ET Docket 99-255, that created the WMTS bands specifically requires all WMTS users to register their equipment prior to operation:
Section 95.1111 (Frequency coordination).

  1. Prior to operation, authorized health care providers who desire to use wireless medical telemetry devices must register all devices with a designated frequency coordinator.

Health Care Facilities With Deployed WMTS Equipment
(Click on each bullet point to view list sorted by state/city/facility name.) Adobe PDF

Last Updated: June 2014

AHA Task Force on Medical Telemetry:
Frequency Coordination in the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service

Consistent with the provisions of Section 332(b) of the Communications Act, the
Federal Communications Commission has recognized the value of utilizing frequency coordinators for each radio service, group, or pool of frequencies in the PLMR Service to check applications for completeness, accuracy and compliance with the applicable FCC rules; identify the most appropriate frequency for the operation of the respective transmitters; and make recommendations of such frequency to the FCC, which would review the materials and issue the license. Because the applicants for spectrum will typically receive a "protected service area" with their license, and therefore the application process has the potential to be adversarial in determining the availability of appropriate spectrum, a strong frequency coordination process is critical to spectrum management. Indeed, coordinators in the PLMR Service typically are called upon to assist the FCC in resolving post-licensing conflicts and to provide a single, nationwide point of contact with the FCC for licensees in the services for which they are the coordinator.

For a number of reasons, the Task Force does not anticipate that users of Wireless Medical Telemetry devices will require such a strong, centralize coordination process. Rather, the Task Force believes that frequency coordination in the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service should be limited to the maintenance of a centralized database, with each user, aided by the manufacturer of the devices being operated by that user, responsible for determining in the first instance that its proposed operations will not create interference to other licensees already registered with the designated frequency coordinator. The Task Force believes that such a "register/database check/install" approach, managed through a centralized database management system, can be extremely effective in preventing interference to licensees in these bands, particularly in light of the very low powered transmissions that characterize the devices operating in this service. The goal of this unique coordination system would be to accommodate all reasonable uses of the available spectrum in a variety of closely-spaced health care facilities, while avoiding unacceptable interference to neighboring health care providers and/or other licensed services.

The frequency coordinator's key responsibility would be to maintain an accurate engineering database of "licensed" wireless medical telemetry transmitters, identified by number, location, emission type and output power. No user of a medical telemetry device operating in the Wireless Medical Telemetry Service could operate that device unless, and until, it had filed a registration with the frequency coordinator. Each user would be responsible for determining, in advance of installation, whether its new devices were likely to cause or be susceptible to interference from devices already registered in the coordination database; the Task Force is convinced that health care practitioners will be highly motivated by their desire to avoid interference to assure that this determination is made.

If, on review of the information in the database, interference was likely to occur from or to other registered devices, the proponent of the newly registered device would bear the responsibility of coordinating with existing users to avoid the interference. This may include the exchange of information between the proponent and existing licensees and associated manufacturers of methodologies and software for use in performing studies and engineering evaluations of potentially conflicting technologies, to assist in determining appropriate criteria to be applied in calculating the potential for interference at particular locations.

However, if interference occurred to any device that was not registered in advance with the frequency coordinator database, the operator of that device would have no protection from newly installed transmitters, and in fact would be required to resolve any interference problem at its own expense. The Task Force believes that this penalty will act as a significant deterrent to non-registration, as the failure to register would, in effect, lower the licensee's status to a "secondary" nature as to any subsequent installations within its area.

Consistent with the approach used with other land mobile frequency coordinators the frequency coordinator would be subject to certain rules for the processing of registrations, to assure that all health care facilities and providers were able to obtain non-discriminatory service at fair and reasonable fees. In this regard, the Task Force believes that any fees charged by the frequency coordinator must be subject to review by the Commission upon any complaint that suggests that the fees do not reasonably reflect the cost of providing the services envisioned for the frequency coordinator.

The Task Force recognizes that establishing a frequency coordinator to perform even the limited database management functions contemplated herein could implicate the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). However, the statute by which Congress authorized the Commission to use frequency coordinators in the private mobile and fixed services area provides that "[a]ny advisory coordinating committee which furnishes assistance to the Commission under this subsection shall not be subject to the provisions of the FACA." We believe that the proposed frequency coordinator falls squarely under the provisions of this statute, and it should be clearly created pursuant to Section 332(b) to avoid any inference to the contrary.

Source: Appendix IV of Report of the American Hospital Association Task Force on Medical Telemetry
Presented to the Federal Communications Commission on April 16, 1999

The American Society for Healthcare Engineering of the American Hospital Association
155 N. Wacker Drive, Suite 400. Chicago, IL 60606
Phone: 312-422-3800 | Fax: 312-422-4571