Time to Investigate Possible PIM Consequences of Adding New 600 MHz Spectrum

Lou Meyer March 16, 2016
Auction-compressedWith the 600 MHz Broadcast Incentive Auction approaching in the US, bidders should be interested in how the new frequency allocations could negatively interact with existing cell site frequencies. They specifically should examine how new bands could cause harmful interference in the form of 3rd order passive intermodulation (PIM). To help bidders sort that out, CommScope has updated its Band and Block PIM Calculator with the 600 MHz band.

The 600 MHz band plan outlined by the Federal Communications Commission (pdf) maximizes the value of spectrum to potential bidders and provides both larger and smaller bidders a fair opportunity to acquire spectrum. Specifically, the band plan consists of paired uplink and downlink bands (which enables two-way communications), offered in 5+5 megahertz blocks across 416 market areas called Partial Economic Areas (PEA). These range from offering two sets of paired blocks to 12 sets of paired blocks, in the configurations shown below:


CommScope has added 600 MHz capability to its North American Band and Block PIM Calculator to help bidders avoid PIM with their new spectrum. With the PIM Calculator, users can select one of the 11 possible allocations (2 thru 12) along with other band/block combinations already in use at the cell site. The calculator will find issues associated with the traditional 2nd, 3rd and 5th order PIM products.

Users with access to the CommScope Distributor-Customer portal on commscope.com will find the updated North American Band and Block PIM Calculator there. New CommScope customers and partners can request access by registering as new users on the website. After validating their email address, new users can “request additional access” to the Distributor Customer portal.

If you have any problems, leave me a comment here. Everyone can also explore the other Wireless Market Calculators and Tools that are available on our recently updated website.

Good luck to the bidders!

About the Author

Lou Meyer

Louis Meyer, P.E., is director of technical sales for CommScope Mobility Solutions. Lou has spent a lifetime advancing RF technology, taking it from the drawing board to practical use. Over the years—in various roles with Allen Telecom, Andrew Ltd. and CommScope—Lou has been responsible for supporting the sales teams for such solutions as remote antenna control systems, transmission lines, diplexers and other important components. Prior to joining Allen Telecom, Lou worked with Decibel Products as vice president of Antenna Design and vice president of International OEM Relations. Earlier, Lou worked with Harris Corporation in RF communications and Bendix Corporation in their Missile Systems division. Lou holds 10 patents and was previously chair and vice-chair of the TIA’s TR-8.11 Antenna Standards subcommittee. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and is currently a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.