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Narrowband Radio Alarm System Information

Narrowband Upgrade Program

Implementing National Telecommunications and Information Administration Regulations... Changing the way radio signals are processed

An agency of the United States Department of Commerce, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) is the principal voice of the Executive Branch on domestic and international telecommunications and information technology issues. The NTIA works to provide greater access for all Americans, champion greater foreign market access, and create new opportunities with technology. Some specific goals of the NTIA include:

  • Promote efficient use of federal radio spectrum and encourage the development and implementation of new and emerging telecommunications technologies
  • Perform long-term research to explore uses of higher frequency spectrum
  • Work with Federal, state, and local public safety agencies to address future spectrum requirements

For years, NTIA has been developing a strategy to use the RF spectrum more efficiently. As a result, they are restructuring the channel spacing and requiring a transition of channel bandwidths from 25 kHz to 12.5 kHz (narrowband assignments). In effect, this creates a new channel between the formerly adjacent channels. In addition to restructuring the bandwidth, NTIA is requiring:

  • Radio equipment be more accurate, ensuring that adjacent channels are not interfered with. All new VHF radios must be within 2.5 ppm of their assigned frequency. All new UHF radios must be within 1.5 ppm of their assigned frequency.
  • The transmitted signal deviate no more than 2.5 kHz from the carrier (assigned) frequency. Note: This has been a requirement of all Monaco products since their inception in the early 1970s.

We have re-engineered our entire radio alarm system product line to meet the NTIA requirements and are pleased to offer only narrowband radio products at this time.

The move to narrowband technology will greatly improve radio communications and is a significant step toward changing the way radio signals are processed.


Guidelines for the transition to narrowband technology are found in Chapter 4 of the NTIA's Manual of Regulations and Procedures for Federal Radio Frequency Management.

The deadline for transitioning to narrowband radios differs depending on the assigned bandwidth.

138 - 150.8 MHZ Band

  • New systems must use the new 12.5 kHz channel by 1 January 1998
  • Existing systems must be converted by 1 January 2008

162 - 174 MHZ Band

  • New systems must use the new 12.5 kHz channel by 1 January 1995
  • Existing systems must be converted by 1 January 2005

406.1 - 420 MHZ Band

  • New systems must use the new 12.5 kHz channel by 1 January 1995
  • Existing systems must be converted by 1 January 2008

Although NTIA requirements state that new systems were to use narrowband radio channeling as early as 1995, radio design technology was not available to manufacturers until 1998. Monaco began converting products using pre-release radio technology as early as 1997, and all Monaco radio alarm system products sold today meet the NTIA requirements for narrowband radios.

What This Means to You

To comply with the NTIA requirements, Monaco's radio alarm system transceivers and modems need to be converted to narrowband technology. Several upgrade kits are available for this conversion. The kit you need depends upon the type of transceiver installed and when it was manufactured. A site survey will identify which transceivers need to be upgraded and what kit will be required.

Although upgrading the radios to narrow band versions is required, you do not need to:

  • Replace current model transceivers (BT2-3, BT2-4, BT2-R, M-1, BT2-7, BT2-8, M-2); they can be upgraded with our Narrowband Upgrade Kits
  • Reprogram existing transceivers and central station receiving systems
  • Modify antenna networks if the frequency remains the same (If the frequency is changed in the process of converting to narrowband operation, then the antenna network will have to be changed as required. For the most part, the coaxial cable runs will not need to be revised.)
  • Upgrade to narrowband radios all at once; your upgrades can be phased in over time. This is because new Monaco products can be mixed with old products.

Follow this Four-Step Process:

1. Meet with location frequency management personnel to determine your narrowband upgrade requirements and when the upgrades need to be completed.

2. Survey installed transceivers to determine what products will be required for the upgrade; survey forms are available from Monaco. Information that should be recorded includes Building Number and Description, BT2 Model Number, Part Number, Revision, Serial Number, and Existing Battery Size.

3. Obtain a pricing quotation from Monaco by providing the completed survey information. Pricing discounts are available based on quantity purchases, blanket purchase order arrangements, and timely commencement of the conversion process.

4. Phase in the conversion to narrowband radios starting in 2000 to ensure completion by either 2005 or 2008.

Services Available from Monaco

Monaco offers a number of services to assist you at each step of the process of conversion to narrowband technology.

  • Meeting with location frequency management personnel to determine how the NTIA requirements will impact your location.
  • Site surveys of installed transceivers to determine upgrade kit requirements.
  • Preventive Maintenance Inspections conducted in conjunction with site surveys or during the upgrade process to identify any existing system deficiencies.
  • Training classes on how to efficiently install upgrade kits so on-site personnel can complete required conversions.
  • Installation services to install the upgrade kits.
  • Blanket Purchase Agreements that release upgrade kits to the site on a monthly or quarterly basis.

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