FCC Database Search Tips

Mobile carriers usually hold multiple licenses in a given area.  To view all of the mobile telephone service providers within a state or county:
  1. Go to the FCC's online license search database
  2. Click on "Advanced License Search"
  3. Under "Service Group," leave the selection on "All."
  4. Under "Match only the following radio service(s)," hold down the Ctrl key on your PC keyboard (command key on a Mac) and click all of the following categories under which cell phone operators fall:
    1. CL - Cellular
    2. CW - PCS Broadband
    3. CY - 1910-1915/1990-1995 MHz Bands, Market Area
    4. GX - SMR, 806-821/851-866 MHz, Conventional
    5. WS - Wireless Communications Service
    6. YC - SMR, 806-821/851-866 MHz, Auctioned
    7. YH - SMR, 806-821/851-866 MHz, Auctioned (Rebanded YC license)
    8. YX - SMR, 806-821/851-866 MHz, Trunked
  5. Under "Customize Your Results," select "100" next to "Results Display"
  6. Leave the other fields alone and click the GEOSEARCH button near the bottom of the page
  7. Under "State/County," select the state and county for the license area you want to view (or you can view an entire state by not selecting a particular county)
  8. Click on the Call Sign/Lease ID to view the detail for a particular license in the resulting list
  9. Click on the "Admin" tab, and under "Applications" click on "All Applications"
  10. The resulting list of applications shows you when the license originally began, times when the operating company might have changed hands and when other changes have occurred.
The FCC's encyclopedia page explains some of the different frequencies related to mobile telephone service.