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Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
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Internet: http://www.fcc.gov

This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

Report No. GN 98-7 GENERAL ACTION May 14, 1998

(GEN Docket 98-68)

Today the Commission took an important step toward implementing the international arrangements governing Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) systems adopted in Geneva this past March. The Commission voted unanimously in favor of an interim procedure for the type approval of GMPCS terminals which will facilitate their transport across national borders. In addition, the Commission adopted a set of proposed modifications to the FCC's equipment approval process and a proposal to implement the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) that was completed between the United States and the European Community (EC) last year.

"These exciting new global satellite systems hold great promise for international consumers, especially those living in or traveling to underpopulated and rural areas. I believe that the interim equipment certification proposal the Commission adopted today will pave the way for these GMPCS companies as they continue or begin to roll-out their global voice, data, and broadband services," remarked FCC Chairman William E. Kennard.

"We have worked hard with our international colleagues to craft a set of licensing, marking, customs, traffic data and type approval procedures to facilitate the transborder roaming of terminals so that GMPCS service delivery is seamless for all global and domestic GMPCS users. Today's action is an important interim measure prior to the Commission's implementation of the final GMPCS Arrangements in the near future," Kennard stated.

In 1996, the International Telecommunications Union convened a World Telecommunications Policy Forum to focus on regulatory and technical issues related to GMPCS technology. Since that time, the United States, as a signatory to the international GMPCS Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) adopted in February 1997, participated actively in developing a set of GMPCS MoU Arrangements in order to enable GMPCS terminals to be readily transported across national borders without duties.

The Commission's interim procedure is designed to assist companies that wish to obtain equipment certification prior to the Commission's final implementation of the MoU later this year. The FCC has proposed a set of certification criteria in accordance with Parts 1, 2, and 25 of the Commission's current rules and in conjunction with a set of specific out-of-band emission proposals that are being evaluated under a separate Commission proceeding.

Action by the Commission May 14, 1998, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 98-92). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani, with Commissioner Furchtgott-Roth issuing a separate statement.

- FCC -

News Media contact: Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0500.
International Bureau contacts: Thomas Tycz at (202) 418-0735 and Tracey Weisler at (202) 418-0744.

(This press release is released in conjunction with Report GN 98-6, also released today, which describes, in broader terms, the NPRM adopted today.)