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Federal Communications Commission

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United States Department of State

February 28, 1997



Yesterday, the United States and Mexico signed an agreement delineating technical provisions for the coordination and use of frequencies for Paging Services within 120 kilometers of the border in the 929-930 MHz and 931-932 MHz bands. The agreement, formally referred to as a "Protocol", has been in the process of negotiation for four years and its signing is a major step toward establishing long term stability for paging systems operating in the border area and it provides a reference upon which future service developments in the border area may based.

The Protocol was signed for the U.S. by Ambassador Vonya B. McCann, U.S. Coordinator, International Communications and Information Policy (CIP) of the Department of State, and FCC Chairman Reed E. Hundt. Signing for Mexico was Carlos Casasus, Chairman of the Federal Telecommunications Commission of the Secretaria de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT). The signing took place at the Treaty Signing Room at the Department of State in Washington, D.C. The negotiating team included members of the FCC's International Bureau and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, and State Department's CIP. Upon conclusion of the signing, a ceremony dedicated the proceedings to the late Wendell Harris, former Associate Chief of the FCC's International Bureau, whose efforts were instrumental in the development and negotiation of this Protocol. In attendance for the commemoration were Mr. Harris's wife, Mrs Ansonia Harris, and other members of the family.

The Protocol identifies priority channels for the Administrations across the full border for the 929 MHz band and within 7 longitudinal zones for the 931 MHz band. Twelve frequencies are designated as "shared channels", 6 each in the 929 MHz and 931 MHz bands. The Protocol allows for -- and even encourages -- operators in both countries to form joint operating partnerships to expand service areas and avoid transborder conflicts. The FCC and the Mexican SCT are to be notified of such agreements, which are subject to review or approval, as appropriate, by the respective agencies.

The principal provisions of the new agreement are:

More specific details for each band include:

For the 929-930 MHz band:

For the 931-932 MHz band:

The Protocol is augmented by a Letter of Understanding signed by FCC Chairman Hundt and Carlos Casasus, Chairman of the Federal Telecommunications Commission, that emphasizes the resolve of the two agencies to collaborate on their activities to encourage paging operators on both sides of the border to strive for joint operating arrangements that will facilitate broader sharing of paging in the border zone.

The texts signed yesterday supersede the Letter of Understanding Related to the Temporary Use of the 929-930 MHz and 931-932 MHz Bands for Paging Services Along the Common Border which the United States and Mexico signed on December 19, 1995, in Mexico City, Mexico. The signing removes a number of administrative barriers that had restricted the issuance of new paging authorizations by the Commission during the negotiations interval. Allotments and priorities for frequencies and geographic areas designated for use by each Administration as specified in the Protocol can now be fully utilized.

The full text of the Paging Protocol has been placed on file at the International Bureau Reference Room located on the first floor of 2000 M St. N.W. Copies are available from International Transcription Service at (202) 857-3800.

For further information, contact Henry Straube in the Planning and Negotiations Division of the International Bureau at (202) 418-2150 or Ron Netro, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau at (202) 418-1310. The contact at the Department of State is: William H. Jahn, at (202) 647-2723