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Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
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. IN 99-9 INTERNATIONAL ACTION February 25, 1999

(IB Docket 99-67)

Today, the Commission proposed rules to implement the international arrangements governing Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite (GMPCS) systems that were adopted under the auspices of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) last year. The arrangements, referred to as the GMPCS Memorandum of Understanding and related Arrangements (GMPCS-MoU) are intended to facilitate worldwide deployment and trans-border use of fixed and mobile satellite terminals and equipment used to communicate with global satellite systems (GMPCS terminals). The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted today outlines a comprehensive procedure for the licensing, marking, certification, and customs treatment of GMPCS terminals. It also proposes important safeguards against potential interference to existing aeronautical radionavigation services.

In 1996, the ITU convened a World Telecommunications Policy Forum to address regulatory and technical issues related to the emerging GMPCS technology. Since that time, the United States, a signatory to the GMPCS MoU, worked closely with U.S. industry to develop the GMPCS- MoU. The new ITU registry and global marking process outlined in the final GMPCS MoU are to be funded by the industry on a full cost-recovery basis.

The GMPCS MoU is designed to facilitate the mutual recognition and cross-border transport of GMPCS terminals providing voice, data, Internet and broadband services. The Commission proposes to amend its rules to enable manufacturers to obtain certification for GMPCS terminals through the Commission's equipment certification process and proposes to require this certification for all GMPCS terminals sold or leased for use in the United States. The proposed procedures also contemplate that all GMPCS terminals sold outside the United States that are to be used in the United States or transported through the United States be required to bear the "ITU mark." Many foreign countries will view this mark as sufficient to allow equipment to cross national borders, and the mark will likely facilitate the sale of GMPCS in other countries.

Under this proposal, any GMPCS terminal manufactured or transported from abroad for use in the United States and bearing an ITU mark must be authorized by another administration and may operate only with a licensed GMPCS service provider. If a GMPCS terminal is not so authorized or does not meet the FCC's technical requirements, a licensed GMPCS service provider will be responsible for denying it access to its satellite system.

Further, the Commission proposed to adopt a phased-in out-of-band emissions limit for GMPCS terminals transmitting in the band 1610-1660.5 MHz in order to protect reception of aeronautical radionavigation signals in the 1559-1605 MHz band and to seek comment on applying #911 position location requirements on mobile satellite service terminals. Finally, the Commission proposed a set of procedures designed to enable the U.S. Customs Service to enforce its rules with minimum additional burden at points-of-entry throughout the country.

Action by the Commission February 25, 1999, by Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 99-37). Commissioners Kennard, Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani.

News Media contact: Rosemary Kimball at (202) 418-0500;
International Bureau contacts: Tracey Weisler at (202) 418-0744 and Bill Bell at (202)

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