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Federal Communications Commission
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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).

November 19, 1998


This Order highlights one of the most important core functions of this agency: managing the spectrum for the benefit of the American public. Our spectrum policies should promote competition, consumer choice, and spectrum efficiency. This Order achieves all of those goals. The Worldwide Mobile Satellite allocation, which we first advocated at the 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference, is critical to providing genuinely global service, expanding consumer choice around the world, and inaugurating third generation mobile communications technology. I am extremely proud of the role the FCC played in securing this allocation.

The domestic allocation process for this service has been challenging. We use these bands more intensively than any other country on Earth. Allowing Mobile Satellite Services to be provided at 2 GHz will require relocation of important existing services. Other bands that have been allocated for Mobile Satellite Services, such as the Big LEO band above 1 GHz, were not crowded. Therefore, in that case it was not necessary to require that the relocation costs of incumbent licensees be paid. I believe we have made a wise decision to adhere to our Emerging Technologies policies as they relate to the relocation of Fixed Service microwave licensees in the band, and to extend these policies to the relocation of licensees in the Broadcast Auxiliary Service. The BAS is essential for providing coverage of breaking news, sports events, and other special events to the American public, and many of the incumbent Fixed Service microwave licensees provide critical infrastructure and public safety services.

The adoption of this item brings us a step closer to genuinely universal mobile service. This will be a great benefit to American industry, which will produce and launch a large part of the infrastructure of the satellite-based mobile communications network, and to America's consumers, who will have more choice in securing these services. I would like to move this proceeding to a conclusion as quickly as possible.