Contribution 7-E

Contribution of Canada

MOU for the GMPCS Arrangement

1 Introduction

At the recent meeting of the ITU Informal Group held April 3-4, 1997, Canadian representatives benefited from the extensive discussion of all of the matters relevant to the GMPCS arrangement. Based on these discussions and the input and output documents at the meeting of the Informal Group, this submission:

  1. discusses the issues raised during the meeting of the Informal Group; and

  1. contains at Annex 1 a draft Arrangement which accommodates those issues discussed at the meeting as well as the MoU and other Opinions.

2 Discussion of the Issues Raised at the Meeting of the Informal Group

2.1 Legal Status of the Arrangement

During the meeting of the Informal Group, it was clear that it would be problematic if there were an attempt to qualify the GMPCS Arrangement as "voluntary", "binding" or "binding after signature". Indeed, there were two interventions urging that it would be prudent to avoid these and similar terms. The main problem that would be caused if the GMPCS Arrangement were raised to a legally binding status, would be a requirement for formal government approval and, in the case of one intervener, this could take five years.

In practice, and for the intended purpose, it is not necessary for the GMPCS Arrangement to be given such a legally binding status. The most appropriate status is for it to be 'An Arrangement Among Participating Administrations'. Under such status, an Administration would send a notice of participation to the ITU Secretary-General and would then receive the benefits of the Arrangement. If that Administration chooses not to participate, it will not receive the benefits. The benefits in question are, mainly, that the licensed users of that country will be able to circulate with their GMPCS terminals in the other countries which are participating in the Arrangement.

This approach avoids the problems that would arise if, unnecessarily, the status of the GMPCS Arrangement was defined as "binding" in any way.

  1. Exemptions or Conditional Participation

Many Administrations indicated a desire to have a mechanism included in the GMPCS Arrangement to:

In order to offer such a mechanism, the most effective means to do this would be by, as and when appropriate, adding Annexes to the Arrangement. This would be a practical administrative means to provide this mechanism within the Arrangement. It is foreseen that bullets one and two above would be used only exceptionally and could not contain provisions which would be tantamount to non-participation.

  1. Blanket Licensing

There is no doubt that a single licence to cover all of the GMPCS terminals of a particular GMPCS system in a country is the most convenient and efficient licensing practice. Despite these merits, however, there were some concerns expressed that such a practice may not be possible in all countries within their current regulatory regime.

In practice, the particular licensing regime is within the sovereign rights of each Administration. Whether an Administration issues a blanket licence for all of the GMPCS terminals for a particular system in its country, or if it issues individual licences for each individual GMPCS terminal, this does not have any impact on that Administration's participation in the GMPCS Arrangement.

While it is prudent to urge all Administrations to issue blanket licences, and recognizing that the MoU refers to "class licences or blanket approvals", the particular method of licensing does not need to be a requirement of participating in the GMPCS Arrangement.

  1. Recognition and Definition of Type Approval

While there were many diverse views expressed on the three aspects of type approval, they can be summarized as follows:

  1. the definition of "Type Approval" must include elements related to:

  1. the type approval could be based on a global standard, a number of regional standards, or on a published system specification. In the latter two cases, there may be the need for additional provisions to ensure the mutual recognition of the type approved GMPCS terminals issued in another country.

  1. some Administrations indicated that they would accept a set of simplified technical approval requirements for GMPCS terminals visiting or transiting their countries than the technical requirements for those terminals entering a country for being placed on the market.

Other Administrations indicated that their technical approval requirements were the same for a brief visit as for an entry for placing a terminal on the market.

These two situations can be accommodated by having two technical approval Annexes to the Arrangement. One Annex could contain the set of simplified technical approval requirements and the other the more rigorous technical approval requirements. An Administration could then indicate with its Notice of Participation the technical approval annex(es) it wished to apply for the two entry purposes.

  1. Customs

During the discussions, it became evident that, regardless of the technical approval requirements that are applied, there is an important distinction between the customs practices for entry of a GMPCS terminal for a temporary or transitory period and entry of a terminal for placing on the market. In the first case, Opinion 4 clearly stated that there would be an exemption from customs restrictions for visiting or transitory terminals. There is no exemption for entry to place on the market and it is foreseen that such terminals would be subject to the applicable customs and duty of that country.

  1. Access to Traffic Data

These provisions in the Arrangement are to ensure that there is an appropriate and equitable financial settlement for the traffic flow to and from a country. To achieve this, GMPCS systems will be structured to provide appropriate traffic data to duly authorized officials and assist with any measures intended to identify unauthorized traffic access to the GMPCS system.

3 The Proposed GMPCS Arrangement

Attached at Annex 1 is a Proposed GMPCS Arrangement which reflects the discussions that took place at the meeting of the Informal Group.


May 13, 1997

Arrangement to Facilitate the Introduction of GMPCS, Including Regional Systems

  1. Preamble

  1. The ITU World Telecommunication Policy Forum (WTPF) was established by Resolution No.2 of the Kyoto Plenipotentiary Conference. Its purpose was to provide a forum where ITU Member States and Sector Members could discuss and exchange information on emerging telecommunication policy and regulatory matters. At the 1995 Session of the ITU Council, Resolution No. 1083 established that the WTPF would meet in Geneva in October 1996 to discuss "Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite" (GMPCS).

  1. At that meeting, the WTPF supported the early introduction of GMPCS services by unanimously adopting Opinion No. 4 which outlined a global Arrangement for the free circulation of GMPCS user terminals. Pursuant to Opinion No. 4, this GMPCS Arrangement is established for participation by Administrations of ITU Member States, GMPCS system operators, GMPCS service providers and manufacturers of GMPCS terminals. The global Arrangement would be the basis for the introduction of GMPCS including the permission to carry a terminal into a visited country and to use it within the framework of a licensing scheme (i.e., without the need for obtaining individual authorization for the terminal in the visited country) and may also be the basis for placing terminals on the market. Under the provisions of this Arrangement, the participants will be able to cooperate in the development of GMPCS to the benefit of the international community.

An Administration which wishes to participate in the GMPCS Arrangement will advise the Secretary-General and, as a participant in the Arrangement, it will receive the benefits of the Arrangement. The corollary to this is that, if an Administration does not want to participate, or withdraws its participation in the Arrangement, it will not receive the benefits. With this understanding, the problematic concepts of "binding" or "voluntary" are avoided.

  1. Scope of the Arrangement

  1. Recognizing that each Administration has the right to determine whether, and in what form, GMPCS will be provided in its territory, the voluntary principles adopted by the WTPF as contained in Opinion No. 2, the relevant treaty provisions of the ITU basic instruments and other regional agreements or directives, and the work in this area carried out by regional telecommunication organizations, this Arrangement defines the conditions for the purpose of the introduction of GMPCS including the circulation of GMPCS terminals and placing the terminals on the market:

  1. When implementing this Arrangement on a national level, Administrations are urged to ensure that relevant national telecommunication regulations and customs requirements support the full realization of the goals of this Arrangement.

  1. Mutual recognition of the conditions in this Arrangement constitute the basis for either the circulation of GMPCS terminals, or the placing of terminals on the market, or both, in those countries which are associated with this Arrangement.

  1. Additionally, this Arrangement contains provisions for access by duly authorized national authorities to the best available traffic data concerning traffic originated in or routed to its national territory.

  1. Principle No. 3 of Opinion No. 2 in the WTPF Report urges Administrations to maximize the competition in the provision of GMPCS services in order to realize the full potential of GMPCS. Administrations should take account of this when they are advising the ITU Secretary-General of the systems to which they will allow circulation.

  1. This Arrangement is structured into six Articles containing the provisions that are common and applicable to all GMPCS systems and associated terminals. Provisions and procedures which are unique to a particular GMPCS class or system and, additional provisions for the placement of GMPCS terminals on the market, are in the Annexes to this Arrangement.

  1. Definitions of Terms Used in the Arrangement

  1. Unless otherwise indicated, the terms listed below shall have the following meanings:

An Administration may, with its Notice of Participation, indicate the technical approval requirements that it wishes to apply for brief visits and for entry to place on the market as described in Annex [XX] and/or Annex [YY].

  1. The Arrangement

Article 1: Technical Approval of GMPCS Terminals

  1. The Technical Approval of GMPCS terminals shall be pursuant to a relevant global standard. The global standards for particular GMPCS systems are contained in Annexes [XX] and/or [YY]. Annex [XX] contains a minimum set of technical approval requirements that may be adequate for entry of a GMPCS terminal for brief visits. Annex [YY] contains technical approval requirements, additional to the requirements of Table XX, for those Administrations with such requirements. The issuance of the technical approval for a specific device will be confirmation that the operation of the device will not cause interference to other radio users. Technical Approval of a GMPCS terminal to the requirements of Table XX should be the minimum mandatory prerequisite for licensing.

  1. The technical approval requirements of Table [YY] may include user safety (such as exposure to non-ionizing radiation), electromagnetic compatibility (such as frequency usage in accordance with the Table of Frequency Allocations) and avoidance of interference to third parties. These technical approval requirements may be contained in an ITU-R Recommendation or regional and/or national technical specification. The participants shall accept the technical approval of a GMPCS terminal that has been demonstrated to meet these technical approval requirements through:

  1. a global technical approval process; or
  2. a regional technical approval process; or
  3. a national technical approval process; or
  4. a published system specification.

It should be noted that in the latter three cases, provisions may be required to ensure the mutual recognition of such technical approvals.

  1. Upon request by a participating Administration, a GMPCS system operator, national service provider, manufacturer or distributor shall provide test data confirming compliance with the relevant technical standard while taking account of paragraphs 11, 13, 14 and 15.

  1. National administrative procedures dealing with testing for technical approval shall be non-discriminatory among the various GMPCS systems and readily available for examination. Additional or unique technical approval requirements of an Administration, which are beyond those contained in the relevant global standard, may be required.

  1. Administrations at their discretion may accept test reports from manufacturers or distributors that confirm the technical conformance of the terminals with applicable global, regional or national standards. Some Administrations may require that testing be conducted by a duly accredited testing laboratory.

Article 2: Licensing of GMPCS Terminals

  1. An Administration, which authorizes a national GMPCS Service Provider for a GMPCS system listed in the Annex, shall include in its licensing requirements the provisions of this Arrangement. Only those terminals which as a minimum conform with the applicable technical standards may be licensed. Administrations, with due regard to administrative efficiency and national licensing regulations, may issue a blanket licence for all of the GMPCS terminals of a particular system in their country, or an Administration may issue a licence to each terminal.

Article 3: Marking of Terminals that are Authorized under this Arrangement

  1. Circulation shall be allowed by participating Administrations for terminals which have been licensed in accordance with this Arrangement by a participating Administration and which have an appropriate identification or marking.

Article 4: Customs

  1. Participating Administrations shall inform their customs officials concerning the identifying labels or certificates issued under this Arrangement so that authorized GMPCS terminals brought into the country on a temporary or transitory basis can pass their customs without undue delay or restriction. GMPCS terminals brought into a country under this Arrangement for placing terminals on the market shall be subject to the applicable customs, duty, and regulatory requirements of that country.

Article 5: Access to Traffic Data

  1. Consistent with applicable national legislation in the country where GMPCS service is being provided, GMPCS national service providers shall provide, on a confidential basis, within a reasonable period of time to any duly authorized national authority which so requests, the best available traffic data originating in or routed to its national territory, and will assist with any measures intended to identify unauthorized traffic flows.

Article 6: Review

  1. The Signatories may periodically review this Arrangement and modify and update it as necessary.

  1. Implementation of the Arrangement

Section 1: Notification of National Participation in the Arrangement

  1. Administrations which implement this Arrangement for one or more GMPCS systems in their national regulations should so notify the Secretary-General of the ITU. The ITU will keep the Registry of notifying Administrations and the GMPCS system(s) which they have authorized. Notification to the Registry will be the basis for mutual recognition by participating Administrations of the provisions of this Arrangement relevant to the circulation of terminals.

  1. Such notification to the ITU may also be undertaken by regional bodies that are competent to make commitments on behalf of Member Administrations.

Section 2: Responsibilities of the GMPCS System Operators

  1. Each GMPCS system operator which wishes to associate with this Arrangement shall advise the ITU Secretary-General that it will carry out all of the terms and conditions of this Arrangement.

Section 3: Withdrawal from the Agreement

  1. An Administration which decides to no longer participate in the Arrangement shall so notify the ITU Secretary-General. After such a notice, GMPCS terminals of other participating Administrations shall no longer qualify for circulation into the territory of the Administration which has withdrawn. Similarly, GMPCS terminals licensed by the withdrawing Administration shall no longer qualify for circulation in the territory of the other participating Administrations.

Section 4: The Depository

24. The Secretary-General of the ITU shall be the depository of the Arrangement. Every [six months], and more often if necessary, the Secretary-General shall publish a list of participating Administrations and, for each Administration, list the GMPCS systems which are authorized in its territory.


Arrangement to Facilitate the Introduction of GMPCS, including Regional Systems,

for NGSO MSS Systems Operating in the 1-3 GHz Frequency Bands

  1. This Annex applies to the NGSO GMPCS MSS systems which operate in the 1-3 GHz frequency bands.

  1. The Technical Approval of GMPCS devices in this frequency range shall be in accordance with ITU-R Recommendation [xyz].

  1. (Additional unique features, if any, which relate to these systems, will be contained in this Annex).


Arrangement to Facilitate the Introduction of GMPCS, including Regional Systems

for NGSO MSS Systems

Operating in Frequency Bands Below 1 GHz

(Appropriate provisions for these systems will be contained in this Annex)


Requirements for Technical Approval (TAR-A)


Requirements for Technical Approval (TAR-B)