ARRANGEMENTS PURSUANT TO THE GMPCS MoU TO FACILITATE THE INTRODUCTION
AND DEVELOPMENT OF GLOBAL MOBILE PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS BY SATELLITE
On 21-23 October 1996, the first ITU World Telecommunication Policy
Forum (WTPF) met in Geneva to discuss "Global Mobile Personal
Communications by Satellite" (GMPCS). That meeting was attended
by 833 delegates, representing 128 Member States and 70 Sector
Members. At that meeting, the WTPF engaged in a general discussion
of the policy and regulatory issues raised by the early introduction
of GMPCS services. By consensus, the WTPF adopted five Opinions,
which are reflected in the Report by the Chairman of the WTPF
(Final Report dated 22 December 1996).
Opinion No. 2 of the first WTPF called for Administrations to
facilitate the early introduction of GMPCS services and to cooperate
internationally in developing and harmonizing policies to facilitate
the introduction of GMPCS. Opinion 2 also recognized that GMPCS
System Operators will take steps to inhibit the use of their Systems
in any country that has not authorized their GMPCS service.
Opinion No. 4 adopted by the WTPF recognized that, because some
GMPCS systems are already in operation and others will be brought
into operation as early as 1998, urgent action is needed to facilitate
the global circulation and transborder roaming of terminals. Opinion
No. 4 also recognized that the early introduction of GMPCS services
will be facilitated by a commonly agreed upon GMPCS Memorandum
of Understanding (MoU) to be used as a framework for arrangements
to facilitate the global circulation and transborder roaming of
On 14 February 1997, pursuant to Opinion No. 4, an informal group
of Competent authorities, GMPCS operators, service providers,
and manufacturers met and finalized the GMPCS - MoU.
The GMPCS Arrangements that follow have been developed, pursuant
to Opinion No. 4, by Competent authorities, ITU Sector Members,
GMPCS System Operators, GMPCS Service Providers, and manufacturers
of GMPCS terminals. The objective of these global Arrangements
is to provide a framework for the introduction of GMPCS, including:
(1) the permission to carry a terminal into a visited country
and to use it, where the associated GMPCS System has been licensed
or authorized, if required, without the need for obtaining individual
authorization for the terminal in the visited country; (2) the
permission to carry the terminal into a visited country without
using it, where the associated GMPCS System has not been authorized
in the visited country; and (3) the conditions for placing terminals
on the market. Under the provisions of these Arrangements, the
participants will be able to cooperate in the development of GMPCS
to the benefit of users worldwide. This benefit can only be fully
realised with the authorisation of service provision and access
to frequency spectrum, harmonised on preferably a global basis,
or on a regional basis, as required for a given GMPCS system.
If a significant number of administrations fail to offer necessary
authorisation for service provision and access to spectrum, the
primary objective of the arrangements will not be fully realised.
SCOPE OF THESE ARRANGEMENTS
- Competent authorities, ITU Sector Members, GMPCS System Operators,
GMPCS Service Providers, and GMPCS Terminal Manufacturers are
invited to implement theArrangements, which are addressed to them.
The Arrangements are not binding and their implementation is
- It is the intention and understanding of all parties implementing
these Arrangements that the Arrangements are consistent with and
in furtherance of the voluntary principles adopted by the WTPF
as contained in Opinion No.2, the relevant treaty provisions of
the ITU legal instruments, other treaties, regional agreements,
directives, and the work in this area carried out by regional
- The sovereign right of each Administration to regulate its
telecommunications, as reflected in the Constitution and Convention
of the ITU, is not altered or affected by these Arrangements.
- These Arrangements define the conditions for the introduction
of GMPCS, including the global circulation and transborder roaming
of GMPCS Terminals and the conditions for placing the terminals
on the market.
- These Arrangements provide for:
- Facilitation of mutual recognition of type approvals of GMPCS
- A simplified regime for the licensing of GMPCS Terminals;
- An optional method of identification (marking) of GMPCS Terminals.
6. These Arrangements also include a commitment, pursuant to Article
5 of the GMPCSMoU, by which GMPCS System Operators will
provide to Administrations that have implemented these Arrangements,
on a confidential basis, within a reasonable period of time to
any duly authorized authority that so requests, appropriate data
concerning traffic originating in or routed to its territory,
and to assist it with any measures intended to identify unauthorized
traffic flows therein.
7. Also, pursuant to Article 4 of the GMPCS-MoU, these Arrangements
contain a commitment by parties implementing these Arrangements
to make recommendations to their relevant competent authorities
on customs matters.
Unless otherwise indicated, the terms listed below will have the
following meanings for purposes of the Arrangements and Recommendations
- Competent authority - Any organisation competent for regulatory
issues addressed in these arrangements (e.g. Administration, supra-national
- Circulation - Ability to carry a GMPCS Terminal into a visited
country without the need for obtaining authorization for use of
that terminal in the visited country. In these Arrangements, circulation
a. 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
b. Permission to carry a terminal into a visited country but not
to use it.
3. Constellation of satellites - One or more satellites, geostationary
or non-geostationary, operated as a system.
4. GMPCS Service Provider - The entity commissioned by a GMPCS
System Operator to provide GMPCS services to the public within
a country and which may require an authorisation to do so under
the applicable legislation of the country concerned.
5. GMPCS System Operator - The entity responsible for the operation
of a GMPCS System.
6. GMPCS System - Any satellite system (i.e., fixed or mobile,
broadband or narrowband, global or regional, existing or planned)
providing telecommunication services directly to end users from
a constellation of satellites.
7. GMPCS Terminal - A user terminal intended to be operated with
a GMPCS System.
8. ITU Sector Member - <definition from ITU convention to be
9. Licensing - The issuance of a license or other authorization
by a Competent authority in conformity with the national laws
and regulations of that country and the ITU Radio Regulations.
10. Type Approval - The process through which the conformity of
GMPCS Terminals with regulatory technical requirements is assessed.
These technical requirements are mainly intended to ensure that
GMPCS Terminals do not harm networks, other users, or other equipment;
and a variety of procedures (ranging from obligatory third party
testing to manufacturer's declaration) may be in place. Compliance
with these requirements may be imposed in order to allow a product
to be legally placed on the market or to allow it to be legally
used when temporarily admitted in a country, when the system within
which it operates is allowed to offer service in that country.
Authorities may accept type approvals from other countries for
products to be sold and/or used.
Participants of these Arrangements understand and recognize that:
- A variety of GMPCS Systems are at different stages of development
and implementation, including some already in service.
- The GMPCS Systems provide or will provide global and/or regional
- GMPCS Systems will be characterised by the use of system specific
GMPCS Terminals, produced by GMPCS Terminal Manufacturers.
- The bringing into operation of new GMPCS Systems is subject
to satisfactory progress of frequency coordination in accordance
with the procedures established by the ITU Radio Regulations.
- The use of the spectrum for GMPCS Systems will be in accordance
with the ITU Radio Regulations and will be assigned by Competent
authorities providing for necessary harmonisation on a global
or regional basis as required by the GMPCS systems.
- It is desirable for Competent authorities to harmonize type
approval regimes for GMPCS Terminals. Harmonised marking of terminals
may be useful.
- Competent authorities have various type approval regimes under
differing legal bases which in the short term will be very difficult
to reconcile and that therefore it will not be possible in the
short term to arrive at a single procedure through which equipment
can be approved globally.
- It is however desirable for Competent authorities to continue
to strive for such a single procedure in the context of this MoU
or in other fora.
- The exemption of GMPCS Terminals from a requirement for an
individual license facilitates global circulation and transborder
- Agreements between GMPCS System Operators, GMPCS Service Providers,
and Competent authorities will likely specify data exchange requirements
to service customers properly and to comply with Competent authorities'
- Existing and planned GMPCS Systems technically will vary in
the level of detail of information captured by the System.
- Customer specific information must be protected by GMPCS System
Operators and GMPCS Service Providers as highly private and confidential
- GMPCS System Operators and GMPCS Service Providers are subject
to the national laws and regulations in each country in which
GMPCS Services are being provided.
1. On Type Approval and Marking of GMPCS Terminals (GMPCS
MoU Articles 1 and 3)
Recognizing the foregoing, the Competent authorities and GMPCS
terminal manufacturers implementing this Arrangement agree that:
"Essential requirements" should form the basis for type
approval of GMPCS Equipment. Essential requirements specific
to this class of equipment are::
- Electrical and user safety (EME electromagnetic exposure???);
- Electromagnetic compatibility (EMC); and
- Effective use of the radio spectrum and orbital resources,
including electromagnetic interference (EMI).
- Compliance with the above essential requirements may be demonstrated
by conformity to appropriate international, regional or national
standards or technical specifications but that manufacturers should
also be allowed to demonstrate compliance via other means. The
ITU will maintain a list of standards and specifications, which
are used for type approval.
- Type approval procedures via which compliance is to be demonstrated
should be proportionate in accordance with the principles of the
WTO. Competent authorities are recommended to consider whether
compliance can be demonstrated through a declaration from the
manufacturer without additional procedures;
- National administrative procedures dealing with type approval
will be publicly available and will be non-discriminatory.
- Where a competent authority, which is a signatory to this
arrangement has assessed that equipment meets the essential requirements,
this equipment may be marked with the following informative mark:
The minimum dimensions of the mark
shall not be less than 1 cm high by 1 cm wide, and shall be marked
indelibly on the equipment in such a way that it cannot be removed
and placed on another equipment."
No rights to place equipment on any market can be derived from
this mark and it should not be confused with markings based on
applicable national laws.
- Manufacturers may request competent authorities to notify
to the ITU of products, which they have type approved. The ITU
will store this information in a database, which can be publicly
- Competent authorities may accept the type approval granted
by other authorities without the need for additional testing or
the submission of test reports and are encouraged to accept, whenever
possible existing test reports. Such acceptance could be based
on Mutual Recognition Agreements on conformity assessment, such
as those concluded within the context of the WTO. Such acceptance
may be subject to reciprocal arrangements.
- Competent authorities should continue to pursue negotiations
on harmonisation of type approval regimes to remove any remaining
administrative barriers in the context of this MoU or other appropriate
2. On Licensing (GMPCS MoU Article 2)
Recognizing the foregoing, the Competent authorities agree that:
1. Competent authorities that have implemented these Arrangements
will not require individual licenses for GMPCS Terminals, provided
- These terminals operate within the frequency bands identified
for such use by the Authority in question;
- The provision of the GMPCS service, with which the GMPCS Terminals
operate, is legal;
- The transmissions from the GMPCS Terminals are under the control
of the GMPCS System Operator and/or the GMPCS Service Provider;
- The GMPCS Terminals meet the relevant essential requirements
in these Arrangements; and necessary measures are taken to minimise
harmful interference with other services.
- Administrations will have to consider the need to co-operate
in the development of GMPCS to the benefit of all users and to
offer authorisation of service provision and access to frequency
spectrum, subject to national law.
- Competent authorities implementing these Arrangements will
allow the circulation and use of GMPCS Terminals, either single
mode or multimode, provided that the GMPCS Terminals meet the
requirements set forth in this Arrangement.
- Circulation on a temporary or transitory basis without permission
to use will be allowed, by each Administration that has implemented
these Arrangements, for all GMPCS Terminals (either single mode
or multimode) not meeting the requirements set forth in this Arrangement.
- Competent authorities implementing these Arrangements may,
consistent with these Arrangements, issue blanket or class licenses
for GMPCS Terminals or may exempt the GMPCS Terminals from licensing.
3. On Access to Traffic Data (GMPCS MoU Article 5)
Recognizing the foregoing, the Competent authorities, GMPCS System
Operators and GMPCS Service Providers implementing this Arrangement
- Consistent with applicable national legislation in the country
where GMPCS service has been authorised GMPCS system operators
or service providers and:
- will provide where possible to Competent authorities which
so requests implementing these Arrangements, on a confidential
basis and to be treated as such by the Competent authorities,
within a reasonable period of time, appropriate GMPCS traffic
data originating in or routed to its national territory; and
- will assist with any measures intended to identify unauthorised
- Under this Arrangement, where possible GMPCS Systems will
be structured to provide appropriate trafficdata. Appropriate
GMPCS traffic data is that required to enable traffic accounting
to take place and does not include confidential customer information.
- Agreements between Competent authorities and GMPCS System
Operators and/or GMPCS Service Providers are unaffected by this
RECOMMENDATIONS (GMPCS MoU Article 4)
Recognizing the foregoing, the Competent authorities, ITU Sector
Members, GMPCS System Operators, GMPCS Service Providers, and
GMPCS Terminal Manufacturers implementing these Arrangements agree
to recommend to their competent national authorities responsible
for customs issues the following:
- GMPCS Terminals brought into a country to be placed on the
market will be subject to applicable customs duties, if any, and
the technical and regulatory requirements of that country. Countries
will be encouraged to reduce duties on GMPCS Terminals placed
on the market, in particular by signing instruments such as the
Information Technology Agreement.
- GMPCS Terminals should be exempt from customs restrictions
and other fees when visiting or transiting countries on a temporary
- Competent authorities, GMPCS Systems Operators, GMPCS Service
Providers, and GMPCS Terminal Manufacturers, as well as the ITU
Secretariat, if appropriate, should work with the World Customs
Organization to ensure that GMPCS Terminals are entitled to treatment
as a traveler's personal effects for purposes of entry into a
country on a temporary or transitory basis.
- Competent authorities should undertake, within the framework
of their national laws, regulations, and international obligations,
to bring their legal and regulatory procedures in line with the
provisions of the Istanbul Convention on Temporary Admission,
and other relevant internationally recognized agreements.
- Competent authorities should take all practicable measures
to educate customs officials on the need to permit the temporary
or transitory entry into their countries of GMPCS Terminals without
unnecessary or unduly burdensome restrictions.
NOTIFICATION AND IMPLEMENTATION PROCEDURES
1. The ITU Secretary-General will write to all Competent authorities,
Sector Members, Signatories to the GMPCS MoU, and all non-signatories
that have been participating in the development of these Arrangements
inviting them to commit to implement these Arrangements.
2. Competent authorities, ITU Sector Members, GMPCS System Operators,
GMPCS Service Providers, and GMPCS Terminal Manufacturers intending
to implement these Arrangements should write to the ITU Secretary-General
at the earliest possible date, indicating their willingness to
comply with these Arrangements and the date by which the Arrangements
are planned to be implemented. Upon implementation of the Arrangements,
Competent authorities, ITU Sector Members, GMPCS System Operators
and GMPCS Service Providers that have implemented these Arrangements
should write to the ITU Secretary-General, indicating how these
Arrangements are implemented in the national regulations.
- Competent authorities that intend to comply with these Arrangements
on a national level are urged to ensure, that relevant national
telecommunications regulations and customs requirements support
the full realization of the goals of these Arrangements.
- Competent authorities may inform the SecretaryGeneral
of the specific GMPCS Systems that are authorized to operate in
3. The Secretary-General of the ITU will be the depository of
these Arrangements and will make information about the Arrangements
readily available to the public.
4. The Secretary-General will electronically publish the information
he is supplied with under these arrangements and periodically
verify its accuracy.
5. Some of the provisions in these Arrangements will require action
and ongoing activities by the ITU. The entities implementing these
Arrangements will work with the ITU to ensure that the ITU has
the capability, authority, and resources to perform the functions
it is expected to perform pursuant to these Arrangements.