Pursuant to your letter referenced SPU/EA/KB/ml of 13 November 1996, you requested comments on the draft Memorandum of Understanding attached to Opinion 4 of the World Telecommunication Policy Forum. Generally, we have no comments on the draft MoU, but we will want to be closely involved and consulted in preparation for the arrangements which are to be prepared and in particular in discussions regarding the conditions pursuant to which administrations would grant mutual recognition of type approval, terminal licensing, marking of terminals, etc.
Opinion 4 calls for governments and operators to prepare for a "Memorandum of Understanding" (MoU) "to develop necessary arrangements for facilitating the free circulation of ... satellite user terminals" by no later than July 1997. The dateline of July 1997 will come as a surprise to most developing countries in view of the fact that the implications of the technical and regulatory issues involved in the implementation of GMPCS, together with the checklist requested in Opinion 5 will not be resolved and understood by developing countries before this dateline.
May I use this opportunity to request information in regard to the status of the actions flowing from Opinion 5, which calls for establishment of "a group of experts especially from developing countries" inter alia to prepare a checklist of factors which developing countries should take into account in the process of introducing GMPCS services and to study the policy and socioeconomic impacts of GMPCS services.
I am of the view that we need a group of experts especially from
developing countries who would comprise a kind of Maitland Commission
of the 1990s who could study and advise on the impacts of the
globalization of communications. We are now entering a new world,
completely different from that which existed more than 12 years
ago when Sir Donald began his work. It is time for a new, similar
kind of initiative in regard to globalization impacts.