Informal Group


Geneva, 14 February 1997

Comments of Industry Canada on the
Memorandum of Understanding

Further to your letter of 13 November 1996 concerning the draft Memorandum of Understanding pursuant to Opinion 4 of the WTPF Report to facilitate the free circulation of GMPCS user terminals, Canada would like to offer the following comments.

In general terms, Canada supports the text as outlined in the annex to Opinion 4 as providing a useful framework for the detailed arrangements which will need to be developed to provide substance to each of the articles contained therein. As an initial comment, therefore, Canada supports the text as drafted, and does not consider any substantial amendments to the MoU, particularly its articles, to be warranted. It is suggested, however, that in order to avoid any misconception or misunderstanding, the text of the preamble to the MoU should make appropriate references to the Opinions themselves, for example to the sovereign right of each Member State to regulate its telecommunications (Opinion 2) and to the fact that the GMPCS MoU should be non­discriminatory with regard to GMPCS operators, service providers and manufacturers (recognizing that various GMPCS systems are at different stages of development) (Opinion 4).

With respect to the follow-on work, and given the fact that the draft MoU is a framework document only, the issues associated with each of the articles will need to be addressed in detail and resolved in order to allow for the free circulation of user terminals. From Canada's perspective, in order to facilitate the use of GMPCS terminals authorized in Canada (i.e., equipment certified and licensed) to be used in other countries where such services are authorized and vice versa, Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRAs) will need to be developed between different administrations which have authorized GMPCS services in their countries. Such MRAs should in addition include mutual recognition of different aspects of the equipment certification process in a given country (e.g. testing, compliance verification, and issuance of labels, marks, and certificates). Once the conditions and requirements of mutual recognition of certification are agreed, it is also our expectation that countries will develop the appropriate regulations in order to exempt the approved terminals from customs restrictions.

In conclusion, we would like to point out that there were a number of representatives of Canadian industry who attended the WTPF and we are aware that you have corresponded with them to seek their comments on the MoU. In fact, this letter is based on consultations with these representatives and it reflects the consolidated government/industry views on the MoU. In looking forward to future discussions leading to the development of detailed arrangements for the early introduction of GMPCs, please be assured that Canada will participate actively and cooperatively in the meetings foreseen for 1997.