Informal Group


Geneva, 14 February 1997

Comments of Inmarsat (UK) on the Memorandum of Understanding

Regarding your letter of 13 November and your subsequent reminder of 3 December in which you ask for comments on the draft GMPCS-MoU, I am pleased to inform you that Inmarsat intends to be represented at the GMPCS-MoU meetings starting with those on 14 February and 9 March 1997. We are also pleased to offer the following comments towards the work of those meetings.

1 Amend the title of the MoU as follows:

Memorandum of Understanding to prepare arrangements for the free circulation of Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite user terminals.


This MoU only commits the signatories to preparation of the arrangements, rather than to free circulation.

2 Article 1, second sentence to be amended as follows:

That the type approval standards should be based on those which are internationally recognized or on the relevant ITU Recommendations, and should be impartial with respect to all GMPCS technologies, and without reference to performance or quality of service standards.


Internationally recognized ETSI standards for Mobile Earth Stations (MES), working with the GSO Mobile Satellite Stations (MSS), have already existed for some time now and are being used by several countries for similar purposes. It would be useful to take these into account to avoid duplication of work. In addition, the ITU-R WP 8D of SG 8 has, in November 1996, approved a draft new Question to study "the suitable essential technical requirements and relevant technical characteristics of mobile earth stations operating with GSO MSS in 1 - 3 GHz frequency band".

These studies are to be completed by 1999 and so the relevant ITU-R Recommendation for MESs operating with GSO MSS is not likely to be available for a few years. The availability of already existing standards is therefore very useful.

3 Article 6

Inmarsat has concerns about how the requirements of this article would be implemented. Currently, Inmarsat mobile satellite terminals that fall within the scope of the GMPCS are not equipped to provide actual position information. This concern is probably shared by regional operators also currently operating small mobile satellite terminals. Inmarsat does however account for traffic to and from mobiles registered to each country that is a Party to the Inmarsat Convention, for the purposes of investment share determination. Having registered this concern and noting that this was a sensitive issue at the WTPF, Inmarsat will consider this matter further prior to the first MoU meeting.

4 Comments on the possible arrangements coming from the MoU Group

Inmarsat today is cooperating with countries and regional bodies using as a basis two types of arrangements that can be used as inputs to the GMPCS-MoU meeting:

a) those established by the European Radiocommunications Committee, notably the Decision on free circulation of LMSS terminals adopted in December 1995 and the Recommendation on free circulation of LMSS terminals adopted by the ERC in June 1996. The main difference between the two is that the Decision provides for mutual recognition of licensing and type approval within the CEPT countries, while the Recommendation provides a mechanism for mutual recognition of licences between CEPT and non-CEPT countries. The latter is the only global mechanism existing today.

b) or, alternatively, an arrangement based on the draft regional transborder agreement prepared by Inmarsat which is transparent and generic with regard to satellite systems. A copy is enclosed.

In addition, we would like to stress the importance for free circulation of the reduction or removal of customs duties on the user terminals. In that regard, I am sure the ITU will take due note of the Ministerial Declaration on Trade in Information Technology Products which was produced at the World Trade Organization ministerial meeting in Singapore last month.





a) the availability of land mobile earth stations (LMESs) for voice and data communications using mobile-satellite communications systems which interconnect with the public telecommunications network;

b) that the increasing use of LMESs installed on vehicles or carried by individuals across national frontiers and between countries can help to improve international trade and bring other economic and social benefits to their countries including effective temporary communications in emergency relief operations as well as the provision of service in remote and rural areas without adequate means of communication;

c) that frequency bands have been allocated to the land mobile-satellite service in accordance with Article 8 of the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU);

d) that the Plenipotentiary Conference of the International Telecommunication Union (Kyoto, 1994), in Resolution 36, urged administrations to take all practical steps for facilitating the rapid deployment and the effective use of telecommunication equipment for disaster relief operations by reducing and, where possible, removing regulatory barriers and strengthening transborder cooperation between states;

e) that regulations on the use of LMESs often differ from one country to another and it would be desirable to harmonize such regulations to facilitate the entry, temporary use and exit of LMESs in their respective countries,

have agreed as follows


a) In accordance with the provisions of this Agreement, each Contracting Party shall permit the entry, temporary use and exit of LMESs licensed in another Contracting Party.

b) For the purpose of this Agreement, temporary use shall mean that the LMES is either in transit or is intended to be used in the country for a period not exceeding [two] months provided that a Party may prescribe a different period of temporary use in its country in a particular case or in all cases.


1) The entry, temporary use and exit of an LMES shall be subject to the following conditions, as appropriate:

a) it shall be of a type or standard designated in the Schedule to this Agreement;

b) it shall bear a readily visible mark of type approval or type testing by a satellite system operator designated in the Schedule to this Agreement;

c) it shall not be prejudicial to the peace, good order and security of the country in which it is operating;

d) it shall not cause harmful interference to other radio services within the country in which it is operating;

e) it shall give priority to communications concerning distress and safety of life in accordance with relevant international conventions including the International Telecommunication Conventions and the Radio Regulations of the International Telecommunication Union;

f) it shall be subject to inspection by the authorities of the Contracting Party at the latter's request.

2) At any time after the entry into force of this Agreement, each Contracting Party may, by written notification to the Depository, designate an additional LMES type or standard and satellite system operator to be included in the Schedule. The additional LMES type or standard and satellite system operator shall be deemed to be included in the Schedule as from the day following the date on which the Depository has received such written notifications from all the Contracting Parties.


Each Contracting Party shall recognize operating licences issued by or under the authority of other Contracting Parties for LMESs entering their territories. They shall not require licences to be reissued in their countries for such LMESs which are in transit or intended for temporary use only, nor shall they impose any licensing or operating fees on such uses.


The Contracting Parties shall waive any customs duties or taxes on the entry or exit of LMESs which are in transit or which will be used or have been used temporarily in their countries.


The Contracting Parties shall consider adopting regulations to expedite the entry, deployment, use and exit of LMESs in connection with emergency relief operations and other humanitarian purposes including telemedicine and environmental protection.


The Contracting Parties shall take necessary steps to inform customs and other relevant authorities about regulations adopted to implement the provisions of this Agreement in order that delays in the entry of LMESs at national frontiers can be minimized. They shall also designate a single authority responsible for the administration of the provisions of this Agreement and shall notify the name and address of such authorities to the Depository.


Any government may become a Contracting Party to this Agreement by:

a) signature; or

b) signature subject to ratification, acceptance or approval, followed by ratification, acceptance or approval.


This Agreement shall enter into force thirty (30) days after the date on which two (2) governments have become Contracting Parties, and shall thereafter enter into force for a government thirty (30) days after it has signed the agreement, or deposited its instrument of ratification, acceptance or approval.


A Contracting Party may withdraw from this Agreement at any time by notification to the Depository. Such withdrawal shall take effect ninety (90) days after the date of receipt by the Depository of the Contracting Party's written notification to withdraw.


1) The [Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union]10 shall be the Depository of this Agreement.

2) The Depository shall, in particular, promptly notify all Contracting Parties and signatory governments to this Agreement of:

a) any signature of this Agreement;

b) the date of entry into force of this Agreement;

c) any deposit of instruments of ratification, acceptance or approval;

d) the date on which a Contracting Party has ceased to be a Contracting Party to this Agreement;

e) any other notifications and communications relating to this Agreement.

3) Upon entry into force of this Agreement, the Depository shall transmit a certified copy to the Secretary-General of the United Nations for registration and publication in accordance with Article 102 of the Charter of the United Nations. [At the same time, the Depository shall transmit a certified copy of this Agreement to the International Telecommunication Union.]


This Agreement is established in a single original in the [English] and [TBD] languages, [both texts being equally authentic,] and shall be deposited with the Depository, who shall send a certified copy to Contracting Parties and signatory governments.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF the undersigned, being duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.

DONE AT [TBD] on this _____________________ day of _________________ of the year One Thousand Nine Hundred and ______________.

The Schedule

Designated type or standard of LMES Designated satellite system operator