Informal Group


Geneva, 14 February 1997

Comments of the World Broadcasting Unions (WBU) (Ottawa)
on the Memorandum of Understanding

The World Broadcasting Union, represented at these meeting by a delegate from the North American National Broadcasting Association, congratulates the ITU on the success of its first Policy Forum.

The invitation in Opinion 1 for various named organizational groups, including users, to work cooperatively for the early implementation of the GMPCS systems is welcomed by NANBA and the other seven World Broadcasting Unions. Additionally, the inclusion of "present systems" is useful, for it is the transborder movement of Inmarsat equipment that typifies the difficulties that broadcasters have encountered for years. Some of these are listed in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The GMPCS Forum was on the Agenda of the Inter Union Satellite Operations Group (ISOG) at its fall Tripartite* meetings in Cape Town in mid-November. The ISOG considered specifically the Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the free circulation of Global Mobile Personal Communications by Satellite user terminals. The meeting supported the MoU wholeheartedly. There were no changes proposed. It was agreed that reaching global or even regional agreements on the free circulation of terminals will present sufficiently difficulties without broadcasters mentioning additional areas of concern.

The Secretaries-General of the Unions have accepted ISOG recommendation and give their full support to the draft Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). They also agreed that the World Broadcasting Union would sign the agreement if this were possible.

It may be of some interest that the ISOG Cape Town meetings heard presentations from Iridium, Ellipso and ORBCOM. Out of the discussion which followed a small broadcasters Working Group was formed to collect ideas on special features useful to broadcasters as one of the operational end users of the GMPCSs and which could be incorporated at an early stage in the handsets. This may require modest adaptation of presently designed handsets, but also, it could guide the systems in the development of future handsets.

An international agreement on the four items mentioned in the MoU would solve problems that have been plaguing broadcasters for years. If we can be of any assistance in the forthcoming meetings on the MoU please do not hesitate to call on the WBU.

We wish you well and hope we may be kept informed of developments in the pursuit of a global agreement on the MoU.