For Immediate Release:
June 23, 1999

Contact: Mary Hanley


WASHINGTON, DC -- Larry Irving, Assistant Secretary for Communications and Information, in comments filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on June 21, 1999, supported the FCC's proposed limits on the use of satellite communications services as providing a reasonable balance between protecting the safety of aircraft and maritime navigation and facilitating transmission of data for consumers all over the world.

The comments were filed in response to the FCC's proposed rule regarding the protection of the Global Positioning System (GPS), used in radio navigation, from the out-of-band emissions of mobile satellite service (MSS) earth terminals used to transmit voice and data services.

"The (Commerce Department's) National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) believes that establishment of these (FCC) limits strikes a reasonable balance between the public interest in fostering improvement in aeronautical radio navigation and the global roaming of MSS terminals," Irving said.

In 1997, NTIA, in coordination with the Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee, filed a petition of rulemaking with the FCC to adopt out-of-band emission limits for MSS earth terminals operating in the 1610-1660.5 MHZ band. The out-of-band emission limits in NTIA's petition were developed through a deliberative process involving representatives of the GPS, MSS, and aviation communities. These limits were established to protect the U.S. GPS and the Russian Federation Global Navigation Satellite System (GLONASS) receivers operating in the 1559-1605 MHZ band that are used for aircraft precision-approach landings. GPS and GLONASS and their augmentation systems are constituent elements of the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS).

The MSS earth terminal out-of-band emission limits proposed by the Commission are essentially in accordance with NTIA's recommendation, Irving said. NTIA believes that establishment of such limits strikes a reasonable balance between the public interest in fostering improvement in aeronautical radionavigation and facilitating the global roaming of MSS terminals in accordance with the Global Mobile Communications by Satellite Memorandum of Understanding (GMPCS MoU) developed within the International Telecommunications Union. "These GMPCS systems will provide additional choices for delivery of seamless voice, data, and broadband services for consumers in all parts of the world," said Commerce Assistant Secretary Larry Irving.

NTIA serves as the principal adviser to the President, Vice President and Secretary of Commerce on domestic and international communications and information issues and represents the Executive Branch before the Congress, other Federal agencies, foreign governments and international organizations. NTIA's Office of Spectrum Management oversees and coordinates Federal Government spectrum use. For more information regarding the comments submitted by NTIA, please contact Edward Drocella at (202) 482-2608 or David Anderson at (202) 482-3211.