Mobile Satellite Service Operators Allowed to Use Ancillary Terrestrial Components

February 15, 2005
Satellite radio operators have found that ground based (terrestrial) transmitters are necessary to provide reliable service in some areas. Last week the FCC adopted a Memorandum Opinion and Order and Second Order on Reconsideration (MO&O) making it easier for mobile satellite service (MSS) operators to integrate Ancillary Terrestrial Components (ATC) to existing MSS systems.

According to the news release, the MO&O:

* "Reaffirmed requirements that MSS operators must provide substantial, commercially available, sustainable MSS service over their entire geographic coverage areas, and must provide fully integrated MSS/ATC;
* Changed the interference rules in the L-band (1525-1559 MHz and 1626.5-1650.5 MHz), to allow MSS/ATC operators more flexibility to design and implement their systems according to market needs;
* Denied requests to reconsider the decision not to assign ATC authority by auction; and
* Clarified the licensing rules to allow pre-operational MSS licensees demonstrating that they will meet our gating criteria when they do deploy their satellites to simultaneously begin MSS and ATC services."

"Today's decision will facilitate deployment of MSS/ATC systems that promise consumers and public safety providers reliable, nationwide mobile services where and when they are needed using a single interoperable handset," the commission said. While the news release focused on MSS operations in L-band, spectrum in former 2-GHz broadcast auxiliary service (BAS) channels has also been allocated for MSS use. I'll provide a link to the MO&O when it is released.

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