US and Mexico ink agreements on spectrum sharing in 800MHz/1900MHz bands

11 Jun 2012

Spectrum sharing agreements have reportedly been reached between the US telecoms regulator, the Federal Communications Committee (FCC), and Mexican telecoms officials regarding frequencies in the 800MHz and 1900MHz bands. Further, authorities from the two countries have also inked a joint statement for the continued coordination of spectrum along the US-Mexican border, which also calls for cooperation on telecommunications policy issues, and an ‘ambitious work plan’, the Directory of Bilateral Issues, for 2012-2014. Meanwhile, with specific reference to the agreements related to the 800MHz band, the FCC noted in a press release on the matter that the new protocol: allots band segments between the US and Mexico; specifies the technical parameters for operation on these band segments within 110km of the common border; and creates a bi-national taskforce to support the transition of incumbent operators along the border to the new allotment plan.

In revealing the agreement, the FCC also noted that the development marked the final phase for ‘re-banding’ in the 800MHz band across the US, claiming that it will help support commercial broadband services both along the border and across the country. The new protocols for the 1900MHz band, meanwhile, will reportedly allow Sprint Nextel to deploy CDMA-based services along the US-Mexico border.

Similar agreements were reached between the US and Mexico last year, and as noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in August 2011 the FCC announced that it had reached agreements with both Mexico and Canada to share commercial wireless frequencies in border areas. The FCC inked arrangements with fellow regulatory bodies Industry Canada and Mexico’s Secretario de Comunicaciones y Transportes (SCT) for the shared use of spectrum in the 700MHz band along the US-Canada and US-Mexico border areas. The technical principles relating to the 700MHz band will facilitate the deployment of mobile wireless broadband in the 698MHz-758MHz and 776MHz-788MHz bands, which the FCC has determined suitable for LTE. At that date the FCC also reached a separate agreement with Industry Canada to share spectrum in the 800MHz band; this spectrum will be ‘re-banded’ to alleviate cellular interference with public safety licensees.

Commenting on the most recent development, FCC chairman Julius Genachowski said: ‘These agreements with Mexico will unleash investment and benefit consumers near the borders by enabling the rollout of advanced wireless broadband service and advanced systems for critical public safety and emergency response communications.’