U.S., Mexico Reach Agreement on Sharing Spectrum Along Border

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By Paul Barbagallo  

The United States has signed two “protocols” with Mexico for sharing spectrum in the 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz bands along the U.S.-Mexican border, officials announced June 8.

The first protocol for the 800 MHz band will allot so-called band “segments” between the United States and Mexico and specify the technical parameters for operation of service within 68 miles of the common border.

The agreement also calls for the creation of a bi-national task force to transition incumbent operators along the border to a new allotment plan.

The second protocol, for the 1.9 GHz band, will allow Sprint Nextel Corp. to deploy CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) service along the border with Mexico. Sprint had obtained access to the 1.9 GHz band in 2004 as compensation for vacating its spectrum holdings in the lower segment of the 800 MHz band in accordance with a larger rebanding project.

“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,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, who participated in the talks, said in a statement.

For documents relating to the spectrum-sharing protocols, visit http://transition.fcc.gov/ib/sand/agree/.

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