MTN Comments on International Telecommunication Union Decision

Thursday, July 10, 2003
Maritime Telecommunications Network (MTN), of Miramar, Florida, the leading provider of satellite-based communications, networking and other services to the cruise and offshore oil and gas industries, today said it welcomes the decision of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), adopted at the recently completed World Radiocommunication Conference in Geneva, Switzerland (WRC-03), to establish a permanent regulatory regime for the licensing and use of satellite earth stations on board moving vessels (ESVs). MTN has been the driving force for ESVs within the ITU for more than seven years. With intensive technical study, MTN has been able to successfully demonstrate that even though ESVs are mobile in nature, they are operationally equivalent to land-based VSAT platforms, and thus can share the fixed-satellite service (FSS) frequency bands at 6 GHz and 14 GHz with terrestrial microwave fixed service (FS) without causing interference. The regulatory solution adopted at WRC-03 confirms MTN’s efforts and provides an international allocation for ESV use within the conventional FSS uplink bands at 6 GHz and 14 GHz. WRC-03 also adopted measures that provide guidance to countries interested in licensing the use of ESVs on a national basis. Since ESVs are intended to be used while a ship is in motion, the new regulations place specific operational limitations on the use of ESVs and on their emission levels in order to minimize the potential for harmful interference to FS links as the ship goes from port to port. The systems that MTN has been installing and operating for more than a decade easily meet these requirements. The results of WRC-03 provide MTN and other ESV operators with the regulatory certainty they have been lacking. Now, it will be possible for MTN to obtain permanent licenses for the shipboard ESV systems and frequency clearances for a large number of ports worldwide. David Kagan, Chief Executive Officer of MTN, said: “Clearly these new regulations will benefit the whole ESV industry. There are many applications that could not be addressed without the techniques in the ITU recommendations and without a regulatory basis in the Radio Regulations of the ITU. This ITU ruling is great news for our industry, and great news for MTN.”
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