U.S./Mexico reach spectrum sharing agreement

The U.S. and Mexico have signed agreements that will enable the cooperative sharing of the 800 MHz and 1.9 GHz band spectrum in areas along the U.S-Mexican border.

According to a press release issued by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), a new 800 MHz protocol will allot band segments between the U.S. and Mexico and specifies the technical parameters for operation on these segments within 110 kilometers of the common border. In addition, a bi-national task force will be created to aid in the efficient transition to the new plan by incumbent spectrum holders operating along the border.

A separate protocol for the 1.9 GHz band will allow Sprint Nextel Corporation to deploy CDMA cellular service along the Mexican border. Sprint acquired access to the 1.9 GHz spectrum several years ago as compensation for agreeing to vacate its spectrum holding in the 800 MHz band.

The rebanding of spectrum was deemed necessary to alleviate interference to public safety licensees due to commercial cellular operations.

“These agreements…will unleash investment and benefit consumers near the border by enabling the rollout of advanced wireless broadband service and advanced systems for critical public safety and emergency response communications,” noted FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski.