Agreements between St. Maarten, Anguilla, France & the Netherlands on mobile usage

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ANGUILLA – The Regulatory Administrations of St. Maarten, France, Anguilla and the State of the Netherlands representing Saba and St. Eustatius, met in Anguilla from June 8-10, on FM, UHF and Mobile frequency coordination and monitoring.

Frequency coordination is a complex process where the different administrations engage in legal and technical negotiations to ensure harmony of the mobile networks of all telecom operators in the different island territories. During the coordination meetings, administrators try to make sure that the mobile network of one operator, neither cause nor receive interference from another operator.

Given the close proximity of the islands and the shared mobile spectrum by all, the need for coordination arose to eliminate incompatibilities in frequency band usage.

In tri-partite format, the coordination initiative commenced, which has now expanded to include Saba and St. Eustatius represented by the State of the Netherlands. The Four Regulatory Administrations executed in-depth discussions with due considerations of the needs of each territory, and reached agreements in which the most current coordination, in the form a preferential and non-preferential frequency plan, is outlined.

The provisions of the agreements reached, add to the mandatory requirements of the International Telecom Union (ITU) Constitution and the ITU Radio Regulations. On Friday, June 10, the Regulatory Administrations invited their respective operators, to attend presentations on current frequency plans and the agreements reached by the Administrations.

Director of BTP Antony Carty qualified the meeting as being fruitful and successful. “Providing reliable telecommunication services requires interference free mobile spectrum, and that can only be achieved with the renowned assistance of our counterparts and their outstanding willingness to cooperate. The determination of all participants to come to an equitable coordination of spectrum shared, contributed to the results achieved.”

Agreements were also made concerning the monitoring of mobile frequency bands. Head of the Technical Department of BTP Sidney de Weever outlined: “cross border measurements will be conducted at different intervals, and the results of these measurements are to be shared amongst the regulatory agencies first and then made public. This is in order to ensure that all operators are in keeping with agreed upon frequency division and usage, ensuring equity for all operators throughout the four regimes.”

The Government of Anguilla and the Regulatory Administration Public Utility Commission (PUC) are commended for hosting these meetings and the warm welcome extended, the Director was quoted saying. An annual review of the agreements will continue to occur as the introduction of new systems occur, and global trends may require.