UPCS Device Applicants No Longer Required to be Members of UTAM

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The FCC’s Office of Engineering and Technology (OETC) has issued an Order in which it removes and reserves Section 15.307 of the FCC’s rules, and as a result, applicants for certification of Unlicensed Personal Communications Service (UPCS) devices will no longer be required to be members of UTAM, Inc. (UTAM).  When the FCC reallocated the 1910-1930 MHz band from Private Operational Fixed Microwave Service use to UPCS use in 1993, it designated UTAM to manage the transition by paying or sharing the costs to relocate incumbent services in the band.  UPCS device manufacturers were required to reimburse UTAM for their share of incurred relocation costs and become a member of UTAM to ensure payment.  After the FCC re-designated the 1910-1915 MHz and 1915-1920 MHz bands from UPCS use to Broadband PCS and Advanced Wireless Service operations, respectively, UTAM was reimbursed by Nextel Communications, Inc. (the 1910-1915 MHz band licensee) and DISH, (the licensee in the 1915-1920 MHz band) for portions of the relocation costs incurred in clearing the 1910-1930 MHz band.  Based on the reimbursements paid by Sprint and DISH, as well as other fees and reimbursements, UTAM has determined that it can satisfy all of its financial obligations associated with clearing the entire 1910-1930 MHz band, and thus has prepared a plan of dissolution.  OET agrees with UTAM’s decision, and has concluded that Section 15.307 of the FCC’s rules requiring UPCS applicants to be a member of UTAM “no longer serves its intended purpose.”

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