Memorandum from the President for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies: Advanced Mobile Communications/Third Generation Wireless Systems (10/13/00)

                         Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release                            October 13, 2000

                                 October 13, 2000


SUBJECT:       Advanced Mobile Communications/Third Generation
               Wireless Systems

The United States and the rest of the world are on the verge of a new generation
of personal mobile communications, as wireless phones become portable high-speed
Internet connections.  The United States Government must move quickly and
purposefully so that consumers, industry, and Government agencies all reap the
benefits of this third generation of wireless products and services.

In less than 20 years, the U.S. wireless industry has blossomed from virtually
nothing to one with 100 million subscribers, and it continues to grow at a rate
of 25 to 30 percent annually.  Globally, there are over 470 million wireless
subscribers, a number expected to grow to approximately 1.3 billion within the
next 5 years.  It is an industry in which U.S. companies have developed the
leading technologies for current and future systems.  It is an industry whose
products help people throughout the world communicate better and in more places,
saving time, money, and lives.

Many saw the first generation of wireless -- cell phones -- as an extravagant
way to make telephone calls.  Yet as with all communications systems, the value
of wireless communications increased as the number of users and types of use
increased.  Today's second generation wireless technology increased services and
information offered to users and increased competition among providers.  Digital
"personal communications services" provide added messaging and data features,
including such services as voice mail, call waiting, text messaging, and,
increasingly, access to the World Wide Web.  These first and second generation
services increased productivity and reduced costs for thousands of businesses as
well as Government agencies.

The next generation of wireless technology holds even greater promise.  Neither
the first nor the second generation of wireless technologies were designed for
multi-media services, such as the Internet.  Third generation wireless
technologies will bring broadband to hand-held devices.  Higher speeds and
increased capability will lead to new audio, video, and other applications,
which may create what many are calling "mobile-commerce" (m-commerce) that
people will use in ways that are unimaginable today.  Moreover, an international
effort is underway to make it possible for the next generation of wireless
phones to work anywhere in the world.

The Federal Government has always played a crucial role in the development of
wireless services.  To foster the development of cellular telephone service, the
Federal Government made available radio frequency spectrum that had previously
been used by other commercial and Government services.  For the second
generation -- digital PCS -- the Federal Government allocated spectrum in bands
occupied by private sector users, and ensured competition by awarding numerous
licenses, while maintaining technology neutrality.

The United States has also placed a high value on promoting Internet access.
Government support for the development of third generation wireless systems will
help combine the wireless revolution with the Internet revolution.  As part of
these efforts, radio spectrum must be made available for this new use.  The
United States has already been active by, among other things, participating at
the World Radiocommunication Conference 2000 (WRC-2000) earlier this year.
WRC-2000 adopted the basic principles of the U.S. position, which was negotiated
by Govern-ment and industry stakeholders: (1) governments may choose spectrum
from any one or all of the bands identified for third generation mobile
wireless; (2) governments have the flexibility to identify spectrum if and when
they choose; and (3) no specific technology will be identified for third
generation services.  This result will allow deployment of the best technologies
and permit the United States to move forward with rapid deployment of third
generation services in a way that advances all U.S. interests.

The spectrum identified by international agreement at WRC-2000, however, is
already being used in the United States by commercial tele-communications,
television, national defense, law enforcement, air traffic control, and other
services.  Similar difficulties in making spectrum available for third
generation mobile wireless systems are evident in other parts of the world.
Because different regions have already selected different bands, there almost
certainly will be a few preferred bands rather than a single band for third
generation services.

In the United States, Federal Government agencies and the private sector must
work together to determine what spectrum could be made available for third
generation wireless systems.

Accordingly, I am hereby directing you, and strongly encouraging independent
agencies, to be guided by the following principles  in any future actions they
take related to development of third generation wireless systems:

--  Third generation wireless systems need radio frequency spectrum on which to
operate.  Executive departments and agencies and the Federal Communications
Commission (FCC) must cooperate with industry to identify spectrum that can be
used by third generation wireless systems, whether by reallocation, sharing, or
evolution of existing systems, by July 2001;

--  Incumbent users of spectrum identified for reallocation or sharing must be
treated equitably, taking national security and public safety into account;

--  The Federal Government must remain technology-neutral, not favoring one
technology or system over another, in its spectrum allocation and licensing

--  The Federal Government must support policies that encourage competition in
services and that provide flexibility in spectrum allocations to encourage
competition; and

--  The Federal Government must support industry efforts as far as practicable
and based on market demand and national considera-tions, including national
security and international treaty obligations, to harmonize spectrum allocations
regionally and internationally.

I also direct the relevant agencies as follows:

1.  I direct the Secretary of Commerce to work cooperatively with the FCC, as
the agencies within the Federal Government with shared responsibility and
jurisdiction for management of the radio frequency spectrum, to develop, by
October 20, 2000, a plan to select spectrum for third generation wireless
systems, and to issue, by November 15, 2000, an interim report on the current
spectrum uses and potential for reallocation or sharing of the bands identified
at WRC-2000 that could be used for third generation wireless systems, in order
that the FCC can identify, in coordination with the National Telecommunications
and Information Administration, spectrum by July 2001, and auction licenses to
competing applicants by September 30, 2002.

2.  I also direct the Secretary of Commerce to work cooperatively with the FCC
to lead a government-industry effort, through a series of regular public
meetings or workshops, to work cooperatively with government and industry
representatives, and others in the private sector, to develop recommendations
and plans for identifying spectrum for third generation wireless systems
consistent with the WRC-2000 agreements, which may be implemented by the Federal

3.  I direct the Secretaries of Defense, the Treasury, Transportation, and the
heads of any other executive department or agency that is currently authorized
to use spectrum identified at WRC-2000 for third generation wireless services,
to participate and cooperate in the activities of the government-industry group.

4.   I direct the Secretary of State to participate and cooperate in the
activities of the government-industry group, and to coordinate and present the
evolving views of the United States Government to foreign governments and
international bodies.

Furthermore, I strongly encourage the FCC to participate in the
government-industry outreach efforts and to initiate a rule-making proceeding to
identify spectrum for third generation wireless services that will be
coordinated with the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Communications and
Information during the formulation and decisionmaking process with the goal of
completing that process by July 2001, so that such spectrum can be auctioned to
competing applicants for licenses by September 30, 2002.

                              WILLIAM J. CLINTON

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