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[jamsat-news:831] * SpaceNews 25-May-98 *

* SpaceNews 25-May-98 *

BID: $SPC0525


			  MONDAY MAY 25, 1998

SpaceNews originates at KD2BD in Wall Township, New Jersey, USA.  It
is published every week and is made available for non-commercial use.

Tom O'Hara, W6ORG, ARRL Technical Advisor for Spectrum Management and ATV,
reports that the American Radio Relay League is seeking input from users of
the 420-430 MHz segment of the 70-cm band as to the monetary loss to hams
if the band segment were taken away and given to Private Mobile Radio
Services as per LMCC's RM-9267.  The total monetary amount will be
included in the ARRL's filing with the FCC.  Your monetary loss should
be part of your personal filing as well.

The ARRL can estimate the monetary amount based on the number of FM voice
repeaters listed in the repeater directory for the 440-450 MHz segment
of the band.  However, not all repeater links, simplex systems, or
uncoordinated repeater systems occupying the 420-430 MHz band segment
appear in the ARRL's records to allow an accurate estimate of band usage.
Amateur Television (ATV) communications is generally popular in the lower
portion of the 70-cm band, and should be well represented in comments
filed with both the ARRL and FCC.

Estimates of how much captial equipment is used for radio communications in
the 70-cm band should be directed to Jay Mabey (jmabey@arrl.org) at the ARRL.
Include your callsign and frequencies/modes used in the lower portion of
the 70-cm band.

REMEMBER: Filing comments in support of maintaining our frequency allocations
is a small price to pay for the free use of RF spectrum that is worth many
millions of dollars in the commercial world.  While commercial interests
will argue about how much revenue is to be made if amateur radio spectrum
is turned over for their use, the truth is that a great deal of public money
(from Colleges, Universities, local offices of emergency management, etc.)
is already heavily invested in communication systems (such as repeater
systems and amateur radio communication satellites) that currently make
extensive use of the 70-cm amateur radio band.  Not only amateur radio
operators, but the general public at large may very well stand to lose
more than they could possibly ever gain by a take-over of amateur radio
frequencies for commercial use because of this fact.

Comments regarding RM-9267 and the proposed commercial take-over of
the 420-450 MHz amateur 70-cm band should be directed to the Federal
Communications Commission by 1998-Jun-01 at the following address:

	Federal Communications Commission
	1919 M St., NW
	Washington, DC 20554

The following is a press release issued in May 1998 by the Club de
Radioaficionados de Guatemala (CRAG), the Amateur Radio Club of Guatemala,
regarding the auctioning of frequencies in the amateur radio 70-cm band
to commercial interests in the country of Guatemala.

"In 1996, the Congress of the Republic of Guatemala passed a new
Telecommunications Law, eliminating about 40% of the amateur radio
frequencies assigned internationally by the ITU for the use of amateur
radio, among them the UHF band 430-440 MHz and SHF bands, with the
purpose of selling these frequencies for commercial use.

These bands are used internationally by amateur radio operators for local
communications and the Amateur Radio Satellite Service.  In February of
this year, the telecommunications authority (SIT, Superintendencia de
Telecommunicaciones) already auctioned off four frequencies in the UHF band
to businesses in Guatemala.  The telecommunications authority has received
more commercial requests for frequency assignments in the UHF band, and will
auction more frequencies is this range.

The fact that the telecommunications authority accepted requests for the
former UHF amateur radio band and has already sold frequencies in this range
shows that the telecommunications authority disregards objections of the
Amateur Radio Club of Guatemala, which argues that these frequencies should
be reserved for the use of amateur radio, according to the worldwide frequency
assignment by the ITU.  The Amateur Radio Club of Guatemala has already
presented a formal request to the Ministry of Communications to transform
the UHF band 430-440 MHz back to use for amateur radio.

As it is well known, radio waves do not stop at the state boundaries, and so
Guatemala will cause interference to its neighboring countries Mexico, Belise,
Honduras and El Salvador, and other countries as well depending on propagation
conditions.  A commercial communication service is incompatible with the
Amateur Radio Service, the four businesses who acquired  frequencies in the
UHF amateur radio segment will cause interference to the Amateur Radio Service
in the neighboring countries of Guatemala and very likely also receive
interference from the exterior.

On many occasions the Amateur Radio Club of Guatemala made the
telecommunications authority (SIT) aware of these problems, however to date,
the telecommunications authority (SIT) has ignored all recommendations and
petitions from the Amateur Radio Club of Guatemala, we have received not one
reply in response to our concerns.  Recently the telecommunications authority
accepted a request for a frequency, which is in the segment of the Amateur
Radio Satellite Service, used for satellite-ground and ground-satellite
links.  For those not familiar with these matters, a satellite operates
very much like a ground based repeater, listens to the signals on its
input frequencies and retransmits them on other frequencies, with an
enormous area of coverage.  Using satellites, amateur radio operators
can communicate with hand held UHF radios between different countries
and even different continents.

In case to authorize commercial stations in the segment of the Amateur Radio
Satellite Service one will be able to hear the commercial conversations in
all countries in North and South America, as well as in Europe and Asia.
One does not need a lot of fantasy to imagine what kind of opinion will be
formed in the affected countries about the interference caused by radio
stations from Guatemala.

The Amateur Radio Club of Guatemala (CRAG) recently awarded with the
Order of the Quetzal for serving 50 years the Guatemalan community, legal
representative of the International Federation of Radio Amateurs (IARU)
before the government of Guatemala, notices with great preoccupation how
the Guatemalan telecommunications authority neglects what will inevitably
affect its international relations, by deliberately causing interference
to the Amateur Radio Satellite Service.

As the government of Guatemala does not allow its amateur radio operators
to operate on UHF and SHF frequencies, it excludes its amateur radio
operators to participate in future satellite communications, as will be
the case with the International Space Station ALPHA, which will have from
the beginning amateur radio equipment on board, as do already nowadays the
Shuttle (NASA) and the Russian space station MIR.  By suppressing the UHF
amateur radio frequencies the government of Guatemala also discards its
beneficial use for thousands of Guatemalans in case of natural disasters
and emergencies, as has often been the case in the past. 

The Amateur Radio Club of Guatemala by this means makes a call to the public
conscience to prevent a future damage to the image of Guatemala abroad, which
unfortunately is very likely to happen due to the inflexibility and negligence
of its public administration and confirms its position to reinstall the UHF
and SHF amateur radio bands in accordance with the international regulations
(ITU) in this matter."

[Info via Dr. Manfred Kolbe, TG9IKE]

KITSAT-OSCAR-25 has been unresponsive to uplink signals on 145.980 MHz
since 1998-May-17.  No official word from spacecraft controllers has
yet been received that might explain the problem with the satellite.

Comments and input for SpaceNews should be directed to the editor (John,
KD2BD) via any of the paths listed below:
WWW       : http://www.njin.net/~magliaco/
INTERNET  : kd2bd@amsat.org, magliaco@email.njin.net

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