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800 MHz Rebanding in the Mexican Border Area: Timing, Process & Tips Robert Gurss Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC (703) 812-0468 and Regulatory.

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Presentation on theme: "800 MHz Rebanding in the Mexican Border Area: Timing, Process & Tips Robert Gurss Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC (703) 812-0468 and Regulatory."— Presentation transcript:

1 800 MHz Rebanding in the Mexican Border Area: Timing, Process & Tips Robert Gurss Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC (703) and Regulatory Counsel APCO International

2 Timing for Mexican Border Area Sprint and Mexican counterpart (NII) reached agreement on rebanding costs Mexican government considering agreement o This year? FCC to seek comment on final band plan once agreement is reached Negotiations could start as early as mid-2011 Robert Gurss28/26/2010

3 Form Your Team Internal Management Primary Equipment Vendor (Motorola, Harris, or EFJ) Technical Consultant (optional, but recommended) o Can also be project manager to relieve burden on your time FCC counsel with rebanding experience for contracts, strategic advice and negotiations COSTS PAID DIRECTLY BY SPRINT, IF REASONABLE, DOCUMENTED, AND NON-DUPLICATIVE Robert Gurss38/26/2010

4 Other Players FCC 800 MHz Transition Administrator (TA) o Deloitte, Squire Sanders & Dempsey, Baseline Telecom (Dave Buchanan in SoCal) TA Mediator o Usually SSD lawyer Sprint deal manager o Does not have final authority Sprint counsel Robert Gurss48/26/2010

5 Rebanding Stages Request for Planning Funding (RFPF) Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) Planning Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement (FRA) Reconfiguration Implementation 8/26/2010Robert Gurss5

6 Planning Process Overview FCC will create window for negotiating Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) Some Wave 4 Licensees have preliminary agreements for non-frequency dependent work Submit Request for Planning Funding (RFPF) o Form on TA website: o System Inventory (infrastructure/subscribers) o Frequency analysis (deferred on preliminary PFAs) o Engineering and implementation planning Interoperability, site reconfiguration, subscriber analysis o Project Management costs o Legal costs Negotiate Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) Robert Gurss68/26/2010

7 Negotiations (PFA/FRA) TA Mediator will monitor initial “good faith” stage Negotiations via phone conference, except for large systems when in-person meetings appropriate Sprint prepares spreadsheet (PRW) to reflect offers/counteroffers Good idea to include counsel early in process Mediator will step in and control negotiations after initial period Time extensions available if there is progress Heavy reliance on vendors. Include them, but maintain control Robert Gurss78/26/2010

8 Planning Stage Expect vendors to take substantial time to complete work and present SOW for your review Look at inventory situation (recent?) Resource allocation for implementation (use 3 rd parties where appropriate) Once cost proposal (based upon vendor SOW) is submitted, Sprint Nextel has 4 days to review for completeness. TA mediator may order licensee/vendor to provide more details before negotiations can commence Robert Gurss88/26/2010

9 Change Orders Not for anticipated overruns Ok for unexpected changes or costs Can be a lengthy approval process Avoid spending money prior to approval Use TA change order forms (on Robert Gurss98/26/2010

10 FRA ISSUES Infrastructure Subscriber (replace, retune, reprogram) Testing (3 types, see TA website) Professional Services (PM, ST, SE) Legal Schedule C Equipment (from Vendor) Schedule D Equipment (provide through Sprint per its agreements with major vendors) Robert Gurss108/26/2010

11 Cost Issues For some costs, “level of effort” tables complied by the TA provide guideposts Sprint always challenges vendors hours Vendors and consultants need to avoid duplication of effort, and perceived duplication of effort Internal rates usually ok, but need to show basis Second and third touches of radios often at issue Back-to-back repeaters sometimes favored by Sprint, but also sometimes opposed depending on cost Robert Gurss118/26/2010

12 The METRICS TA data based on prior agreements Sprint fond of citing Higher level of scrutiny if proposed costs exceed 75 th percentile – can be allowed, but must be justified Metrics are not limits, and should not distract from bottom up construction of costs. Robert Gurss128/26/2010

13 If Negotiations Fail Parties required to file Proposed Resolution Memoranda (PRMs) with the mediator Mediator issues Recommended Resolution (RR) Parties have the option of filing Statements of Position with FCC (SN not required to pay for SOP) Wait, ………Wait…………Wait………………………….. And wait some more …………….. FCC finally issues order (can be a year or more) Vast majority of case never get to the FCC Robert Gurss138/26/2010

14 Tips Consider unit costs rather than hourly charges o May reduce recording keeping Document, Document, Document o Assume you will be audited Confirm interoperability arrangements o Cutover schedules need to be coordinated o Considers pros/cons of back-to-back repeaters Educate user agencies, keep them informed For very large systems, talk to SN early Use consultants wisely Tracking mechanism for radio touches o Software or even just pages in a binder Check licenses now Be flexible regarding level of service from vendors Robert Gurss148/26/2010

15 Urban Legends o Broken radios will be replaced o You don’t have to give back loaners o Sprint will pay even if you go over budget (only if change order approved) o This is your ticket to get new radios o You can do this on my own without interfering with my “day job” Robert Gurss158/26/2010

16 Non-800 MHz Issues 700 MHz Broadband o D Block Reallocation? o FCC plan for D block auction/Priority Access o ERIC o LTE o PSST and 21 waivers to deploy on current broadband allocation Narrowbanding below 512 MHz o Don’t expect FCC to extend January 1, 2013 deadline o Waivers will be entertained, but standard unclear o At minimum, strong showing of why deadline cannot be met Robert Gurss168/26/2010

17 QUESTIONS? Robert Gurss Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC (703) and Regulatory Counsel APCO International Robert Gurss178/26/2010


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