800 MHz Rebanding in the Mexican Border Area: Timing, Process & Tips - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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800 MHz Rebanding in the Mexican Border Area: Timing, Process & Tips

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  1. 800 MHz Rebanding in the Mexican Border Area: Timing, Process & Tips Robert Gurss Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC gurss@fhhlaw.com (703) 812-0468 and Regulatory Counsel APCO International gurssr@apcomail.org

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

  3. Form Your Team • Internal Management • Primary Equipment Vendor (Motorola, Harris, or EFJ) • Technical Consultant (optional, but recommended) • 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 Gurss

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

  5. Rebanding Stages • Request for Planning Funding (RFPF) • Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) • Planning • Frequency Reconfiguration Agreement (FRA) • Reconfiguration Implementation Robert Gurss

  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) • Form on TA website: www.800ta.org • System Inventory (infrastructure/subscribers) • Frequency analysis (deferred on preliminary PFAs) • Engineering and implementation planning • Interoperability, site reconfiguration, subscriber analysis • Project Management costs • Legal costs • Negotiate Planning Funding Agreement (PFA) Robert Gurss

  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 Gurss

  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 3rd 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 Gurss

  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 www.800ta.org) Robert Gurss

  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 Gurss

  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 Gurss

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

  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 Gurss

  14. Tips • Consider unit costs rather than hourly charges • May reduce recording keeping • Document, Document, Document • Assume you will be audited • Confirm interoperability arrangements • Cutover schedules need to be coordinated • 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 • Software or even just pages in a binder • Check licenses now • Be flexible regarding level of service from vendors Robert Gurss

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

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

  17. QUESTIONS? Robert Gurss Fletcher, Heald & Hildreth, PLC gurss@fhhlaw.com (703) 812-0468 and Regulatory Counsel APCO International gurssr@apcomail.org Robert Gurss