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April 11, 1996


By CBR Staff Writer

The European Commission proposal for a Union-wide system for licensing satellite personal communications operators has run into trouble with national governments, diplomats and officials told Reuter. They said quite a few member states, including the UK, France, Germany and the Netherlands, have questioned whether the Commission is the appropriate body to decide which operators should be licensed and how this should be done. They argued that the decisions should be made by national governments, perhaps co- ordinating through an organization such as the Conference on European Posts & Telecommunications, CEPT. The Commission argued that the European Union needed to develop common criteria for picking the networks to be permitted to offer voice and data services via satellite to hand-held equipment. Noting that the US has already licensed three personal communications systems that are poised to set up global operations by the end of the decade, it said a disunited Europe could be left behind.


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