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Development Initiative - Caribbean

FCC Technical Assistance to Jamaica: Wireless Services Spectrum Occupancy Study A prelude to competition

As part of the Chairman's Development Initiative, the FCC worked with the Government of Jamaica's Ministry of Commerce and Technology to provide technical to advance reform of Jamaica's telecommunications sector that is currently underway.
The FCC's International and Enforcement Bureaus responded to a request from the Jamaican MCT to conduct a spectrum occupancy study in portions of the 800 and 900 MHz and 2 GHz bands. The study was conducted in advance of a spectrum auction that will produce competition in wireless services for the first time in Jamaica. The study results helped the Government of Jamaica ensure that the 800, 900, 800 and 1900 MHz frequencies were free and clear of all communications traffic.

Funding for the study was provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development. Two engineers from the Enforcement Bureau's field offices conducted the study.
Jamaica is one of four countries in Latin America and the Caribbean that are participating in the Initiative, which targets achievement of universal access/service through implementing of the goals of the WTO Basic Telecommunications Services Agreement: promoting competition, liberalizing telecom markets, and adopting transparent, pro-competitive regulatory policies. Jamaica is a WTO member that has made telecommunications services commitments.

Equipment and Methodology

FCC engineers Robert Bradley and Reuben Jusino assisted the Jamaican MCT in selecting 10 monitoring sites representing the major spectrum centers on the island. The team of FCC and MCT engineers established a monitoring position at each site, taking into consideration good radio horizons overlooking the population centers.

Initial monitoring used a dual frequency whip antenna (Magnetic Mount 3 dB gain dual band cellular and PCS Antenna Specialist) connected through a 20 dB gain preamplifier (Japan Information Medium Model M-75 radio frequency low noise preamplifiers) to an Advantest Model No. U3641 spectrum analyzer. The team checked each of the four bands (890-915, 935-960, 1850-1910, 1930-1990 MHz) for radio activity. Whenever the team detected a signal on the spectrum analyzer, it tuned the receiver (Rohde & Schwarz Model No. EB-200) to this frequency to determine the emission, bandwidth, and message content. The team took directional bearings to determine the approximate location of any unknown signals. In the PCS bands, the team used a higher gain EMCO Model No. 3115 Directional Horn Antenna (8 dB gain) in addition to the Larson YA6 800 Directional Yagi Antenna (6 dB gain).


FCC agent (Senior Engineer Robert Bradley of New Orleans field office) monitoring spectrum at Port Antonio site

FCC agents (Senior Engineer Robert Bradley of New Orleans field office and Resident Agent Reuben Jusino of San Juan field office) monitoring out of Jamaican government vehicle

From left to right, Roy Humes, Chief Telecommunications Engineer, Jamaica Postal Service; Kermit Moh, Director, Office of Economic Growth, U.S. AID; The Honorable Phillip Paulwell, Jamaican Minister of Commerce and Technology; FCC Agent Robert Bradley; and FCC Resident Agent Reuben Jusino.


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