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Meena responds to FCC decision on data roaming

RIDGELAND — Hu Meena, president and CEO of Cellular South, has released a response statement on the data roaming order issued April 7 by the Federal Communication Commission.

“American consumers rightfully expect to have seamless access to their email and the web wherever there is a compatible wireless network, Meena said. “(This) data roaming order is an important first step toward meeting that expectation.

“Over the past several years, Cellular South has worked alongside virtually every wireless carrier in the nation to support automatic data roaming and we appreciate Chairman Genachowski’s work in getting this done. We now look forward to seeing this effort through for the benefit of our customers and the communities we serve.”

“We hope that with Chairman Genachowski’s continued leadership, (this) order can soon be coupled with a requirement for 700 MHz interoperability to improve access to critical public safety applications, unleash substantial job growth and to enable wireless carriers like Cellular South, U.S.

“The need for both data roaming and 700MHz interoperability is even greater in the context of AT&T’s proposed acquisition of T-Mobile, and AT&T’s and Verizon’s de facto duopoly in the 700 MHz spectrum. The FCC must continue to assure that the use of the public airwaves remains competitive — this includes adhering to the wireless interoperability model first set by the Reagan-era FCC.”

Cellular South has opposed AT&T’s and Verizon’s efforts to prevent both the implementation of a data roaming obligation and 700 MHz interoperability. Solutions to these two issues would assure that consumers and public safety users have access to email, the web or any other web-based application wherever there is a compatible commercial network, Cellular South says. Without such basic rules-of-the-road, competitive carriers have little incentive to build out their own networks because they cannot assure their customers seamless access to email or the web outside their home networks.

This “Automatic Data Roaming” order requires facilities-based providers of commercial mobile data services to offer data roaming arrangements to other such providers on commercially reasonable terms and conditions, subject to certain limitations.

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