Wave 4 licensees operating in Channels 1-120 will begin the 800 MHz rebanding process three months later than originally planned to allow state-department negotiators more time to reach critical border agreements with the countries of Canada and Mexico, the FCC announced last week.

Under the new schedule, the voluntary-negotiation period for Wave 4, Stage 1, will begin on July 3, 2006, three months later than the planned starting date of April 3, 2006. The mandatory-negotiation period for these licensees will begin on Oct. 3, 2006, and licensees without an approved rebanding agreement will enter the alternative dispute resolution process on Jan. 3, 2007.

Many licensees in Wave 4 are close to the borders of Canada and Mexico, and their ability to reband is dependent upon the United States reaching treaty agreements with the countries. Most industry observers said that such a deal would be easier to reach with Canada than Mexico from a technical perspective, but no treaties have been made with either country to date.

“The Public Notice released by the FCC provides the governments of the U.S., Canada and Mexico additional opportunities to establish the treaties necessary for Wave 4 reconfiguration,” a spokesperson for the Transition Administrator said.