SP 1-20 GHz — Revisions to Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1-20 GHz

January 1995

Table of Contents

Part A — Revisions to Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1–20 GHz

  1. Background
  2. Policy Development Considerations

Part B — Revisions to the Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1–20 GHz

  1. Policy Conclusions
  2. Spectrum Utilization Policies for Certain Frequency Bands
  3. Implementation

Notice No. DGTP-002-95

Amended by:


Notice No. DGTP-002-95

This notice announces revisions to the microwave spectrum policies for Canada with the release of the policy document entitled, Revisions to Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1–20 GHz.

In the Spring of 1993, Industry Canada initiated a comprehensive Spectrum Policy Review in part to take advantage of the new frequency allocations made by the 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC-92), in which Canada was an active participant, and to accommodate the increasing demand for spectrum by existing and emerging radio services. Five public documents making proposals on specific spectrum allocation and utilization issues were released to provide the basis for wide public consultation. In particular the document entitled Proposed Spectrum Utilization for Certain Services Above 1 GHz (DGTP-005-93) addressed spectrum policy revisions for most of the fixed service frequency bands in the range 1–20 GHz.

Based on the extensive public comments received and findings from public meetings organized by industry, Industry Canada is now issuing Revisions to Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1–20 GHz to reflect the changing spectrum needs and applications of fixed services.

Industry Canada recognizes that a diversity of microwave radio facilities in terms of capacities and applications will continue to play a key role in the development of a world-class information infrastructure. Also, the microwave spectrum requirements have to be carefully balanced against the demands of a wide range of radio services and systems.

Copies of the subject documents of this Notice are available from the Communications Branch, Industry Canada, 235 Queen Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5, (telephone: 613-947-7466) or from its offices in Moncton, Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

The document is also available electronically on the Internet addresses:

World Wide Web (WWW)
Spectrum Management and Telecommunications

Dated at Ottawa, this 12th of January, 1995.

Michael Helm
Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch


Part A

1. Background

1.1 Introduction

In the Spring of 1993, Industry Canada initiated a comprehensive Spectrum Policy Review to take advantage of the new frequency allocations made by the 1992 World Administrative Radio Conference (WARC-92) and supported by Canada. Moreover, the Review was aimed at accommodating the increasing spectrum demand by new and emerging radio services and providing the basis for the modernization of the spectrum policies for fixed services, given the changing nature of microwave system applications. Five spectrum policy proposal papers, each covering a different part of the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations and a range of utilization policies for certain services and radio bands, were released to begin a wide public consultation.

In Gazette Notice DGTP-005-93, dated May 28, 1993, Industry Canada released the document Proposed Spectrum Utilization for Certain Services Above 1 GHz, requesting public comment by 1 November 1993. An Addenda, dated October 7, 1993, granted an extension to the comment period until 10 January 1994 for a portion of the spectrum under review, specifically, the frequency range 1700–2290 MHz. The other four documents dealt mainly with changes to the allocations table in the frequency ranges 3–30 MHz, 30–960 MHz, 1-3 GHz and above 3 GHz, respectively.

Based on the extensive public comments received and findings from public meetings organized by the industry, Industry Canada has issued Revisions to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations to take advantage of the new International allocations which are responsive to the particular Canadian needs. Now, Industry Canada is issuing under this document a comprehensive series of spectrum utilization policies for fixed service and provisions to accommodate new radio services.

1.2 Spectrum Allocation

The result of the division or allocation of the radio frequency spectrum in Canada is published in the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations. The simplicity of the display in the Table (that a certain frequency band is available for a certain radiocommunication service) belies the complexity of its derivation. Factors such as how much spectrum is required for a given purpose, where it is located (both in frequency and geographically), what other services must share the band and, at what date does a band change from an old use to a new, must be resolved. The more popular frequency bands have been in use for many years and there are many new demands emerging every year. Changes often cause challenges for both existing and new services to ensure the radio spectrum continues to meet evolving technology and service requirements.

The Canadian Table is derived from the treaty arrangement that governs the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). The ITU Table of Frequency Allocations reflects the consensus of a very wide diversity of interests around the world. It, too, is the culmination of a large number of sometimes difficult domestic, foreign and international decisions. The new Canadian Table is the basic spectrum policy instrument where frequency bands are allocated to a number of radio services. (For example, the document entitled Revisions to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations (1994), issued October 29, 1994 in the Gazette Notice DGTP-005- 94 provides for the adoption of the decisions of WARC-92 and changing spectrum requirements in Canada).

The recent ITU reorganization has resulted in, among other things, conferences being held every two years. A World Radiocommunication Conference has been scheduled for 1995 (WRC-95) which will review some of the decisions of WARC-92 on mobile satellite service. Future spectrum policy activity will be required to respond to WRCs and changing demands on the spectrum in Canada. The introduction of new services such as digital radio broadcasting, personal communications, advanced mobile satellite networks, and the promise of other new services arising from "digital convergence" is part of the ongoing reviews. In this era of change, one major objective of spectrum policy is to provide flexibility and stability for spectrum users. Where uncertainty is perceived, the provisions of the policies attempt to identify the possible change and when it may take place. In some cases restrictions or advisories may be included to manage the future use of a band.

1.3 Spectrum Utilization

Consequential to the inter-service spectrum allocation issues previously discussed which are contained in the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations, the intra-service conditions of use of a band by a service are often specified in a Spectrum Utilization Policy (SP). The intra-service goal of a spectrum utilization policy is to match and balance the different types of demand within a service category over the many bands available to meet Canadian needs. These needs can differ significantly from those of Europe, Japan, the U.S., or other countries because of geography, economics, regulatory environments, social values, civil and military priorities, manufacturing opportunities and other aspects of our nation's unique characteristics.

Among the most industrialized countries, some of the spectrum needs in Canada are quite distinct. In our highly populated areas, there is a good match of spectrum requirements with our economic peers, but the great distances between our population centres have fostered the use of significant amounts of spectrum to provide high quality and low cost inter-city communication facilities. In more remote regions, the use of cost effective radio systems has led to the provision of telecommunication service to many Canadians. Appropriate domestic policies can optimize spectrum use for the different geographical situations to match domestic radiocommunication demands in support of a more efficient telecommunications infrastructure. Advantage can be taken of the geographical differences when policies provide an incentive for spectrum users to employ different system designs and for Canadian manufacturers to design equipment that can be used and sold in both developed and developing countries.

In some countries, utilization policy is founded on the type of users. For example, a designated band, sometimes called a "block allocation," is assigned to government or non-government users, common carriers or private carriers. In Canada, more emphasis is placed on type of use, eg. the bands are differentiated by their radio system applications, traffic type or systems capacity. This permits a band to be shared by many different users but optimized for a certain usage. There are several advantages to this, such as broadening the market base for the type of equipment used in a band. It also provides a user with a wider choice of bands, resulting in more evenly distributed spectrum occupancy. The new policies which follow continue to extend the principle of "type of use" over a number of fixed service bands.

1.4 Technical Standards and Licensing Aspects

The International Table of Frequency Allocations provides the base for the Canadian Table, which in turn is the base for Spectrum Utilization Policies. Further steps are required to implement radio services. These include the development of technical standards, usually in the form of a Standard Radio System Plan (SRSP) for a band and service, and the availability of radio licensing policies and procedures. It has been the practice of Industry Canada to carry out much of the work in parallel for the development of policies and standards to minimize the delay from policy inception to system implementation. This requires working quickly, liaising closely with industry, forward planning and maintaining vigilant contact with international spectrum related developments.


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