SP 1-20 GHz — Proposals to Provide New Opportunities for the Use of the Radio Spectrum in the 1-20 GHz Frequency Range

August 1997

Table of Contents


Amended by:

DGTP-006-99 Amendments to the Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the 1–3 GHz Frequency Range (October 1999)

DGTP-008-04 Revisions to Spectrum Utilization Policies in the 3–30 GHz Frequency Range and Further Consultation (October 2004)

DGTP-007-97 Spectrum Policy Provisions to Permit the Use of Digital Radio Broadcasting Installations to Provide to Non-Broadcasting Services (September 1997)


Department of Industry
Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-006-97

This Notice invites comments on proposed revisions to spectrum utilization policies in the 1–20 GHz frequency range. In addition, Industry Canada has taken the opportunity to announce certain policy decisions related to some of the proposed revisions.

Background

Industry Canada released a new set of spectrum utilization policy provisions for the microwave frequency bands in the 1–20 GHz range in January 1995. The document entitled Revisions to Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1–20 GHz (SP 1–20 GHz) established new policy directions to accommodate increasing spectrum demand by existing and emerging services, address the move to digital facilities and provide greater flexibility for both service providers and equipment manufacturers to access frequency bands.

Since the release of SP 1–20 GHz, industry and the Department have moved quickly to develop new Standard Radio System Plans (SRSP). Consequently, manufacturers have been able to make the necessary adjustments to their product lines and service providers have been able to deploy radio equipment in a timely fashion.

Recently, Industry Canada has had representation from industry for new radio services in the microwave bands. In particular, there is considerable interest in the introduction of fixed wireless access systems, multipoint communications systems, and licence exempt voice and data equipment.

The purpose of this paper is to seek public comments from all interested parties on a number of new proposals for the use of the microwave spectrum in the 1–20 GHz range. In addition, with the issuance of this document, the Department has taken the opportunity to announce some policy decisions which are consequential to certain revisions to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations.

Invitation to Comment

Industry Canada invites interested and affected parties to provide their views and comments on the above referenced document.

This document is available electronically as follows:

World Wide Web (WWW)
Spectrum Management and Telecommunications

Submissions should be addressed to the Director General, Telecommunications Policy Branch, Industry Canada, 300 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0C8 and must be received on or before October 14, 1997 to receive full consideration. All representations should cite the Canada Gazette Part I Notice publication date, title, and the Notice reference number.

Written comments received in response to this Notice will be made available for viewing by the public, two weeks after the closing date of this Notice, during normal business hours, at the Industry Canada Library, 365 Laurier Ave. West, Ottawa, and at the offices of Industry Canada at Moncton, Montreal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, for a period of one year from the close of the comment period.

August 9, 1997

Larry Shaw
Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch


Proposed Revisions to SP 1–20 GHz

1.0 Introduction

Industry Canada released a new set of spectrum policy provisions for the microwave frequency bands in the 1–20 GHz range in January 1995. The document entitled Revisions to Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1–20 GHz (SP 1–20 GHz) established new policy directions to accommodate increasing spectrum demand by existing and emerging services, address the move to digital facilities and provide greater flexibility for both service providers and equipment manufacturers to access frequency bands.

Since the release of SP 1–20 GHz, industry and the Department have moved quickly to develop new Standard Radio System Plans (SRSP). By the end of 1996, the Radio Relay Committee of the Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC) had developed 10 new SRSPs covering the most affected frequency bands. Consequently, manufacturers have been able to make the necessary adjustments to their product lines and service providers have been able to implement new systems in accordance with the policy provisions in SP 1–20 GHz. As a result, some of the benefits of SP 1–20 GHz were realized in a timely fashion. For example, a wide range of thin-route radio equipment is now available in the 1700–1850 MHz band as a result of new policy initiatives such as permitting more relaxed technical standards in remote areas, and adopting new channelling arrangements (wide range of channel bandwidths and transmit/receive spacings).

More recently, Industry Canada has had representation from industry for new radio services in the microwave bands. In particular, there is considerable interest in the introduction of fixed wireless access (FWA) systems, multipoint communications systems (MCS), and licence exempt voice and data equipment. Also, during the preparation of the SRSPs, industry recommended a number of minor amendments to the policy provisions of SP 1–20 GHz that would be beneficial from an equipment availability or system implementation standpoint.

The growth in spectrum demand by existing and emerging wireless services has been stimulated in large part by the government's policy framework for convergence and the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's (CRTC) recent decision regarding the introduction of competition in the local telephone and broadcast distribution markets. The government's August 1996 Convergence Policy Statement supported competition in the provision of all information highway facilities, products and services, and cleared the way for cable and telephone companies to compete in each others' core businesses in an environment of fair and sustainable competition. The CRTC's local competition decision (Local Competition, Telecom Decision CRTC 97-8), released on May 1, 1997, put in place the rules that will enable cable companies, wireless service providers, and others, to enter the local telephone market in competition against the incumbent telephone companies.

The purpose of this paper is to seek public comments from all interested parties on new proposals for use of the microwave spectrum in the 1–20 GHz range. In addition, with the issuance of this document, the Department has taken the opportunity to announce some policy decisions which are consequential to certain revisions to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations. Revisions to the Table, which was the subject of the consultation process under Gazette Notice DGTP-003-97, are being finalized within the Department for release in the third quarter of 1997.

2.0 General Spectrum Policy Proposals Applicable to Microwave Facilities in Frequency Bands above 1 GHz

The policy provisions of SP 1–20 GHz support individual site licensing of microwave facilities in accordance with the established procedures such as the Radio Standards Procedure 113 (RSP-113), Application Procedures for Planned Radio Stations Above 960 MHz in the Fixed Service. In more recent consultations, industry has indicated a preference to shift away from conventional site licensing in certain frequency bands to a process that permits blocks of spectrum to be assigned on an area basis to individual operators. This approach is referred to as the block-area frequency assignment process. It provides significant advantages to licensees by allowing the implementation of radio facilities with a minimum of licensing and technical requirements. The Department has adopted this approach in assigning spectrum in the Local Multipoint Communications Systems (LMCS) band 25.35-28.35 GHz and the fixed service bands at 38 GHz and 23 GHz which are available for point-to-point and multipoint communications systems respectively. Experience in the block-area assignment process has been favourable. Departmental officials believe that the frequency bands between 1–20 GHz should be reviewed to determine if the block-area approach applies to other bands where sufficient interested is shown.

The question of the spectrum assignment approach leads to the need to clearly identify the types of fixed systems that use the microwave spectrum and to expand existing definitions in order to accommodate these systems. A proposal to create two categories of fixed systems is given in Table 1. Also included are the possible spectrum assignment options.

Table 1 — Categories of Fixed Systems
Category and Definition Typical Microwave Applications Possible Spectrum Assignment Options
Point-to-Point (P-t-P)
One or two way radiocommunications between two known fixed locations
  • Radio relay systems
    • multihop
    • single hop
  • Studio-to-transmitter links
  • TV-pickups
  1. Site licensing. The nature of point-to-point systems lends itself to individual site licensing.
  2. Block-area licensing. Block-area licensing of point-to-point systems has not been used in this frequency range.
Multipoint Communications System (MCS)

One or two way radiocommunications between a central station to one or more subscriber stations at fixed locations. The specific location of subscriber stations may or may not be known.
  • MCS (voice, data and video applications)
  • Subscriber Radio Systems
  • Fixed Wireless Access Systems
  • Wireless telemetry systems e.g. meter reading, telecontrol, etc.
  • Very High Capacity Microwave (VHCM)
  • LMCS (cellular spectrum re-use)
  1. Site licensing. Site licensing of subscriber radio systems has been successful.

    This is due in part to the rural nature of this service.
  2. Block-area licensing. Block-area licensing is not currently used in the 1–20 GHz range for MCS.

    Many MCS applications, particularly those operating in urban areas, may benefit for block-area licensing. (See Annex 1 for a list of the MCS bands available in Canada.)

The Department is seeking comments on the suitability of the categories of microwave systems described in Table 1, noting that alternative suggestions are also welcome. In the event these categories of fixed service applications are adopted, the Department would revise SP-GEN and SP 1–20 GHz accordingly. Also, interested parties are invited to review the fixed service bands in SP 1–20 GHz, with particular attention to MCS bands found in Annex 1, and identify the most appropriate frequency assignment approach (site licensing, block-area licensing).

Noting the above discussion of the categories of fixed service applications, licensing will continue to be subject to the provisions of the Policy for Licensing Intercity Radio Facilities (RP-017) and Radio Licensing Policy for Limited Area Radio Systems (RP-018) which outline carriage conditions and certain licensing procedures.


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