Archived — Notice No. DGTP-013-94

Industry Canada

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-013-94

Proposed Spectrum Policy to Accommodate Microwave Radio Systems, Including Local Wideband Distribution and Advanced Communication Satellites in Certain Bands Above 20 GHz.

1. Introduction

The purpose of this Notice is to invite public comment on spectrum policy proposals intended to permit the timely and orderly development of new radio services and system applications in the bands 21.2-21.8/22.4-23 GHz, 25.25-29.5 GHz and 36-40.5 GHz, herein referred to as the 22 GHz, 28 GHz and 38 GHz bands. With forward planning, these bands can support a wide range of innovative wireless communication services and backbone radio facilities. Of particular interest is the provision of wideband wireless access to the information highway by means of local distribution facilities, as competitive alternatives to coaxial cable or fiber optic technologies.

A document entitled Proposed Spectrum Policy to Accommodate Microwave Radio Systems, Including Local Wideband Distribution and Advanced Communication Satellites in Certain Bands Above 20 GHz is available for public comment. These comments will provide the basis for the development of relevant spectrum utilization policies.

A diversity of wireless radio access facilities in terms of capacities and applications will play a key role in the development of a world-class information infrastructure. Accordingly, Industry Canada will pursue its policy-formulation activity in this area having regard to the objectives identified for the development of the information highway strategy.

The development of wireless communications should further the objectives of Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act, and be consistent with the efficient deployment of radio frequency spectrum resources within the oversight of the Radiocommunications Act.

2. Invitation to Comment

Industry Canada invites interested and affected parties to provide their views and comments on the referenced policy document. Copies of the subject document of this Notice are available from the Communications Branch, Industry Canada, 235 Queen Street, Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0H5, (telephone 613-947-7446) or from its offices in Moncton, Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver.

The document is also available electronically on the Internet.

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 20 March 1995 to receive full consideration. All representations should cite the Canada Gazette Part 1 Notice publication date, title, and the Notice reference number. Submissions and comments may also be forwarded by electronic mail to the following Internet address: dsrss@istc.ca

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, Montréal, Toronto, Winnipeg and Vancouver, for a period of one year from the close of the comment period.

Also, approximately two weeks after the close of the comment period, copies of the comments may be obtained, by mail order or over-the-counter, from ByPress Printing and Copy Centre Inc., 300 Slater Street, Unit 101A, Ottawa, K1P 6A6 (Telephone 613-234-8826). Reasonable costs of duplication will be charged.

For further information contact Wayne Longman at 613-998-3911 or at Internet address Longman.Wayne@istc.ca

Dated at Ottawa this 15th day of December, 1994.

M. Helm,
Director General,
Telecommunications Policy Branch


Proposed Spectrum Policy to Accommodate Microwave Radio Systems, Including Local Wideband Distribution and Advanced Communication Satellites in Certain Bands Above 20 GHz

1. Introduction

The purpose of this Paper is to invite public comment on spectrum policy proposals intended to permit the timely and orderly development of new radio services and system applications in the bands 21.2-21.8/22.4-23 GHz, 25.25-29.5 GHz and 36-40.5 GHz, herein referred to as the 22 GHz, 28 GHz and 38 GHz bands. With forward planning, these bands can support a wide range of innovative wireless communication services and backbone radio facilities. Of particular interest is the provision of wideband wireless access to the information highway by means of local distribution facilities, as competitive alternatives to coaxial cable or fiber optic technologies.

Some of the radio service applications of current interest in these bands, are:

  • local multipoint communication systems(LMCS) to distribute a wide scope of services, such as interactive video, broadcasting, multimedia, voice, narrowband and broadband data services to Canadian households and businesses;
  • local backbone fixed radio facilities to interconnect and network the traffic from various cells of future personal communications systems(PCS);
  • feeder links for non-geostationary mobile satellite networks; and,
  • future advanced communication satellites for multipurpose mobile or fixed service applications to portable earth stations.

A diversity of wireless radio access facilities in terms of capacity and applications will play a key role in the development of a world-class information infrastructure. Accordingly, Industry Canada will pursue its policy-formulation activities in this area having regard to the objectives identified for the development of an information highway strategy. The development of wireless communications should further the objectives of Section 7 of the Telecommunications Act, and be consistent with the efficient deployment of radio frequency spectrum resources within the oversight of the Radiocommunications Act. The Broadcasting act applies to the delivery of broadcasting services to the general public.

Industry Canada invites interested and affected parties to provide their views and comments on this document. Submissions should be addressed as shown in Canada Gazette Notice No. DGTP-013-94 and must be received on or before 20 March 1995 to receive full consideration.

2. Discussion

Over the past two years, the list of interested users and the diversity of potential radio applications, as mentioned above has grown significantly, particularly at 28 GHz.

The sharing of the spectrum between LCMS and some of these services could be very difficult due to the nature of point to multipoint. Although geographical separation may be a solution for some, for others, partitioning of the spectrum may be the best approach. There are similar spectrum planning activities taking place in other countries, including the United States, and some of these bands may be considered for allocation changes at the forthcoming 1995 World Radiocommunication Conference.

Industry Canada believes that an early exploitation of this spectrum by terrestrial and satellite facilities would accelerate advanced wideband wireless access to the information highway.

Based on comments on the 1993 policy proposals, Spectrum Allocations Above 3 GHz (Notice DGTP-004-93) and Spectrum Utilization for Certain Services Above 1 GHz(Notice DGTP-005-93), Industry Canada has revised the frequency allocations in a number of these bands. As announced on October 29, 1994 in DGTP-005-94, Revisions to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations (1994) has been released. Some respondants indicated their interest in these bands and reservations about the frequency band sharing potential of some of the satellite and microwave radio services allocated to the bands. These representations have been taken into account in the formulation of this Paper.

DGTP-005-93 did not contain specific microwave spectrum proposals above 25.25 GHz. It did however, propose new spectrum in the 22 GHz band (21.2-21.8/22.4-23 GHz) be designated for microwave applications similar to those for the band pair 21.8-22.4/23.0-23.6 GHz, which can be referred to as the 23 GHz band, which is lightly used. Although this proposal was supported, Industry Canada wishes to re-submit the band pair 21.2-21.8/22.4-23 GHz for further comment to determine if there may be a better use of the spectrum, given that the spectrum already available for conventional fixed systems at 23 GHz is underutilized.

This paper does not review the technical issues, many of which have been investigated in great detail elsewhere. Should interested parties wish to comment on sharing feasibility, they should include references or copies of relevant technical studies.

  1. Local Multipoint Communication Systems (LMCS)

    Bands at 2.5 GHz, 13 GHz and 18 GHz are already in use for various types of wideband multipoint communication systems (MCS). Also, an experimental two-cell LMCS is operating in the 28 GHz band in Calgary, Alberta, using proprietory wideband cellular technology. The Federal Communications Commission is considering a generic designation of spectrum for Local Multipoint Distribution System (LMDS) to support local wireless distribution facilities. The proponents of these systems offer the possibility of providing a wide range of wideband and narrowband services to the home.

  2. Point-to-point Systems

    The large path losses provided by frequency bands above 20 GHz permit high frequency re-use, which is conducive to a large number of links in a relatively small geographical area. This could satisfy the requirements of high density networking, such as the local collector or backhaul for PCS traffic (see Canada Gazette Notice DGTP-006-94). A recent unpublished study suggests the following application of point-to-point systems as the local backhaul for PCS systems:

    PCS System: High Mobility
    Path Length: Up to 4 km
    Practical Bands: 20-30 GHz

    PCS System: Low Mobility
    (Pedestrian and Building)
    Path Length: Less than 1 km
    Practical Bands: 20-60 GHz

    These bands might also be useful for other point-to-point applications.

  3. Mobile-Satellite Network Feeder links and the Fixed-Satellite Service

    Spectrum requirements are being identified for feeder links for non-geostationary mobile-satellite networks and Industry Canada has made provision in the Revisions to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations (1994), footnote C48.1 Canadian preparations are also underway to consider this aspect at the 1995 World Radiocommunication Conference. One objective of this work is to identify candidate bands for feeder links for use in Canada and one such requirement has been identified in the band 29-29.5 GHz.

  4. Advanced Communication-Satellites

    Canada was successful at WARC-92 in obtaining allocations in the bands 19.7-20.2 GHz and 29.5-30 GHz (Ka band)for multipurpose communications satellite networks to provide both fixed-satellite and mobile-satellite services. These bands are not shared by terrestrial services which eliminates the need for inter-service frequency coordination. Through steerable spot beams, advanced satellite communication networks could provide wide-band two-way fixed or mobile services at any location in Canada. The U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Advanced Communication Technology Satellite is now in operation in a portion of this band, and Canada is planning a pre-commercial advanced satellite communication system for launch in 1998.

    Although the band 29.5-30 GHz mentioned above is not a topic of this Gazette Notice, the adjacent band 27-29.5 GHz can also be used for advanced fixed satellite networks using small terminals through frequency coordination with stations of other services sharing the band. Canada has submitted the required Advance Publication of Information (API) to the ITU for three Canadian fixed-satellite networks operating in the band 28.5-30 GHz, to initiate coordination and registration of these networks. A number of advanced fixed-satellite networks have also been proposed in this band by other countries.

3. Invitation to Comment on Spectrum Proposals and Options

Of immediate concern is a need to identify suitable spectrum for local multipoint communications systems (LMCS), and fixed systems in support of PCS while maintaining viable spectrum options for satellite networks which are in the planning stage. Generally, microwave radio technology is cheaper at lower frequencies, thus the 1.2 GHz of spectrum bandwidth available in the 22 GHz band may result in lower LMCS equipment costs and greater transmission reach. There may be a further advantage for bidirectional LMCS transmission arising from the band split and the possible separation by 600 MHz between go and return channels.

A requirement to use 27.5-29.5 GHz (2 GHz of bandwidth) has already been identified for LMCS. As noted above, spectrum above 27 GHz is also identified for advanced fixed-satellite systems and feeder links for non-geostationary satellite networks. The spectrum commonly considered as matching fixed-satellite downlink (i.e. 17.4-18.4 GHz) has been identified for a future transition to the broadcasting-satellite service. This might suggest that consideration be given to providing LMCS spectrum in 27-27.5 GHz. Comments are invited on the spectrum requirements stated for these services.

A. Comment is invited on the following proposals for LMCS:

It is proposed to designate fixed service spectrum for local multipoint communications systems(LMCS) as follows:

  1. that the bands 21.2-21.8 GHz and 22.4-23 GHz be designated for LMCS; or,
  2. that the band 27-28 GHz be designated for LMCS and that expansion of LMCS take place above or below that band, or both.

Note: Sharing between the LMCS and Inter-satellite service in the band 25.25-27.5 appears promising and may be preferable spectrum for LMCS.

Comment is further solicited on the number and size of blocks of spectrum that should be designated to provide a diversity of systems, services and choice of service providers.

B. Comment is invited on the following policy proposals for PCS backhaul:

It is proposed that the immediate spectrum needs for radio links or collector links for local PCS network cells that cannot be satisfied in lower frequency bands (excluding for the time being, the 22 GHz or 28 GHz bands) use the fixed service band in part of the 36-40.5 GHz.

Comment is also solicited on the size and number of spectrum blocks that should be designated to cater for a number of PCS networks.

C. Comments are also solicited on other uses of these bands as identified in sections 2 c) and 2 d), above, and on any other innovative radio applications which provide wireless communications. Although other frequency bands may provide support for the applications under consideration, the scope of this review has been purposely limited in an attempt to resolve identified needs as quickly as possible. Comments will be accepted on the use of other bands which may satisfy these needs.

4. Service Matters In Which Comments Are Sought

Respondents should address the following matters in support of their submission regarding the designation of spectrum.

  1. The types and features of the advanced and innovative services which could be provided as well as the measures that would best foster this innovation, encourage market flexibility, promote consumer choices, and ensure full and open competition;
  2. The desirability of formulating service requirements for licensees prior to the introduction of new services in the bands of interest, and the alternatives thereto;
  3. The contribution that any particular new development might make to the establishment of the wireless component of the information highway;
  4. In keeping with past practice, the conditions that might be contained in the licences issued to service providers, for example, with respect to the extent of the geographical area within which services would be provided, the services to be offered, the technologies to be used, or the technical standards to be met;
  5. The desirability of pursuing harmonization between the services licensed in Canada and the services that are now being, or that in the future will be, offered in the United States or elsewhere;
  6. The means by which the licensing process may be used to advance the statutory objective of fostering increased reliance on market forces for the provision of telecommunications and broadcasting services, including services such as local telephony. For example, should certain potential applications be advantaged and if so, how?

5. Local Multipoint Communications System Licensing Matters

As outlined in the Introduction section, there is current interest in the use of local multipoint communications systems (LMCS) to deliver a wide range of distributive and interactive types of services. These services, ranging from interactive video, broadcast programming, multimedia applications, voice, image, and on to narrowband and broadband data communications, may be distributed directly to business and home customers using LMCS systems. Industry Canada is satisfied that the present frequency spectrum allocated to fixed service in the bands being considered for LMCS will accommodate this need. Also, spectrum allocated to fixed service will provide the necessary flexibility to meet the requirements for both telecommunications and broadcasting distribution facilities and such applications will benefit from the convergence to common local distribution networks.

In dealing with LMCS system radio applications for the distribution of both telecommunications and broadcasting services, or in some cases for the distribution of broadcast programming to the public, Industry Canada intends to issue microwave radio licenses under the provisions of the Radiocommunication Act. In the case of broadcasting service distribution, any broadcast distribution undertaking may be subject to the provisions of a broadcasting licence issued under the Broadcasting Act and a broadcasting certificate under the Radiocommunication Act. Furthermore, the provisioning of telecommunications services to the public would be according to the objectives of the Telecommunications Act.

At present, fixed-satellite and microwave radio facilities authorized to provide telecommunications services have also, in certain cases, been permitted under the same radio licence to provide distribution of broadcasting services for reception by the public. The broadcasting undertaking operations are also subject to the requirements of a broadcasting licence. CRTC Telecom Decision 94-19 has further opened the opportunity for telecommunication common carriers to provide facilities-based services to deliver broadcast programming to the home acting solely as a common carrier. With the quick pace of convergence of local network distribution capabilities in various technologies, there are more opportunities for telecommunications and broadcasting applications to use facilities such as LMCS. Industry Canada is of the view that by issuing microwave radio licenses and retaining the fixed service allocation status of the frequency bands under consideration, it will provide the necessary flexibility and the required opportunity for statutory oversight to further these radio service applications and advance competition in the local communications network.

Comments are invited on this approach to the radio licensing of local microwave facilities such as LMCS for both telecommunications and broadcasting services, or in some cases for broadcasting as stand alone services.


1 C 48 (CAN-94) Non-geostationary mobile-satellite systems that operate in the bands 1610-1626.5 MHz, 1970-2010 MHz, 2160-2200 MHz and 2483.5-2500 MHz shall use a portion of the frequency range 17.8-19.7 GHz in the space-to-Earth direction and a portion

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