Archived — Notice No. DGTP-008-94

Industry Canada

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-008-94

Proposal Concerning the Radio Systems Policy (RP-005) for Dispatch-type Mobile Radio Interconnection with the Public Switched Telephone Network and Also Clarifying the Provision of Service Applications by Cellular Providers

In 1985, Radio Systems Policy RP-005 (RP-005) was issued addressing the issue of the effect on the use of the radio spectrum of the interconnection of dispatch-type mobile systems with the public switched telephone network (PSTN). This initiative was related to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission's Telecom Decision 84-10, which determined that it was in the public interest to require federally regulated carriers to offer a tariff for interconnection of mobile radio systems with the PSTN.

Radio Policy RP-005 was intended to ensure the continued availability of spectrum for non-interconnected mobile radio communications (such as dispatch-type mobile systems). It was recognized that the message characteristics for dispatch systems were of very short duration whereas the ones for telephony were significantly longer, thus potentially creating extensive demand for channel capacity and consequently for frequency spectrum. This radio policy limited the use of interconnected calls in order to retain access to spectrum and the priority of utilization, while maintaining primary channel use for dispatch-type mobile systems. It appears that the original objective of RP-005, released in 1985, of limiting interconnection to conserve frequency spectrum has been met.

However, there are changes taking place in mobile radio technology which significantly increase the capacity of mobile systems traditionally used as dispatch systems, enabling the increase of service capabilities in a given amount of spectrum. These changes include the adoption of digital technology, trunking techniques and cellular frequency re-use techniques. It is expected that these radio system design and operations measures will enable the provision of mobile telephony without adversely affecting the communications capacity available for non-interconnected communications such as dispatch services. In addition, there has been an integration of types of mobile applications provided by the same system or the same service provider.

Peprhaps the event of greatest significance with respect to mobile communications interconnected to the PSTN, since the release of Radio Policy RP-005 in 1985, has been the emergence of the cellular mobile industry in Canada. The provision of wireless interconnection with the PSTN through cellular mobile radio has provided a facility catering specifically to mobile telephony.

Industry Canada believes that it is in the public interest to make available to Canadians a wide range of mobile service offerings in a competitive manner. This also fosters the Canadian Telecommunication Policy Objectives set out in section 7 of the Telecommunications Act. Given the evolution of the mobile radio business in the past few years, Industry Canada is of the view that it is no longer appropriate to use Radio Policy RP-005 to control the amount of interconnected traffic of radio systems operating in mobile bands primarily intended for dispatch operations.

By this notice, Industry Canada proposes to rescind Radio Systems Policy RP-005. Due to the congestion of mobile spectrum in some geographical areas, Industry Canada may require at least a minimum level of channel use or spectrum efficiency under certain circumstances.

On another related matter, in Notice DGTN-006-82, published in the October 23, 1982, issue of the Canada Gazette, the former Department of Communications announced, among other things, a definition for a cellular mobile radio system and a frequency utilization plan. The definition of "cellular mobile radio" set out in the Notice reads as follows:

"A cellular system is a high capacity mobile radio system in which radio channels are assigned to one or more geographic cells within a defined service area. For systems of more than one cell, the service is uninterrupted as the mobile unit moves from cell to cell. The high capacity of the system is obtained by means of a multi-cell configuration in which specific radio channels are reused in different cells within the service area."

The Notice went on to say:

"While this definition intentionally avoids placing any restriction on the type of mobile radio service to be provided by a cellular system, applicants are reminded that the assignment of radio frequency spectrum for cellular mobile radio was made expressly to alleviate the current shortages of frequencies for mobile telephone service, and to provide for long-term growth, including the introduction of the portable telephone. Therefore, the Department will only consider at this time applications to provide a public mobile telephone service with some form of interconnection with the public switched telephone network [emphasis in original]."

While it remains important that a diverse offering of mobile services be made available to Canadians, and Industry Canada believes that rescinding RP-005 will contribute to this, it is also imperative that similar provisions for competition be in place for all mobile service providers. Considering this factor, it is appropriate to introduce at this time a measure of flexibility in the utilization of spectrum by the incumbent cellular service providers to avoid any limitation to competition.

Accordingly, Industry Canada wishes to clarify the definition of cellular mobile services contained in the 1982 notice to make it explicit that cellular service providers can also provide dispatch, paging, mobile data and like services in addition to public mobile telephone services.

Industry Canada invites interested and affected parties to provide their views and comments on the proposals contained in this notice.

Submissions in response to this notice 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 January 31, 1995, to receive full consideration. All representations should cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, and the notice publication date, title, and 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 Avenue West, Ottawa, Ontario, 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, Ontario K1P 6A6, 613-234-8826. Reasonable costs of duplication will be charged.

November 16, 1994

Michael Helm

Director General Telecommunications Policy

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