SP 944 MHz — Spectrum Utilization Policy in the Frequency Range 944-960 MHz

July 1998

Table of Contents

Industry Canada
Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-011-98 — Spectrum Utilization Policy in the Frequency Range 944-960 MHz

The purpose of this Notice is to announce the release of the spectrum utilization policy for the use of the frequency bands 944–952 MHz, and 953–960 MHz. This policy follows the July 1996 release of a policy proposals paper entitled The Designation of Spectrum for Cordless Telephones and Proposals for the Future Use of the Bands 944–952 MHz and 953–956 MHz (Gazette Notice DGTP-006-96).

The spectrum utilization policy addresses the issues of the future use of parts of the frequency bands referenced above for cordless telephones, wireless local loop applications, and fixed radio service links to support Studio-to-Transmitter Links.

The spectrum utilization policy entitled Spectrum Utilization Policy in the Frequency Range 944–960 MHz is available electronically via the Internet at the following address:

World Wide Web (WWW)
Spectrum Management and Telecommunications

or in hard copy, for a fee, from:

Tyrell Press Ltd.
2714 Fenton Road
Gloucester, Ontario
K1T 3T7

Canada toll-free number: 1-800-267-4862
U.S. toll-free number: 1-800-574-0137
Worldwide telephone number : 613-822-0740
Fax number : 613-822-1089

Canada Communication Group
45 Sacré-Coeur Blvd.
Hull, Quebec
K1A 0S9

Toll-free number: 1-888-562-5561
Fax number : 819-779-2858
Worldwide telephone number: 819-779-4335

June 25, 1998

Michael Helm
Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch

1.0 Intent

This document addresses the spectrum utilization policy for the use of the frequency bands 944–952 MHz, and 953–956 MHz in response to the public consultation on Gazette Notice DGTP-006-96 entitled The Designation of Spectrum for Cordless Telephones and Proposals for the Future Use of the Bands 944–952 MHz and 953–956 MHz. In addition, this document addresses the modified use of the adjacent frequency band 956–960 MHz. The decisions taken herein amend the appropriate parts of the Spectrum Utilization Policy 896 MHz1 (SP–896 MHz).

2.0 Background

In September 1991, the former Department of Communications designated the band 944–948 MHz for cordless telephones by Gazette Notice DGTP-007-91. In addition, the band 948–952 MHz was placed on reserve for potential growth and development of cordless telephones. In November 1992, by Gazette Notice DGTP-007-92, the band 948–948.5 MHz was added to the designation of spectrum to support signalling channels for cordless telephones.

Through extensive public consultation and with the support of industry, a common air interface standard for cordless telephones was established under the requirements of the CT2 Plus Class 2 standard. It was anticipated that cordless telephones would be implemented in public, business, and residential environments.

In December 1992, four national licences were awarded to provide cordless telephone service to the public. However, none of the four licensees have implemented a public commercial service for cordless telephones. One contributing factor is that there are no suppliers or manufacturers of equipment that have fully developed the technology to accommodate the public deployment of the cordless telephone services envisaged by the four national licensees. As well, the residential market has not materialized, although cordless telephones have had reasonable penetration in the business environment.

In June 1995, a spectrum policy framework was issued for the provision of Personal Communications Services (PCS) at 2 GHz, which included a designation of spectrum for licence exempt applications in the band 1910–1930 MHz. This licence exempt band could accommodate similar technologies for cordless telephones as those developed for the 900 MHz range to provide services in the business and residential environments. An Industry Advisory Group has been established, including participation by Industry Canada, to support the implementation of licence exempt PCS.

On another matter, the band 953–956 MHz has been on reserve for over ten years. The Department received a request from the Canadian Association of Broadcasters (CAB) to use this band as an extension to the band 956–960 MHz for fixed radio service to support audio AM and FM broadcasting Studio-to-Transmitter Links (STLs) in congested areas.

In July 1996, by Gazette Notice DGTP-006-96, the Department issued a document entitled The Designation of Spectrum for Cordless Telephones and Proposals for the Future Use of the Bands 944–952 MHz and 953–956 MHz to discuss the future use these bands and to invite public comment. Among other matters the document addressed issues relating to the lack of deployment of cordless telephones in public and residential environments.

Among the comments received in response to Gazette Notice DGTP-06-96 was a request for the use of the band 953–960 MHz for wireless local loop (WLL) applications to serve rural areas while sharing with STLs on a geographical separation basis.

3.0 Spectrum Utilization Policy for the Band 944–960 MHz

3.1 Spectrum Policy Provisions for the Band 944–948.5 MHz

3.1.1 Discussion

The band 944–948.5 MHz was originally intended to provide the full complement of cordless telephone services for public, business, and residential users. However, the current cordless telephone use of this band has only developed in the business environment.

In spite of the lack of deployment of cordless telephones in public and residential environments, several respondents to DGTP-006-96 indicated that cordless telephones have been successfully deployed in the business environment and that this application has been growing. Although some respondents suggested alternative uses for this frequency spectrum, there was no direction to indicate future alternative uses at this time.

The 900 MHz range is a suitable technical choice for mobile systems. In order to ease the congestion of mobile spectrum in major metropolitan areas, Industry Canada contemplated the possibility of designating the band 944–948.5 MHz for mobile services, other than cordless telephones. However, it was determined that such a designation would not be feasible in the short term for several reasons.

Firstly, the band 944–948.5 MHz (and the extended band 944–952 MHz) is not paired with another portion of the spectrum. In order to accommodate frequency division duplexing (FDD) which is generally used in the mobile service it would require a portion of spectrum that could be paired with a technically feasible frequency separation. An analysis of the neighbouring spectrum shows that there is not a suitable portion of spectrum that could fill this requirement without heavily impacting existing services. The alternative would be to deploy mobile equipment operating in a single band with a time division duplexing (TDD) method. Although this technique is used in specialized applications, such as cordless telephones, it has not been generally used in mobile services to date. This may change in the future.

The second challenge in the deployment of mobile systems is that suitable equipment is not generally available to operate in these bands. The Canadian marketplace may be too small to support sustainable sources of supply of equipment developed for unique frequency plans.

3.1.2 Decision on Cordless Telephones

Industry Canada notes that the deployment of cordless telephones has not materialized in the public environment in the band 944–948.5 MHz. Furthermore, it is expected that suppliers in the Canadian marketplace will gravitate towards the 2 GHz range where global developments of cordless telephones and other personal communications services are emerging. For these reasons Industry Canada believes that it is appropriate to terminate the designation of spectrum for cordless telephones in the band 944–948.5 MHz as of July 1, 2002. Cordless telephones can continue in operation after that date but without assurance of protection from new uses of the spectrum.

A further review will be carried out by the year 2000 to assess the current usage of the band by cordless telephones and other demands on the spectrum. Depending on the outcome of this review, the Department will make this band (and possibly the band 948.5–952 MHz) available for other wireless radio services. In considering new services that could be introduced in this band after July 1, 2002, one factor will be minimizing the impact on existing users of cordless telephones recognizing the current deployment of these units in the business environment. However, Industry Canada cannot give an assurance at this time that a completely interference free environment will exist for cordless telephones operating in the band 944–948.5 MHz after the year 2002.

Several respondents to the discussion paper commented on the appropriateness of continuing with a unique cordless telephone standard (CT2Plus Class 2), as the public component has not been deployed. It was noted that the CT2Plus Class 2 Standard has not been adopted on an international scale resulting in relatively high priced CT2Plus Class 2 products.

The adoption of additional standards for other cordless telephone technologies would require resources of industry and government. Since the designation of spectrum for cordless telephones will be terminated on July 1, 2002, it is not regarded as beneficial to undertake the effort required to adopt additional cordless standards for this band.

3.1.3 Policy Provisions

  1. The band 944–948.5 MHz is designated for cordless telephones until July 1, 2002. A review will be initiated by the year 2000 to determine future uses of the band. The operation of cordless telephones may continue after July 1, 2002 but without the assurance of protection from new uses of the band. However, consideration will be given in the deployment of future systems, to minimize the impact on existing users of cordless telephones, recognizing their current deployment in the business environment.
  2. Additional standards for cordless telephones will not be adopted due to the decision to add other services in the band 944–948.5 MHz in the year 2002, possibly resulting in the removal of the protected status of cordless telephones.

3.2 Spectrum Policy Provisions for the Band 948.5–952 MHz

3.2.1 Discussion

The band 948.5–952 MHz is currently on reserve for the potential growth and development of cordless telephones.

Some respondents suggested that the reserve band 948.5–952 MHz should be held for the potential growth of cordless telephone services that may be stimulated by the adoption of multiple cordless telephone standards for the band 944–948.5 MHz. Other respondents suggested that the band 948.5–952 MHz is not required for cordless telephones and should eventually be opened for other service applications in conjunction with the band 944–948.5 MHz.

3.2.2 Decision

With regards to the band 948.5–952 MHz, no compelling arguments were brought forward to open this band at this time. Consequently, this band will be placed on general reserve and will be reviewed in conjunction with the band 944–948.5 MHz by the year 2000 to determine the future use of both bands. Depending on the outcome of the review, consideration will be given to opening the band 944–952 MHz for other radio applications.

3.2.3 Policy Provisions

The band 948.5–952 MHz will remain in reserve. A further review will be carried out by the year 2000 in conjunction with the band 944–948.5 MHz to determine the future usage of the spectrum.

1 SP 896 MHz — Spectrum Utilization Policy for the Fixed, Mobile, Radiolocation and Amateur Services in the Band 896–960 MHz.

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