SP 2285 MHz — Revisions to the Spectrum Utilization Policy for Services in the Frequency Range 2285-2483.5 MHz

June 2001

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Spectrum Policy Provisions for the Bands 2285–2483.5 MHz
  4. Implementation

Industry Canada
Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-003-01 — Revisions to the Spectrum Utilization Policy for Services in the Frequency Range 2285–2483.5 MHz

The purpose of this Notice is to announce the revisions to the spectrum utilization policy for services in certain bands in the frequency range 2285–2483.5 MHz. This Notice follows the recent consultation paper Proposed Revision to the Spectrum Utilization Policy (SP 120 GHz) for Services in the Band 2285–2483.5 MHz released in March 2000.

A number of demands pertaining to the use of this frequency range were raised in the initial consultation, which included designating the bands 2305–2320 MHz and 2345–2360 MHz for Wireless Communication Systems (WCS), and permitting license exempt microwave transmitters using directional antennas in the band 2400–2483.5 MHz. The Department has received a number of comments relating to the various proposals. Based on these interests the Department is announcing certain spectrum utilization policy decisions in the band 2285–2483.5 MHz which are contained in the policy document.

The policy document entitled Revisions to the Spectrum Utilization Policy for the Services in the Band 2285–2383.5 MHz is available electronically via the Internet at:

World Wide Web (WWW)
Spectrum Management and Telecommunications

or can be obtained in hard copy, for a fee from: Tyrell Press Ltd., 2714 Fenton Road, Gloucester, Ontario K1T 3T7, email: sales1@tyrellpress.ca, 1-800-267-4862 (Canada toll-free telephone), 1-800-574-0137 (United States toll-free telephone), 613-822-0740 (Worldwide telephone), 613-822-1089 (Facsimile); DLS, St. Joseph Print Group, 45 Sacré-Coeur Boulevard, Hull, Quebec K1A 0S7, 1-888-562-5561 (Canada toll-free telephone), 1-800-565-7757 (Canada toll-free facsimile), 819-779-4335 (Worldwide telephone), 819-779-2833 (Worldwide facsimile).

June 1, 2001

Michael Helm
Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch

1.0 Introduction

This policy document announced in Gazette Notice DGTP-003-01 makes revisions to the spectrum utilization policy for services in the frequency range 2285–2483.5 MHz.

With the release of this policy, provisions are established among other things, to facilitate the operation of license exempt microwave devices in the band 2400–2483.5 MHz, to designate spectrum for wireless communication systems (WCS) and to permit the operation of TV pickup and surveillance purposes from airborne platforms. Additional provisions for the operation of mobile aeronautical telemetry systems are also included.

2.0 Background

In January 1995, Industry Canada released a spectrum utilization policy entitled Revisions to Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1–20 GHz (SP 1–20 GHz) that made substantial revisions to the spectrum policy for the microwave frequency bands in the 1–20 GHz range. This document established new policy directions to accommodate increasing new spectrum demand by existing and emerging services, addressed the convergence to digital facilities, and provided greater flexibility for both service providers and equipment manufacturers to access the frequency spectrum.

In August 1997, due to new demands that had emerged, a public consultation paper, entitled Proposals to Provide New Opportunities for the Use of the Radio Spectrum in the 1–20 GHz Frequency Range (DGTP-006-97), was released. In August 1998, Industry Canada announced a spectrum policy entitled Spectrum Policy and Licensing Provisions for Fixed Wireless Access Systems in Rural Areas in the Frequency Range 3400–3700 MHz (DGTP-013-98) which represented the first set of amendments to the 1–20 GHz policy. In June 1999, Industry Canada also announced a spectrum policy entitled Policy and Licensing Procedures — Multipoint Communications Systems in the 2500 MHz Range (DGRB-006-99). Most recently Industry Canada announced a spectrum policy entitled Amendments to the Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the 1–3 GHz Frequency Range (DGTP-006-99) which addressed several issues, including new spectrum for mobile satellite service.

The latest consultation paper Proposed Revisions to the Spectrum Utilization Policy for Services in the Band 2285–2483.5 MHz (DGTP-003-2001) was released in March 2000. The proposals in that paper were made in response to a number of requirements including innovative wireless access for Internet and LAN services. Major aspects pertaining to this band include the Canada/US agreement on spectrum for Digital Audio Broadcasting (DAB) and US Digital Audio Radio Services (DARS) by satellite in the band 2320–2345 MHz, the US designation of Wireless Communication Services (WCS) and licence exempt devices and systems. As a result of the public comments and the pressing need to accommodate new wireless devices, the Department is proceeding to establish relevant spectrum utilization policies in the 2285–2483.5 MHz range.

3.0 Spectrum Policy Provisions for the Bands 2285–2483.5 MHz

3.1 Bands 2305–2320 MHz and 2345–2360 MHz

In the policy announced in Gazette Notice DGTP-003-2000, Industry Canada placed a moratorium on the licensing of any new fixed and mobile systems in the band 2285–2360 MHz1. Comments were solicited on a proposal to align the designation of the bands 2305–2320 MHz and 2345–2360 MHz with the U.S. for point-to-multipoint systems known as Wireless Communication Services or WCS.

A number of respondents indicated that the Department should designate this spectrum for WCS and proceed expeditiously to licence systems. It was clear from the submissions received that there is good support to harmonize the spectrum and service applications with the U.S. in order to benefit from a larger equipment market. One Multipoint Distribution System (MDS) operator indicated that this spectrum could provide out-of-band return spectrum to the MDS band 2596–2686 MHz for interactive broadcast and non-broadcast services.

There was however, both interest and concern expressed in the public consultation with regard to the potential use of this spectrum for audio broadcasting satellite i.e. DARS. The development of a satellite-based DARS service in this spectrum would require extensive public consultation and more support than has been expressed. It would also involve negotiating provisions in the international allocations for Canada. On the other hand, there is significant interest by the industry to develop fixed multipoint WCS service offerings. More wireless access spectrum is needed below 10 GHz, with good reach and propagation characteristics to provide advanced data networks including high-speed internet access. The Department has concluded that the public interest is best served by designating this spectrum for WCS rather than holding out for additional satellite broadcasting interest to develop.

While U.S. licensing decisions in the bands 2305–2320 MHz and 2345–2360 MHz enable fixed and mobile services, the domestic allocations retain all services currently in the table, including radiolocation and broadcast-satellite (sound) communication services. The Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations has fixed, mobile and radiolocation services allocated on a primary basis in the band 2300–2483.5 MHz, with the mobile aeronautical telemetry service (MATS) having priority over other mobile service uses by international footnote S5.394. In SP 1-20 GHz the mobile service utilization of the bands 2300–2360 MHz and 2400–2483.5 MHz was limited to the Government of Canada (GOC) telemetry applications. In DGTP-003-2000, the Department designated the band 2360–2400 MHz for GOC MATS exclusive use with access to the band 2400–2483.5 MHz on a no protection basis. The issue of retaining access to the band 2300–2360 MHz for MATS on a secondary basis is treated in section 3.4.

Industry Canada is making the following policy provisions:

The spectrum in the bands 2305–2320 MHz and 2345–2360 MHz is re-assigned from conventional microwave radio systems (point-to-point) to Wireless Communication Service applications. A policy framework and competitive licensing process will be developed to authorize WCS systems in these bands. Licensing is anticipated in 2002.

In the band 2300–2360 MHz, the current footnote for the primary mobile allocation gives preference to MATS operations. MATS will need to be restricted to operating on a secondary basis with respect to WCS operations to facilitate broadband service implementation (see section 3.4).

The defining line between fixed and mobile services is becoming less distinct in some scenarios envisaged for local broadband networks. Provision for applications which have elements of both services, depending on the user location or situation, are included in several broadband requirements. The Department wishes to provide full flexibility for the development of local broadband networks in this band and does not want to predetermine or prescribe the type of commercial services to be offered. However, Industry Canada envisages that the spectrum designated for WCS services will be used predominantly for the provision of local broadband access applications in fixed service point-to-multipoint configurations.

3.2 Band 2320–2345 MHz

Industry Canada solicited input on the opportunities available for using the band 2320–2345 MHz in Canada. The views varied widely. It is noted that this band is subject to the sharing conditions of the Agreement on Coordination between U.S. Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service and Canadian Fixed Service and Mobile Aeronautical Telemetry Service in the Band 2320–2345 MHz.

Some respondents supported the moratorium on licensing any new fixed and mobile systems in the band 2320–2345 MHz. Some expressed interest to further study this spectrum as potential allocation for Canadian audio broadcasting satellite-DARS. Other respondents indicated that the Department should initiate a public consultation concerning the use of the band 2310–2360 MHz for DARS in Canada. In addition there was interest to consider the use of U.S. DARS satellite capacity in the band 2320–2345 MHz to provide broadcasting services in Canada.

However, there was some strong opposition by the Digital Audio Broadcasters (DAB) community with respect to making any allocation for DARS in Canada in this band. It was believed that the implementation of DARS would directly compete with DAB service and create economic hardship to the commercial roll-out of DAB services in Canada. Some went as far as to recommend that the Department continue to licence fixed service applications to prevent any potential of DARS service.

Given the uncertain environment the Department has decided to maintain flexibility for the time being. Accordingly:

The moratorium on the licensing of new fixed systems in the band 2320–2345 MHz will be retained in order to allow flexibility in deciding future use for this spectrum. Parties wishing to explore the possibility of providing broadcasting services by satellite in this band in Canada should make their interest known to the Department.

3.3 Band 2285–2305 MHz

The Department also sought comments on the interest in the band 2285–2305 MHz, noting the U.S. policy decision to include 2300–2305 MHz with new emerging technology spectrum.

The Department wishes to note the following US allocations:

  1. The band 2285–2290 MHz is designated for use by the federal government for space science applications. Non-government space science applications are permitted on a restricted basis.
  2. The band 2290–2300 MHz is designated for use by the federal government for fixed, mobile and deep space research use, as well as, for non-government space research applications.
  3. The band 2300–2305 MHz is allocated to the amateur service on a secondary basis. This band is on reserve until new opportunities or technology prospects arise.

Comments on the interest in this band varied. Suggestions were made to designate the band 2285–2305 MHz for fixed point-to-point and point-to-multipoint return links in combination with the WCS bands, future emerging technologies, and for commercial or fixed applications in the medium/long term.

Most agreed however that it is unclear what technologies will be developed for this spectrum and that making any provisions for new allocations or utilization would be premature.

Industry Canada is making the following interim decision:

The Department will retain the moratorium on the licensing of any new fixed systems in the band 2285–2305 MHz. The band 2285–2305 MHz will be kept in reserve until future prospects become clearer. In the interim the Department may consider applications for innovative use of parts of the spectrum to enhance existing systems.

1 The Department is making the following policy provision : A moratorium on the licensing of any new fixed and mobile systems in the band 2285–2360 MHz. Modifications to and/or extensions of existing systems may be permitted on a case-by-case basis.

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