Archived — Gazette No. DGTP-005-03 — Spectrum Designation to Accommodate Licence-Exempt Fixed Point-to-Point Transmission Links in the Band 24.05-24.25 GHz

Department of Industry

Radiocommunication Act

Notice No. DGTP-005-03— Spectrum Designation to Accommodate Licence-Exempt Fixed Point-to-Point Transmission Links in the Band 24.05-24.25 GHz

Intent

The purpose of this Notice is to announce a designation of spectrum in the band 24.05-24.25 GHz to accommodate licence-exempt fixed point-to-point transmission links using highly directional antennas. Key objectives of this policy are to facilitate the operation of licence-exempt radio systems, which provide a greater choice of backbone and local network technologies, as well as to advance competition in the telecommunications industry. To that end, the Department recognizes the importance of harmonising spectrum policy and technical requirements to operate in the regional and global marketplace while ensuring maximum benefits to Canadians, and so that products achieve economies of scale. As well, it is important to encourage the development of innovative radio communications which may further the government's connectedness agenda. The introduction of fixed transmission links should not cause an increase in harmful interference to other services co-existing in the same spectrum. These devices will therefore be required to operate in accordance with parameters selected to permit compatible co-existence between users in the same frequency band and with other services using these bands.

Discussion

The band 24.05-24.25 GHz is currently allocated to the radiolocation service on a primary basis and to the amateur service and earth exploration-satellite service (active) on a secondary basis in the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations. This band has a designation for use by industrial, scientific, and medical (ISM) equipment. The lower adjacent band 24.00-24.05 GHz is allocated on a primary basis to amateur and amateur-satellite services and the upper adjacent band 24.25-24.45 GHz has recently been authorized for fixed service applications. For a number of years now, the band 24.05-24.25 GHz has been available for licence-exempt devices including field disturbance sensors which are permitted to operate at field strengths up to 2500 mV/m in the band 24.075-24.175 GHz.

In a recent consultation paper, the Department requested comments on new service applications that could be introduced in the band 24.05-24.25 GHz. Respondents expressed little interest in the specific proposal that was made. Some respondents expressed concern regarding sharing with the secondary allocation for the amateur service. Also, a submission was received from one manufacturer on designating this band for licence-exempt transmission links to align with the US market. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) issued a Report and Order (FCC 01-357) in December 2001 amending Part 15 Rules to allow the operation of fixed point-to-point transmitters in the band 24.05-24.25 GHz at field strengths of up to 2500 mV/m (average field strength values measured at 3 metres). The Rules state that transmitters operating at these power levels are required to use highly directional antennas with gains of at least 33 dBi or a main lobe beamwidth (half power points) not exceeding 3.5 degrees to minimize the occurrence of harmful interference to other services in the band. The Rules are intended to allow the operation of licence-exempt point-to-point transmitters, thus allowing for a variety of innovative products and applications in the band.

The Department was urged in the consultation process to consider harmonizing the band 24.05-24.25 GHz for licence-exempt transmission links and to set technical standards under Radio Standards Specification 210, Low Power Licence-Exempt Radiocommunication Devices (All Frequency Bands) (RSS-210). Licence-exempt devices are radio apparatus which are exempt under the Radiocommunication Act from the requirement to operate under a radio licence in specified radio frequency bands and which conform to established Industry Canada spectrum policies, regulations and technical standards. Licence-exempt devices or systems cannot claim protection from other radio systems and cannot cause harmful interference into licensed radio services.

The FCC ruling noted that the use of a directional antenna will change the shape of the radiated fields and maintain the same geographic coverage as an isotropic antenna. While signals will travel further in the intended direction of communication, the transmissions will be limited in all other directions. Using a highly directional antenna, with either a specified minimum gain or maximum main lobe beamwidth, will produce a narrow radiation pattern; thereby, minimizing the possibility of creating harmful interference to other services in the band. Furthermore, a stringent frequency stability requirement will ensure that emissions remain within the authorized transmission bandwidth and minimize drift into the adjacent bands. The Department is in general agreement with these findings and notes that the process, started in 1998 in the United States, included detailed consideration of the concerns of existing services both in-band and in adjacent bands.

In summary the Department has concluded that opening the band 24.05-24.25 GHz could provide the opportunity for a range of point-to-point transmission facilities to support local broadband distribution and network applications. The attractiveness of licence-exempt use is in the ability to rapidly deploy, avoiding the delays often associated with licensed spectrum authorization and coordination. The Department believes that the public interest will be served by allowing licence-exempt transmission links in order to foster affordable telecommunications facilities.

Decision

The Department is, herewith, designating the band 24.05-24.25 GHz for the use of licence-exempt fixed point-to-point transmission links, using highly directional antennas, on the basis that such devices cannot claim protection from other radio systems and cannot cause harmful interference to licensed radio services.

Conditions for Operation of Point-to-Point Transmission Links

Licence-exempt devices may constitute transmission facilities as defined in the Telecommunications Act. The use of such devices in providing telecommunications services to the public for compensation could be subject to the provisions of the Act including those pertaining to Canadian ownership and control requirements.

Operators of these licence-exempt transmission links may be subject to the requirements for seeking approval for antennas and their supporting structures. The Department has instituted procedures for users of the radio frequency spectrum which give consideration to the following three areas: (i) the environment; (ii) Health Canada's Limits of Human Exposure to Radiofrequency Electromagnetic Fields in the Frequency Range from 3 kHz to 300 GHz , Safety Code 6; and (iii) land-use consultation. Details of the responsibilities associated with tower placements can be found in Client Procedures Circular 2-0-03, Environmental Process, Radiofrequency Fields and Land-Use Consultation (CPC-2-0-03).

Any inquiries on this Spectrum Utilization Policy should be directed to the Manager, Fixed Services — Telecommunications Policy Branch, Industry Canada telephone: 613-998-3974, fax: 613-952-0567, email: wireless@ic.gc.ca.

Amendment to Radio Standards Specification 210 (RSS-210)

Notice is given that Industry Canada is making provisional technical changes to RSS-210 Issue 5, which address the above decision concerning the band 24.05-24.25 GHz. These technical changes are contained in Amendment 2 to RSS-210 Issue 5 which will go into effect on the date of publication of this Notice. Where there is discrepancy between the existing text of RSS-210, Issue 5 and the Amendment, the Amendment shall take precedence.

This document has been coordinated with the Radio Advisory Board of Canada (RABC).

The Radio Equipment Technical Standards Lists will be amended to reflect the change to RSS-210.

Interested parties may submit comments on the Amendment to RSS-210 within 90 days of the publication of this Notice. Shortly after the close of the comment period, all comments received will be posted on Industry Canada's Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site at: http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum. Comments received will be taken into account and if necessary, a new issue or a revised version of the current issue may be developed.

Submitting Comments Regarding the Amendment to RSS-210

Respondents are requested to provide their comments in electronic format (WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, Adobe PDF or ASCII TXT) along with a note specifying the software, version number and operating system used.

Any comments or inquiries on the Amendment to RSS-210 should be directed to the Manager, Radio Equipment Standards, telephone: 613-990-4699, fax: 613-991-3961, email: res.nmr@ic.gc.ca.

Written submissions should be addressed to the Director General, Spectrum Engineering, 300 Slater Street, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1A 0C8.

All submissions should cite the Canada Gazette, Part I, publication date, the title, and the notice reference number DGTP-005-03.

To Obtain Copies

Copies are available electronically on the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site at: http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum.

Paper copies can be obtained for a fee from:

St. Joseph Print Group Inc.
1165 Kenaston Street
P.O. Box 9809, Station T
Ottawa, Ontario
K1G 6S1
Phone Number: 613-746-4005
Toll free number: 1-888-562-5561
Fax: 819-779-2833
Email: DLSOrderdesk@eprintit.com

April 15, 2003

Issued under the authorization
of the Radiocommunication Act

Larry Shaw
Director General
Telecommunications Policy

R.W. McCaughern
Director General
Spectrum Engineering Branch

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