RP-023 — Spectrum and Licensing Policy to Permit Ancillary Terrestrial Mobile Services as Part of Mobile-Satellite Service Offerings
- SP 1-3 – GHz Amendments to the Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the 1-3 GHz Frequency Range
- RP-007 – Policy Framework for the Provision of Mobile Satellite Service Via Regional and Global Satellite Systems in the Canadian
- DGTP-002-07 – Consultation on a Framework to Auction Spectrum in the 2 GHz Range including Advanced Wireless Services
Table of Contents
- Canadian Consultation
- Industry Canada's Findings and Conclusions
- Conclusion and Implementation
- Part A — General Technical and Operational Measures Applicable to MSS ATC Systems in all MSS Bands
- Part B — Technical and Operational Measures Applicable to MSS ATC in the 1.5/1.6 GHz GSO Bands
- Part C — Technical and Operational Measures Applicable to the MSS ATC Operations in the 2 GHz MSS Band
- Part D — Technical and Operational Measures Applicable to MSS ATC Operations in the 1.6/2.4 GHz LEO MSS Bands
Satellite communication systems play a strategic role in the Canadian telecommunications infrastructure and satellites services have greatly facilitated the availability of reliable, affordable, and high quality telecommunications and broadcasting services to Canadians, particularly to those living in remote and northern communities.
Canada has fully opened its telecommunications satellite market to competition to ensure businesses and consumers benefit from a range of advanced communications services at competitive prices. Five regional mobile satellite networks currently serve the Canadian market. A new generation of mobile satellite networks is in the planning stage and promises to bring data-based mobile services with their capabilities approaching, or exceeding, those of the second generation (2G) of terrestrial Personal Communications Services (PCS). An important segment of the Canadian population relies solely on mobile satellites to access mobile communications as terrestrial PCS offerings are not available.
A number of satellite operators petitioned Industry Canada for the flexibility to develop an Ancillary Terrestrial Component (ATC) to offer mobile service as an integral part of the mobile-satellite service (MSS) offerings. A main driver in establishing the ATC mobile component is to take full advantage of the assigned MSS spectrum in any given area. This would expand the service coverage into large cities where the satellite signals are blocked by high-rise buildings and where coverage is non-existent inside buildings. Most of the mobile satellite industry is of the view that policy and regulatory rules need to be in place in order to proceed with the development of next generation mobile satellite networks.
Based on public consultation and on an assessment of the satellite communications environment, the Department concludes that providing flexibility for the development of the ATC mobile service as an integral component of the mobile-satellite service will encourage the development of advanced mobile satellites and serve the public interest. Providing flexibility to develop the ATC mobile service under a general set of policy and regulatory principles will serve the public interest as follows: (i) presents the unique opportunity of delivering digital mobile-satellite services to those areas where cellular mobile services/PCS are not available (e.g. more than 80% of the Canadian land mass); (ii) makes more efficient use of the limited public spectrum resource already assigned; and, (iii) under an opened satellite competitive marketplace, harmonizes the rules within the North American marketplace in order to have affordable services for the benefit of Canadians.
The Department has concluded that the public interest will best be served by establishing a set of spectrum and licensing policy principles to oversee the implementation of the ATC mobile service as an integral part of MSS service offerings. These simple principles will guide the consideration of terrestrial ATC mobile applications in conjunction with any MSS network operating in the various satellite spectrum bands. The principles are summarized as follows :
- The ATC mobile service will be an integral part of MSS service offerings. A substantial level of mobile-satellite services will be provided with the ATC service.
- The frequencies used for the ATC system will be within the assigned spectrum for a particular MSS network and the ATC service will be limited to the satellite serving areas. The use of the MSS spectrum for ATC operation will be subordinate to the spectrum being available for mobile-satellite service.
- The ATC mobile service will be required to cease operation, within a reasonable period, should the mobile-satellite service or network be discontinued.
- The ATC operation will be authorized such that it will neither cause harmful interference to, nor claim protection from, MSS services and other primary radio services operating in adjacent bands. ATC operations will be subject to technical and operational requirements considered appropriate to mitigate potential interference.
- Complete applications as radiocommunication carriers will need to be submitted to seek authorization to operate an ATC mobile system as an integral and indefeasible part of the MSS service offerings. Specific information will be required as part of the applications to demonstrate adherence to policy, operational and regulatory principles.
- Spectrum area licences will be issued for ATC systems and will be subject to spectrum fees based on a future consultation.
The Department is reviewing the spectrum cap policy under Consultation on Spectrum for Advanced Wireless Services and Review of the Mobile Spectrum Cap Policy (Canada Gazette Notice Number DGTP-007-03). The issue of ATC under the spectrum cap will be taken into consideration as part of the overall review.
The Department believes that providing flexibility to the mobile satellite industry to develop an ATC mobile component will advance the objectives of the Canadian telecommunications policy in affording all Canadians advanced digital mobile services.
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