Archived—Revisions to Allocations in the Band 2500-2690 MHz and Consultation on Spectrum Utilization

1. Intent

The intent of this policy paper, announced in Gazette Notice DGTP-004-04, is to make changes in the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations. In this paper the fixed and mobile services will be entered as co-primary allocations throughout the band 2500-2690 MHz; new international footnotes will be entered and a new Canadian footnote will be proposed in order to establish the relationship between the various services; current spectrum planning activities will be described; and comments will be invited on a number of licensing issues.

In commenting on the spectrum not licensed to date in the band 2596-2686 MHz, interested parties may provide views regarding the public interest to develop any particular service under any one or combination of the frequency allocations for broadcasting, fixed and or mobile. The Department wishes to consider the long-term designation of the spectrum and the services which best benefit the public.

Gazette Notice DGTP-004-04 invites interested parties to submit their comments by August 9, 2004 to the Director General, Telecommunications Policy Branch.

2. Background

On November 16, 2001, the Minister of Industry announced certain decisions regarding the band 2500-2690 MHz which for the most part is licensed to wireless cable Multipoint Distribution System (MDS) services and wireless Multipoint Communication System (MCS) services. It was decided that Canada would introduce fixed and mobile allocations throughout the band and incumbent licensees would be able to implement their current business plans in accordance with the terms and conditions of their licences.

These decisions harmonize the spectrum allocations with international allocations and provide increased certainty to current licensees to continue advancing their services to Canadians. It was also stated that Industry Canada would initiate a consultation process to seek views on licensing considerations arising from these changes in frequency allocation.

The frequency band 2500-2690 MHz has been the subject of debate internationally and there have also been new radio technology developments. This is because of the sizeable amount of contiguous spectrum in the band, good radio propagation characteristics at these frequencies and the prospect of relatively low cost equipment. Furthermore, at the World Radiocommunication Conference in 2000 (WRC-2000), the band was identified as one of the possible bands for IMT-2000 radio services, also known as third generation mobile or 3G.

3. Revisions to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations

In 1985 the band was divided into two distinct allocations for the fixed service and the broadcasting service in Canada. The lower portion of the band (2500-2596 MHz) was allocated to the fixed service and designated for MCS systems to advance local distribution of telecommunications services. The upper portion of the band (2596-2686 MHz) was allocated to the broadcasting service and designated for MDS systems to support local broadcasting distribution undertakings (BDU). MCS systems are issued radio licences by Industry Canada. MDS systems are issued broadcasting distribution licences by the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) as well as a broadcasting certificate by Industry Canada. The remaining 4 MHz in the band (2686-2690 MHz) was divided equally between MCS and MDS systems for fixed-return spectrum and is issued radio licences by Industry Canada.

In the November 2001 News Release, the Minister of Industry announced that the fixed and mobile services would be allocated throughout the band 2500-2690 MHz. Consequently, in this policy paper, Industry Canada is updating the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations to enter the fixed and mobile services across the band, and is seeking comments only on the inclusion of new international footnotes and a new Canadian footnote. Footnote 1 These footnotes provide the basis for the inter-relationship among various services allocated on a co-primary basis and the provision for any future spectrum policies.

The Canadian Table needs to be updated to reflect the decisions made at the World Radiocommunication Conferences held in 2000 and 2003 (WRC-00 and WRC-03). At these conferences the footnotes and the resolutions referred to therein were modified to accommodate the shared use of the band by mobile, fixed and satellite services.

In summary the allocation changes include:

  • Entering the fixed service as co-primary in the sub-band 2596-2686 MHz.
  • Entering the mobile service as co-primary in the sub-band 2596-2686 MHz and suppressing the previous secondary mobile allocation.
  • Entering a new Canadian footnote relating to the mobile service.
  • Incorporating international footnotes adopted at WRC-00 and WRC-03.
  • Suppressing Canadian footnote C39 which provides for potential mobile-satellite service allocations.

The detailed revisions to the Canadian Table and proposed footnotes are presented below. The following legend provides the editing nomenclature to show the modifications to the existing Table (2000 Edition).

Convention Used When Making Changes to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations

Underlining
When used in the Table, underlining proposes the addition of a radio service or footnote. It is also used in the text of Canadian footnotes to identify proposed additional text.
Strikeout
When used in the Table, a strikeout proposes the deletion of a radio service or footnote in a particular band. It is also used in the text of Canadian footnotes to identify proposed deleted text.
5.xxx
This is the form of the designation of international footnotes.
CXX
This identifies a Canadian footnote.
MOD
This indicates an international footnote modified at a WRC or a Canadian footnote proposed for modification. These appear in both the Table and in the lists of footnotes.
ADD
This is used in a list of footnotes to indicate an international footnote created at a WRC or a proposed new Canadian footnote.
SUP
This is used in a list of footnotes to indicate an international footnote suppressed at a WRC or a Canadian footnote proposed for suppression.

Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations (MHz)

2500 - 2596
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile CXX
Mobile C5 5.384A MOD 5.416 MOD 5.418 C 39
2596 - 2655
BROADCASTING
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile CXX
Mobile C5 5.339 5.384A 5.416 5.417A 5.418
2655 - 2686
BROADCASTING
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile CXX
Earth Exploration-Satellite (passive)
Mobile C5
Radio Astronomy
Space Research (passive) MOD 5.149 5.384A 5.416 5.347A C39
2686 - 2690
FIXED
MOBILE except aeronautical mobile CXX
Earth Exploration-Satellite (passive)
Radio Astronomy
Space Research (passive) MOD 5.149 5.384A 5.347A C39

3.1 Proposed Modifications

Industry Canada is modifying the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations to incorporate fixed and mobile services as co-primary allocations across the band 2500-2690 MHz and adding a Canadian footnote pertaining to the mobile service. Also, the Department proposes to adopt the changes in footnotes, relevant to Canada for this frequency band, adopted at WRC-00 and WRC-03. These modifications were not proposed in the April 2002 Gazette Notice DGTP-002-02 (Proposed Revisions to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations Consequential to the 2000 World Radiocommunication Conference Decisions). The Department published a revised Canadian Table in February 2004 which reflects the decisions of WRC-2000 with the exception of the following bands:

  • 614-806 MHz;
  • 1710-2200 MHz; and
  • 2500- 2690 MHz.

3.2 International Footnotes

MOD 5.149

(WRC-2000) In making assignments to stations of other services to which the bands: [... 2 655-2 690 MHz...] are allocated, administrations are urged to take all practicable steps to protect the radio astronomy service from harmful interference. Emissions from space borne or airborne stations can be particularly serious sources of interference to the radio astronomy service (see Nos. 4.5 and 4.6 and Article 29).

Note: Please refer to Annex B for the complete text of the footnote

5.339

The bands 1 370-1 400 MHz, 2 640-2 655 MHz, 4 950-4 990 MHz and 15.20-15.35 GHz are also allocated to the space research (passive) and earth exploration-satellite (passive) services on a secondary basis.

ADD 5.347A
In the bands:

1 452-1 492 MHz,
1 525-1 559 MHz,
1 613.8-1 626.5 MHz,
2 655-2 670 MHz,
2 670-2 690 MHz,
21.4-22 GHz,
Resolution 739 (WRC-03) applies. (WRC-03)

ADD 5.384A
(WRC-2000) The bands, or portions of the bands, 1 710-1 885 MHz and 2 500-2 690 MHz, are identified for use by administrations wishing to implement International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000) in accordance with Resolution 223 (WRC-2000). This identification does not preclude the use of these bands by any application of the services to which they are allocated and does not establish priority in the Radio Regulations.
MOD 5.416
(WRC-2003) The use of the band 2 520-2 670 MHz by the broadcasting-satellite service is limited to national and regional systems for community reception, subject to agreement obtained under No. 9.21.
ADD 5.417A
(WRC-2003) In applying provision No. 5.418, in Korea (Rep. of) and Japan, resolves 3 of Resolution 528 (Rev.WRC-03) is relaxed to allow the broadcasting-satellite service (sound) and the complementary terrestrial broadcasting service to additionally operate on a primary basis in the band 2 605-2 630 MHz. This use is limited to systems intended for national coverage. An administration listed in this provision shall not have simultaneously two overlapping frequency assignments, one under this provision and the other under No. 5.416. The provisions of No. 5.416 and Table 21-4 of Article 21 do not apply. [...]

Note: Please refer to Annex B for the complete text of the footnote.

MOD 5.418
(WRC-2003) Additional allocation:  in Korea (Rep. of), India, Japan, Pakistan and Thailand, the band 2 535-2 655 MHz is also allocated to the broadcasting-satellite service(sound) and complementary terrestrial broadcasting service on a primary basis. Such use is limited to digital audio broadcasting and is subject to the provisions of Resolution 528 (Rev.WRC-03). The provisions of No. 5.416 and Table 21-4 of Article 21, do not apply to this additional allocation. Use of non-geostationary-satellite systems in the broadcasting-satellite service (sound) is subject to Resolution 539 (Rev.WRC-03).

Note: Please refer to Annex B for the complete text of the footnote.

3.3 Canadian Footnotes

SUP C39
(CAN-94) The use of the bands 2 500 - 2 520 MHz and 2 670 - 2 690 MHz, by the mobile-satellite service which was allocated at WARC-92, may be the subject of a future policy review for use in Canada after 2005.
C5
For the exclusive use by the Government of Canada
ADD CXX
The use of the band 2 500-2 690 MHz by the mobile service is subject to future spectrum policy and licensing considerations.

3.4 Discussion

Fixed Service

In Region 2, the Americas, the International Table of Frequency Allocations has a primary allocation for the fixed service throughout the band 2500-2690 MHz. The revision to the Canadian Table is consistent with other countries in the region and particularly with the United States. The frequency sub-band 2500-2596 MHz is currently designated and licensed for fixed MCS systems across Canada.

Mobile Service

In Region 2, the Americas, the International Table of Frequency Allocations has a primary allocation for the mobile service in the band 2500-2690 MHz. The revision to the Canadian Table is consistent with other countries in the region and particularly with the United States. At WRC-2000 footnote 5.384A was adopted where a number of frequency bands including the band 2500-2690 MHz were identified for use by administrations wishing to implement International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000). This identification does not preclude the use of these bands by any of the services to which they are allocated and does not establish priority for a particular service in the International Radio Regulations.

Although the band 2500-2690 MHz has a co-primary allocation to the mobile service, its use will be subject to a service designation through a spectrum policy as well as licensing considerations as per footnote CXX.

The use of the mobile service on a secondary basis by the Government of Canada (GoC) in accordance with footnote C5 has been deleted for this frequency band as the mobile service is now allocated on a primary basis. The use of this band by the GoC will be affected when commercial mobile is implemented on a primary basis.

Broadcasting-Satellite Service

International footnote 5.416 was modified at WRC-03 and applies to the band 2520-2670 MHz for use by the Broadcasting-satellite Service (BSS) limited to national and regional systems for community reception. In 1997, Canada became one of the two notification administrations to the ITU for the specialized BSS network of AirTV intended to serve the airline industry. The Department is currently reviewing applications for licences for three BSS satellites located in orbital positions 55, 86 and 180 west longitude. An intended use of these satellites is to provide video program delivery and high-speed Internet access to aircraft while in flight.

It is noted that WRC-03 agreed to add an agenda item for the 2007 conference (WRC-07) dealing with this frequency band. Studies are underway in ITU-R Joint Task Group 6-8-9 to review the technical, operational and regulatory provisions applicable to the use of the band by space services in order to facilitate sharing with current and future terrestrial services without placing undue constraint on the services to which the band is allocated.

Should a future conference adopt regulatory provisions affecting this service, it is expected that the new provisions would apply to future systems. For systems which have already initiated the international coordination process, these systems would likely fall under the regulatory provisions in force at the time of the notification. An extract of the current regulatory provisions that apply to Air TV can be found in Annex C.

Broadcasting-Satellite Service (Sound)

International footnote 5.418 applies to the band 2535-2655 MHz for use by the broadcasting- satellite service (sound) for several countries in ITU Region 3 (Asia/Pacific). At WRC-03, international footnotes 5.417A, 5.417B, 5.417C and 5.417D were added. Broadcasting-satellite service (sound) networks using Highly Elliptical Orbits (HEOs) are being considered in ITU Region 3 in the band 2630-2655 MHz and these operations could impact terrestrial systems in Region 2.

Radio Astronomy Service and the Active Space Services

At WRC-03 footnote 5.347A was added which addresses compatibility between the active space service and radio astronomy in the bands 2 655-2 670 MHz and 2 670-2 690 MHz through Resolution 739 (WRC-03).

Mobile-Satellite Service

When the C39 footnote was created in 1994, the current allocations at 2.5/2.6 GHz were not defined and it was expected that 2005 would be a reasonable time frame to consider all the uses of the band. Consequently, the mobile-satellite service allocation was not entered in the Canadian Table in 1994 and footnote C39 was created to signal this possibility.

The MSS service in North America is allocated spectrum in the 1.5/1.6 GHz bands (L-band), the 2.0/2.1 GHz bands and the 1.6/2.4 GHz bands (known as the big LEO bands). There are currently no plans to initiate a policy review in Canada for additional MSS allocations as the three above mentioned bands should be sufficient to meet the needs of the Canadian mobile-satellite industry. Also there are no indications that the 2.5/2.6 GHz bands will be developed for MSS in North America.

As a consequence, the Department proposes to suppress Canadian footnote C39.

Comments on Footnotes

Comments are invited on the proposed changes to the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations with regards to the footnotes in the band 2500-2690 MHz.


Footnotes

  1. back to footnote reference 1 Users of the band should be familiar with the technical limits in the footnotes to allow sharing between co-primary services allocated in the band. These technical requirements are to be considered during system design.
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