SP-3-30 — Revisions to Spectrum Utilization Policies in the 3–30 GHz Frequency Range and Further Consultation
This band is allocated to mobile and fixed services on a primary basis. The Department proposed to designate the band 31.0-31.3 GHz for LMCS, and to structure the band in a manner that would pair the centre 150 MHz with the spectrum at 29.1-29.25 GHz and also pair the two 75 MHz blocks at either end as shown below.
Comments on this proposal indicated general support for aligning this spectrum with the current LMDS designations in the US, however the RABC noted that it would be premature to designate additional spectrum for LMCS based on the history of its use to date. The Department also notes on-going international activities to study adjacent band issues with passive services for the possible implementation of High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) in the fixed service in the band 31.0-31.3 GHz. In any event, there is sufficient interest in this spectrum for the Department to make a designation reserving it for terrestrial services to be implemented in multipoint, transportable and/or mobile configurations. As indicated in the original proposal for the designation of this spectrum, the licensing of systems within this band will be the subject of a future consultation. The designation for the band 29.1-29.5 GHz has been treated in Section 5.3.4.
The band 31.0-31.3 GHz is designated for terrestrial services to be implemented in multipoint, transportable and/or mobile configurations.
The policy and licensing framework for systems within the bands 31.0-31.3 GHz and 29.1-29.25 GHz will be the subject of a future consultation.
The current definition of traffic load for low-cpacity systems comprises bit rates between 1.544 Mb/s (T-1) and 24.704 Mb/s (16 T-1). The Department sought comments on the suitability of including traffic rates of less than 1.544 Mb/s
in the definition of low-cpacity systems for microwave bands above 1 GHz. Respondents
saw no requirement for the provision of fractional T1 links in these bands.
The RABC suggested that there is no need to change the definition of low-cpacity
systems as currently defined in
SP 1-20 GHz since the current note in SP 1-20 GHz stating that “Smaller system capacities are also permitted in LC bands on a case-by-case basis” would be adequate to meet any unforeseen demand for traffic rates less than 1.544 Mb/s. The Board also noted that the FCC Part 101 rules do not permit the use of traffic rates less than DS-1 in any radio system employing digital modulation and operating below 19.7 GHz.
The Department will make no additional provisions for systems with traffic rates of less than 1.544 Mb/s.
In Canada, for coordination between FS and FSS stations, the Department protects only the assigned frequency and direction for the earth station even though the initial coordination contour for the earth station with respect to fixed service stations is developed on a full-band, full-arc basis. Subsequent coordination is typically carried out directly between an applicant for a new licence and the licence holder.
In the consultation, the Department noted the FCC Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) (FCC 00-369) treating a request for a ruling to require partial-band licensing of earth stations in the fixed-satellite service in bands shared on a primary basis with the terrestrial fixed service. In the United States, earth stations are coordinated and licensed for the entire allocated frequency band and for all azimuth directions pointing to visible locations on the geostationary orbital arc (full-band, full-arc basis). This is intended to provide the earth station operator the flexibility to protect communications with any approved satellites on the orbital arc and any transponder frequencies in the full band in order to meet operational requirements. The proposal made in the NPRM would “require an FSS earth station that has been licensed to operate in C or Ku band shared frequencies for 24 months or longer to demonstrate, in response to the denial of a request of an FS applicant to coordinate spectrum, that the FSS earth station denying coordination is using, has recently used, or has imminent plans to use the requested spectrum. If the FSS earth station licensee cannot make such a demonstration during the coordination, then the FS station may be successfully coordinated and the FSS earth station must not cause unacceptable interference to, nor is it protected from interference from, the FS station on that spectrum in the future.” This is intended to improve the efficient use of spectrum by both FS and FSS.
The Department sought comment on the suitability of adopting similar spectrum sharing arrangements as in the FCC proposal in C and Ku bands. Respondents noted that the petition in the US had been denied and that current practices in Canada were satisfactory.
The Department will not make modifications to the domestic coordination practices for any of the bands for which comment was solicited.
There has been a lot of interest in licence-exempt applications, particularly for wireless local area networks which can be characterized as local transmission devices available to provide a wide range of applications for high-speed broadband digital distribution including voice, video and data. The current spectrum designations for these devices are in the 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands which are shared with ISM applications.
The Department is interested in determining the general need and opportunities for spectrum to provide greater choice of access and distribution technologies to service providers and users in bands below 10 GHz. It therefore sought comments on whether there is spectrum where LE applications could be designated, the amount of spectrum that would be required, and the types of applications that could be accommodated.
Responses focused mainly on the perceived opportunities at 5470–5725 MHz, which was on the agenda of the WRC-03 for the consideration of regulatory provisions and spectrum requirements for new and additional services in the band. In preparation for participation at the conference, Canada developed a series of proposals, in consultation with industry, for the treatment of these issues.
At WRC-03, decisions were made to adopt a number of changes to the International Table of Frequency Allocations to provide new or upgraded allocations to the mobile, Earth exploration-satellite (active), space research (active) and radiolocation services. As well, a number of international footnotes were adopted to facilitate sharing amongst the services in the 5 GHz range. In general, the results of WRC-03 reflect Canada’s positions prior to the conference.
The Department has since issued a consultation document proposing frequency allocation changes to the mobile, Earth exploration-satellite (active), space research (active) and radiolocation services, taking into account decisions taken by WRC-03. Furthermore, this document proposes new or revised policy and technical rules governing the use of wireless local area networks operating in the 5 GHz band. These proposals can be found in the consultation document announced in Canada Gazette Notice DGTP-005-04 and entitled Consultation on Allocation Changes and Revisions to Spectrum Utilization Policy and Technical Rules in the 5GHz Band.
Comments from the Bell Telecom Group and TELUS both requested the Department to assess the potential of harmonization with the FCC’s Part 15 rules on ultra-wide band (UWB) technology. On 14 February 2002 the FCC issued a News Release advising of the adoption of a First Report and Order (FCC 02-08) regarding the revision of Part 15 rules which permits the marketing and operation of certain types of new products incorporating UWB technology. The UWB technology is expected to provide a vast array of new applications that have the potential to provide new public safety applications and broadband Internet access among the uses envisioned. The Order includes also standards designed to ensure that existing and planned radio services, particularly safety services, are adequately protected.
The Department is following developments of UWB technologies and will consult in the near future on the potential introduction of UWB applications and devices.
The Department notes the recent FCC 02-328 Notice oOf Inquiry released December 20, 2002 seeking comment on the feasibility of permitting unlicensed devices to operate in the band 3650–3700 MHz, and under more restrictive conditions in the TV broadcast bands.
In 1997, the Canadian Table was modified to include an allocation for fixed services in the band 3400–3500 MHz. In 1998 the Department designated the band 3400–3700 MHz for Fixed Wireless Applications (FWA) and opened the band 3400–3550 MHz for licensing in rural areas. In 2003 the band was rearranged to accommodate priority spectrum for radiolocation and fixed wireless access systems. The Department will be licensing the band 3475–3650 MHz, including urban areas, in the near future.
The band 3500–4200 MHz had traditionally been available for fixed service and fixed-satellite service systems on a coordinated first-come, first-served basis. When the Department opened the band 3400–3550 MHz under SP 3400–3700 MHz for licensing FWA systems in rural areas on a first-come, first-served basis in 1998, it established that new point-to-point systems would not be authorized to use assignments in the band 3500–3700 MHz. Existing point-to-point systems would be permitted to continue, provided the technical characteristics were in accordance with the current SRSP. Extensions and/or expansions of existing systems which require the use of assignments in the band 3500–3700 MHz were considered by the Department on a case-by-case basis outside of urban centres. Policy and Licensing Procedures for the Auction of Spectrum Licenses in the 2300 and 3500 MHz Bands (DGRB-003-03) imposes a moratorium on the licensing of point-to-point systems in the band 3500–3650 MHz and provides a detailed transition policy to accommodate FWA systems.
With respect to the use of the band by the fixed-satellite service, traditional authorization for domestic and Canada-US traffic has been in the conventional C-band between 3700–4200 MHz. However, authorizations of earth stations using foreign satellites providing international overseas traffic have included the extended C-band between 3500–3700 MHz. These earth stations are limited in number and are located in isolated areas, away from urban centres.
DGRB-003-03 limits the authorization of new FSS earth stations in the bands 3500–3650 MHz to large antenna applications such as gateways located in remote areas outside urban centres. Furthermore, the licensing of any new FSS receiving earth stations in the band 3500–3650 MHz will be subject to successful prior coordination with FWA licensees. FWA operators planning to establish systems in the vicinity of existing FSS receive earth stations will be required to coordinate with the earth station operators. Currently there are earth stations in the band 3500–3700 MHz located in Weir, Que. (Laurentides).
In 2001 the consultation on licensing FWA systems in urban areas noted that although this spectrum is not available for FWA in the US, the FCC had earmarked the band 3650–3700 MHz for advanced communication services. The consultation also indicated that the public interest in harmonizing this spectrum would be sufficient to delay a decision on licensing this spectrum in Canada until further progress had been made in the US.
In the US, this band was allocated for radiolocation uses by the government and for FSS use by non-government entities, restricted to international intercontinental systems. In 1999, the spectrum became part of the spectrum transferred from government to non-government. Noting the limited use by existing licensed systems in the band, the FCC is soliciting comment on the conditions under which unlicensed and/or licensed systems could be authorized in the band. The discussions lean toward permitting unlicensed devices at power levels similar to those currently allowed in the ISM bands at 900 MHz, 2.4 GHz and 5.7 GHz. As of December 1, 2000, new earth stations in the band 3650–3700 MHz are authorized on a secondary basis to the fixed and mobile services.
The possibility for licence-exempt devices to operate in the in the TV broadcast bands is beyond the intended scope of the consultation in this document.
The Department seeks comment on whether to make the band 3650–3700 MHz available for license-exempt applications. Comment is also requested on the types of systems and services that could be implemented in the band, and noting the availability of licensed spectrum in the adjacent bands, whether there is a requirement to continue the designation for licensed services in the band.
The Department also seeks comment on the measures which should be introduced for the treatment of incumbent licences in the band, noting the existing policy for the accommodation of FWA services in the band 3500–3650 MHz.
- Are there measures which could be introduced for the operation of licence-exempt devices which would ensure the protection of existing licensed systems?
- How could such measures be enforced?
- Should existing licenses be grandfathered indefinitely or should a sunset period apply?
A comment period of three months from the release of this document will apply.
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