Policy and Licensing Procedures for the Auction of Spectrum Licences in the 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz Bands

5. Incumbents, Transition Policy and Technical Considerations

The section below outlines the applicable transition and/or coordination requirements of the incumbents and auction winners in the 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz bands.

In the 2300 MHz band, all fixed microwave point-to-point system incumbents are subject to the transition policy provisions. All fixed point-to-multipoint system incumbents are protected from displacement by WCS systems and not subject to these transition policy provisions. These systems are outlined in Appendix 9. Mobile Aeronautical Telemetry Systems (MATS) are authorized on a secondary basis only where they do not constrain the implementation of WCS.

In the 3500 MHz band, licensed FWA systems in rural areas, and existing fixed-satellite receive earth stations are protected and not subject to the transition policy provisions. All fixed point-to-point systems operating in the band 3475-3650 MHz are subject to the transition policy.

The successful WCS or FWA licensees from this auction must coordinate, where required, with other systems within the guidelines set under Sections 5.3.2 and 5.4.2.

Interested parties can find the frequency assignments licensed to incumbents in the radio frequency licensee database at Industry Canada's Spectrum Direct Web site at http://sd.ic.gc.ca/engdoc/main.jsp. For information on FWA incumbent licensees see Section 5.2.1.

5.1 Incumbents in the 2300 MHz WCS Band

5.1.1 Fixed Systems

In order to accommodate WCS, all fixed point-to-point system incumbents in bands 2305-2320 MHz and 2345-2360 MHz will be subject to the transition policy outlined in Appendix 3.

All fixed point-to-multipoint system incumbents in the bands 2305-2320 MHz and 2345-2360 MHz licensed and installed in rural areas may continue to operate and grow within their licensed service area. These systems are protected from future WCS systems and are not subject to this transition policy.

5.1.2 Mobile Aeronautical Telemetry Systems (MATS)

The Department made policy provisions in the Revisions to the Spectrum Utilization Policy for Services in the Frequency Range 2285-2483.5 MHz (DGTP-003-01) to allow Mobile Aeronautical Telemetry operations on a secondary basis in the band 2285-2360 MHz in June 2001. The provision stated explicitly:

"Where MATS does not impact the implementation of WCS and other services, it may be authorized to the Department of National Defence, on a secondary basis, on major military bases and vicinities, in the band 2300-2360 MHz. However, if required, the Department of National Defence would have to cease MATS operation upon notification from the Department of Industry. The operation of MATS in the band 2320-2345 MHz is also subject to the conditions of the Canada/U.S. agreement on coordination with U.S. DARS."

A list of Canadian military bases where MATS operate is available at the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf05518.html.

5.2 Incumbents in the 3500 MHz FWA Band

The following outlines how the incumbents in the band 3475-3650 MHz will be treated subsequent to the auction process.

5.2.1 FWA Licensees

Successful participants of the auction process will be required to coordinate with the incumbent FWA licensees, in accordance with the provisions of Spectrum Utilization Policy SP 3400–3700 MHz, Spectrum Policy and Licensing Provisions for Fixed Wireless Access Systems in Rural areas in the Frequency Range 3400–3700 MHz, as well as the technical considerations in Section 5.4 of this document. All FWA systems licensed and installed in rural areas have standard licences and may continue to operate and grow within their licensed spectrum block and service area. These FWA incumbents are protected from future FWA systems and are not subject to the transition policy.

A complete list of FWA incumbent licensees, including approvals in principle, will be posted one month prior to the auction on the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site.

5.2.2 Point-to-Point Systems

When the Department opened the band 3400-3550 MHz under SP 3400–3700 MHz for licensing FWA systems in rural areas on a FCFS 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 Standard Radio Systems Plan (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. Since 1998, several point-to-point systems have been retired from service, and more are planned to be retired by 2004.

In order to accommodate FWA, effective immediately, the Department is imposing a moratorium on the licensing of point-to-point systems in the band 3500-3650 MHz. Existing point-to-point systems in the band 3500-3650 MHz are subject to the transition policy outlined in Appendix 3.

5.2.3 Fixed-Satellite Service

The band 3500-4200 MHz is allocated to the fixed service and fixed-satellite service (FSS) on a co-primary basis. Traditionally, authorization of FSS earth stations for domestic and Canada-U.S. traffic has been in the conventional C-band 3700-4200 MHz. However, some authorizations of earth stations using foreign satellites providing international overseas traffic have included the extended C-band 3500-3700 MHz. These earth stations are limited in number and are located in isolated areas, away from urban centres.

The Department will limit the authorization of new FSS earth stations in the band 3500-3650 MHz to large antenna applications such as gateways located in remote areas outside urban centres. Furthermore, the licensing of any new FSS receive earth stations in the band 3500-3650 MHz will be subject to successful prior coordination with holders of FWA spectrum. On the other hand, 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 FSS receive earth stations located in Weir, PQ (Laurentides) in the band 3500–3700 MHz.

5.2.4 Characterization of Radiolocation Systems

FWA licensees may affect and/or be affected by radiolocation services (radars) operating in parts of the band 3400-3650 MHz in Canada, along the Canada-U.S. border and in Canadian coastal waters. These radiolocation systems include terrestrial, airborne and ship-based systems. In Canada, government radiolocation systems use the band 3400-3500 MHz. Note that Canadian Footnote C15 7 in the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations continues to apply to the band 3450-3500 MHz. Government of Canada radiolocation facilities consist primarily of ship-based radar systems operating near Canada's East and West Coasts. In the United States, the band 3400-3650 MHz is allocated to radiolocation on a primary basis for government use; consequently, there is an additional need to consider emissions in this part of the band along the Canada-U.S. border.

On February 22, 2003, the Department issued Notice DGTP-002-03, Restructuring the Spectrum in the Band 3400-3500 MHz to More Effectively Accommodate Fixed and Radiolocation Services. This Notice announced a rearrangement of spectrum to reduce the potential for interference from high-power radiolocation systems operating in the lower part of the band 3400-3650 MHz. This Notice designated the band 3500-3650 MHz as the new core spectrum for FWA systems in the 3500 MHz band. A moratorium was placed on the licensing of FWA systems in the band 3400-3450 MHz, with existing systems grandfathered, and on the licensing of FWA systems in the band 3450-3500 MHz until that band could be fully characterized.

Since Notice DGTP-002-03 was issued, the Department completed its characterization of the potential for interference in the various parts of the 3500 MHz band. The Department concluded that the potential for interference in the band 3475-3650 MHz is minimal throughout most of Canada (exceptions are detailed below). As a result of this characterization the Department will be licensing the band 3475-3550 MHz paired with the band 3575-3650 MHz, and the band 3550-3575 MHz as a stand alone 25 MHz block, as detailed in Section 4.2.2.

Note that it is not possible to completely rule out the possibility of occasional interference to FWA systems from radiolocation operations. There remains a small potential throughout Canada for such interference to cause a reduction in performance of FWA systems, and in cases of national security, this band may experience increased interference due to radiolocation activities throughout Canada.

Halifax, Dartmouth, Vancouver and Nearby Coastal Areas and Communities Along the Strait of Georgia (Tiers 4-010, 4-152, 4-157 and 4-158)

It should be noted that while the Department is auctioning 3500 MHz spectrum in Halifax, Dartmouth, Vancouver and nearby coastal areas (Tiers 4-010 and 4-152), including those communities that are along the Strait of Georgia (Tiers 4-157 and 4-158), all blocks of spectrum in these areas will be susceptible to an increased potential of interference compared to the rest of Canada. FWA systems may be subject to degraded performance conditions due to occasional radar interference. Consequently, the Department recommends that FWA operators employ interference mitigation measures should they wish to limit their susceptibility to this interference. For example, frequency division duplex (FDD) systems could use the higher duplex frequencies for hub station receive operation or operators could position hub station antennas so as to avoid line-of-sight paths from the Atlantic Ocean or from the Straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca. If these are not possible, then FWA operators shall not provide critical services to customers, such as public security (e.g. 911) and public safety.

Vancouver Island (Tiers 4-154, 4-155 and 4-156)

The potential for interference to FWA systems on Vancouver Island, including the Gulf Islands (Tiers 4-154, 4-155, and 4-156) is of particular concern. Because of this concern, these areas will not be available for licensing through the spectrum auction. These areas may be licensed through the post-auction FCFS licensing process as outlined in Section 9.7.

5.3 Technical Considerations – The WCS Band at 2300 MHz

5.3.1 Access Technology

The Department will not mandate specific access technology and will require only that the technology chosen meets the Standard Radio System Plan 302.3, Technical Requirements for Wireless Communications Services Operating in the Bands 2305-2320 MHz and 2345-2360 MHz (SRSP-302.3), and the Radio Standard Specification 195, Wireless Communication Service (WCS) Equipment Operating in the Bands 2305-2320 MHz and 2345-2360 MHz (RSS-195), which will be made available on the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site.

SRSP-302.3 will provide information on the channelling plan and permissible e.i.r.p. (effective isotropic radiated power). RSS-195 will provide standards for the certification of transmitters and receivers, including out-of-block emission limits. The technical standards are being developed in consultation with the Radio Advisory Board of Canada.

WCS will be licensed under the fixed and mobile services. Deployments may have elements of both services. Licensees may deploy a full range of terminal devices including broadband point-to-point although it is anticipated that WCS will be used predominantly for the provision of one-way and/or two-way, local broadband access services in digital, fixed, point-to-multipoint configurations. Technical restrictions will be placed on the mobile services limiting their applications to low mobility or portable terminals to ensure compatibility with other services operating in adjacent spectrum. Licensees should note the restrictions on emission characteristics specified in RSS-195.

5.3.2 Co-existence and Co-ordination Dealing with WCS and Other Services, Including Potential Satellite Radio Services, in the Adjacent Bands

Frequency coordination may be required between WCS licensees in adjacent service areas. WCS licensees will be encouraged to enter into mutually beneficial arrangements to foster efficient spectrum use near their common boundaries. WCS licensees should develop effective arrangements with neighbouring licensees in order to minimize coordination time and resources.

WCS licensees will be expected to take full advantage of interference mitigation techniques such as antenna discrimination, polarization, frequency offset, shielding, site selection, and power control to facilitate co-existence with systems of other service providers at both design and implementation stages. A frequency coordination process will be described in SRSP-302.3.

Both Canada and the United States use the 2300 MHz band under the terms of an arrangement that provides for coordinated use of this band in the border area. The operation of WCS systems that are within 120 km of the Canada/U.S. border shall comply with both domestic technical sharing criteria and the terms of any sharing arrangement between Industry Canada and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) of the United States. The present arrangement is entitled Interim Arrangement Concerning the Use of the Frequency Bands 2305-2320 MHz and 2345-2360 MHz by Stations in the Wireless Communications Service (WCS) Near the Canada/United States Border. See Terrestrial Radiocommunication Agreements and Arrangements at the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf01238.html. As per the terms of this arrangement, the licensee may be required to furnish all necessary technical data to Industry Canada for international coordination. Generally, WCS stations within 120 km of the Canada/U.S. border in either country will be required to coordinate if they produce a ground level power flux-density exceeding -110 dB (W/m2/MHz). In addition, incumbent Canadian fixed microwave stations within 120 km of the Canada/U.S. border are required to coordinate with U.S. WCS stations if their pfd exceeds -110 dB (W/m2/MHz) at the border and U.S. WCS stations are required to coordinate with them. Note that these incumbent Canadian microwave stations remain subject to the displacement policy described in Appendix 3. Licensees who have questions or concerns regarding the information required for this international coordination agreement may approach an Industry Canada regional office. See Radio Information Circular-66, Addresses and Telephone Numbers of Regional and District Offices, (RIC-66) at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf01742.html for assistance.

It should also be noted that the band 2320-2345 MHz, which is adjacent to the WCS bands at 2305-2320 MHz and 2345-2360 MHz, is used in the U.S. for Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (S-DARS), including S-DARS terrestrial repeater stations.

The designation for WCS in the bands 2305-2320 MHz and 2345-2360 MHz was established in the Revisions to the Spectrum Utilization Policy for Services in the Frequency Range 2285-2483.5 MHz (SP-2285 MHz). In addition, the policy placed a moratorium on the band 2320-2345 MHz and invited potential Canadian broadcasters wishing to establish satellite radio services using the U.S. S-DARS in the band to make their interest known to the Department.

The Department has indicated that it will consider making spectrum available for satellite radio applicants wishing to pursue a broadcasting licence from the CRTC using U.S. S-DARS satellite radio in the band 2320-2345 MHz.

S-DARS terrestrial repeaters will likely be a part of any application to the CRTC to obtain a satellite broadcasting licence in Canada using either the U.S. XM and/or Sirius Radio satellite capacity. These terrestrial repeaters would be used to improve reception of the satellite radio service in a number of urban centers. In view of the potential of satellite radio services being implemented, it is important that applicants bidding for WCS spectrum licences take into account the potential operation of satellite radio terrestrial repeaters in the band 2320-2345 MHz. The diagram below illustrates the U.S. band plan for WCS and S-DARS including the in-band frequencies used for terrestrial repeaters by the U.S. systems.

U.S. band plan for WCS and S-DARS including the in-band frequencies used for terrestrial repeaters by the U.S. systems
[Description of Figure 1]

Canadian WCS licensees are advised to consider employing base station receivers with adequate front-end RF filtering to facilitate compatibility with potential S-DARS terrestrial repeater operation in the adjacent band. Note that any such design constraint on WCS system receivers would be limited to the urban environment where S-DARS terrestrial repeaters would be implemented.

Other measures for WCS transmitters could include the use of linear amplifiers, filters distributed throughout the transmitter, and spectrum shaping signal processing. Potential WCS licensees are advised to carefully study the U.S. regulatory and operational environment with regard to WCS/S-DARS terrestrial repeater implementations. The Department encourages potential WCS licensees and WCS equipment manufacturers to consult to determine the potential measures and constraints for WCS systems operating in urban centres where S-DARS terrestrial repeaters could be deployed under the technical parameters outlined below.

The FCC has established a series of power levels and out-of-band emission limits for services in this spectrum range. In order to allow for a functional service, technical rules including out-of-band emission limits generally similar to those adopted in the U.S. will need to be applied in Canada to both S-DARS and WCS services. Those limits are as follows:

5.3.2.1 Operating Power Levels for WCS and S-DARS Systems

Wireless Communications Service

In a Memorandum Opinion and Order the FCC adopted limits on WCS operating power as follows: WCS fixed and land base stations are restricted to 2,000 W peak e.i.r.p. and WCS mobile stations to 20 W Effective Isotropic Radiated Power (e.i.r.p.). In Canada, the Department will adopt similar limits, and the limits on mobile WCS transmitters will also apply to portable terminals.

S-DARS Terrestrial Repeaters

The U.S. adopted provisional rules for the operation of S-DARS terrestrial repeaters at the following power levels:

  1. low power repeaters are limited to an e.i.r.p. less than or equal to 2 kW; and
  2. high power repeaters are limited to an e.i.r.p. greater than 2 kW and less than or equal to 40 kW.

The Department anticipates that satellite radio service in Canada would require S-DARS terrestrial repeaters to operate with power levels up to 12.5 kW e.i.r.p. (41 dBW e.i.r.p.), but typically at lower power levels. The terrestrial repeater power level will depend on the number of terrestrial repeaters required to provide coverage in the urban areas (e.g. fewer S-DARS terrestrial repeaters will be required when operating at higher power levels). Due to this anticipated environment, potential satellite radio and WCS licensees will be required to exchange information on their system deployments and to cooperate to ensure reasonable placement of their respective stations in urban areas. In the initial stages, as information becomes available on the potential location of the respective systems, the Department will make this information available.

5.3.2.2 Out-of-Band Emission Levels

U.S. Satellite Radio Out-of-Band Emission Levels

In the FCC rules, DARS satellite out-of-band emission levels shall comply with the levels described in Title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations Part 25 Section 202(f) [47 C.F.R. § 25.202(f)]. 8 In Canada, the Department is likely to adopt similar limits.

US S-DARS Terrestrial Repeater Out-of-Band Emission Levels

  1. S-DARS terrestrial repeaters shall comply with 47 C.F.R. § 25.202(f) within the 2320-2332.5 MHz and 2332.5-2345 MHz frequency bands.
  2. Below 2320 MHz and above 2345 MHz, the power of any S-DARS repeater emission shall be attenuated below the peak equivalent isotropically radiated power (Peirp) within the assigned frequency band(s) of operation between 2320 MHz and 2345 MHz, measured in watts, by a factor not less than 75 + 10log (Peirp) dB, where Peirp is measured in watts in 1 MHz bandwidth. This limit is set by FCC in its "Special Temporary Authorities" given to U.S. S-DARS operators.

In Canada, the Department is likely to adopt similar limits.

US WCS Out-of-Band Emission Levels

WCS out-of-band limits are required for co-existence with services in adjacent bands:

  1. Government and other Mobile Aeronautical Telemetry Systems (MATS) above 2360 MHz; and
  2. Satellite radio at 2320-2345 MHz

In the original Order for WCS operations, the FCC adopted an out-of-band emission limit of 70 + 10 log (p) dB for all frequencies below 2300 MHz and on all frequencies above 2370 MHz; and not less than 43 + 10 log (p) dB on all frequencies between 2300 and 2320 MHz and on all frequencies between 2345 and 2370 MHz that are outside the licensed bandwidth of operation.

It was believed that this out-of-band emission limit will help to protect aeronautical telemetry and associated telecommand operations in the 2360-2390 MHz band and launch vehicle frequencies at 2370.5 and 2382.5 MHz. These limits were not modified in the subsequent Memorandum Opinion and Order. The Department believes that these limits will sufficiently protect MATS in the band 2360-2400 MHz and will therefore adopt similar limits.

In the US, all emissions into the 2320-2345 MHz band from fixed WCS transmitters must be attenuated below the transmitter output power ("p") by at least 80 + 10 log (p) dB and all emissions from mobile WCS transmitters must be attenuated below p by at least 110 + 10 log (p) dB. More specific details on these standards are contained in FCC's Part 27 rules and should be referred to by interested WCS applicants. In Canada, the Department will adopt similar limits, and the limits on mobile WCS transmitters will also apply to portable terminals.

The FCC emphasized the risk that with the current state of technology, these rules would severely limit if not preclude most mobile uses particularly wide area high mobility systems such as those provided in the cellular and PCS bands. In designating the spectrum for WCS, the Department envisaged that the WCS services would be used predominantly for the provision of local broadband access applications in fixed service point-to-multipoint configurations, with a limited mobile component.

5.4 Technical Considerations – The FWA Band at 3500 MHz

5.4.1 Access Technology

The Department will not mandate specific access technology and will require only that the technology chosen meets the Standard Radio System Plan 303.4, Technical Requirements for Fixed Wireless Access Systems Operating in the Band 3400–3700 MHz (SRSP-303.4) and the Radio Standard Specification 192, Fixed Wireless Access Systems in the Band 3400–3700 MHz (RSS-192).

SRSP-303.4 provides information on channelling plans and maximum permissible e.i.r.p. (effective isotropic radiated power). RSS-192 provides standards for the certification of transmitters and receivers, including out-of-block emission limits. The technical standards in these documents will be revised to class with the present policy and licensing procedures in consultation with the Radio Advisory Board of Canada. These revised documents will be made available on the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site.

FWA systems are licensed under the fixed service. Licensees may deploy a full range of fixed applications (i.e. point-to-multipoint/point-to-point) in support of fixed wireless access applications, including ancillary portable terminals.

The frequency blocks available for FWA licensing have been symmetrically paired to facilitate frequency division duplex (FDD) systems. Time division duplex (TDD) systems may operate in either block of each pair, or in Block G. Licensees using TDD technology will be required to provide sufficient guard bands, typically one RF channel width at each block edge, to ensure compatibility with licensees operating in adjacent frequency blocks.

5.4.2 Co-Existence and Co-ordination

Frequency coordination may be required between licensees in adjacent service areas (i.e. the same frequency block) or for those who have been licensed for adjacent spectrum in the same service areas (i.e. the adjacent frequency block). Licensees will be encouraged to enter into mutually acceptable arrangements to foster efficient spectrum use in these cases. Licensees are encouraged to develop effective arrangements with licensees in adjacent service areas and the same service areas in order to minimize coordination time and resources. FWA operators planning to establish systems in the vicinity of incumbent FWA systems are required to coordinate these systems with incumbent fixed service operators.

It should be noted that licensees will be expected to take full advantage of interference mitigation techniques such as antenna discrimination, polarization, frequency offset, shielding, site selection, and power control to facilitate co-existence with systems of other service providers at both design and implementation stages. A frequency coordination process will be described in SRSP-303.4. In addition, as noted in Section 5.2.3, FWA operators planning to establish systems in the vicinity of existing FSS earth stations are required to coordinate with the earth station operators; currently there are FSS receive earth stations located in Weir (Laurentides), Quebec.

5.4.3 FWA Equipment Characteristics and Availability

There were limited responses to the questions posed by the consultation paper on the availability and cost effectiveness of FWA equipment for the Canadian market. Some respondents to the consultation paper emphasized the importance of accommodating equipment designed for the European market. However, due to sharing considerations with the radiolocation service, the Department believes it is necessary to adopt a band plan that while consistent with ITU-R Recommendation F.1488, Frequency block arrangements for fixed wireless access systems in the range 3400 - 3800 MHz, does differ from that used in Europe. The Department will address this in its revisions of SRSP-303.4 and RSS-192 in consultation with the Radio Advisory Board of Canada.


Footnotes

7 See Appendix 2 for the definition of footnote C15 in the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations

8 47 C.F.R § 25.202(f):
(f) Emission limitations. The mean power of emissions shall be attnuated below the mean output power of the transmitter in accordance with the following schedule:

  • (1)In any 4 kHz band, the center frequency of which is removed from the assigned frequency by more than 50 percent up to and including 100 percent of the authorized bandwidth: 25 dB;

  • (2)In any 4 kHz band, the center frequency of which is removed from the assigned frequency by more than 100 percent up to and including 250 percent of the authorized bandwidth: 35 dB;

  • (3)In any 4 kHz band, the center frequency of which is removed from the assigned frequency by more than 250 percent of the authorized bandwidth: An amount equal to 43 dB plus 10 times the logarithm (to the base 10) of the transmitter power in watts;

  • (4)In any event, when an emission outside of the authorized bandwidth causes harmful interference, the Commisiion may, at its discretion, require greater attenuation than specified in paragraphs (f) (1), (2) and (3) of this section.


Descriptions of Figures

U.S. band plan for WCS and S-DARS including the in-band frequencies used for terrestrial repeaters by the U.S. systems

U.S. band plan for WCS and S-DARS including the in-band frequencies used for terrestrial repeaters by the U.S. systems
Frequency range Type of Services
2305 – 2320 MHz Wireless Communication Services (WCS)
2320 – 2332.5 MHz Sirius Radio
3 Highly Elliptical Orbit (HEO) Satellites
2332.5 – 2345 MHz XM Radio
2 Geo-Stationary Earth Orbit (GSO) Satellites
2345 – 2360 MHz Wireless Communication Services (WCS)
2360 – 2400 MHz Mobile Aeronautical telemetry (MATS)

Terrestrial Repeaters
Frequency range Type of Services
2324.3 – 2328.3 MHz Sirius Radio (4 MHz)
2336.2 – 2341.3 MHz XM Radio (5.06 MHz)

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