SP 23/38 GHz — Spectrum Policy and Licensing Considerations, Fixed Radio Systems in the 23 GHz and 38 GHz Frequency Bands

4.3 The use of the new bands 21.2-21.6 GHz and 22.4-22.8 GHz by the fixed service:

4.3.1 The paired bands 21.2-21.6 and 22.4-22.8 GHz are designated for multipoint communication systems (MCS).

4.3.2 The permitted transmission capacity, as defined in SP 1–20 GHz, is low, medium and high capacity. (See Annex A)

4.3.3 The spectrum is assigned on a paired block basis, as follows:

Spectrum assigned on a paired block basis
Block Frequency Band Frequency Band
Block A/A' 21 200 - 21 250 MHz 22 400 - 22 450 MHz
Block B/B' 21 250 - 21 300 MHz 22 450 - 22 500 MHz
Block C/C' 21 300 - 21 350 MHz 22 500 - 22 550 MHz
Block D/D' 21 350 - 21 400 MHz 22 550 - 22 600 MHz
Block E/E' 21 400 - 21 450 MHz 22 600 - 22 650 MHz
Block F/F' 21 450 - 21 500 MHz 22 650 - 22 700 MHz
Block G/G' 21 500 - 21 550 MHz 22 700 - 22 750 MHz
Block H/H' 21 550 - 21 600 MHz 22 750 - 22 800 MHz

4.3.4 Paired frequency blocks are assigned within a geographical area and any paired block will be assigned only once in a given area.

4.3.5 The paired frequency blocks will be assigned according to the size of the service area. Operators requiring large service areas, employing multiple hub sites, covering a metropolitan area, will be assigned the lowest available block pair. Conversely, where a small service area is required, employing only a few hub sites, the highest available block pair will be assigned. In this case, every effort will be made to re-use the highest block pairs in metropolitan areas. To ensure that the spectrum is used efficiently, the Department will give assignment preference to applicants requiring large service areas.

4.3.6 Licensees are permitted to use any channelling arrangement within the assigned block(s) of spectrum.

4.3.7 Licensees are limited to one (1) paired block in a given area. A second paired block may be granted to a licensee on a case by case basis.

4.3.8 Asymmetrical forward/return transmission rates are permitted provided that either the forward or return direction does not exceed 50% of the assigned spectrum. For example, for a single block pair an operator may not exceed 50 MHz in the forward direction.

4.3.9 Point-to-point fixed service links are also permitted on a limited basis in these bands. Such use should be complementary or incidental to the deployment of multipoint systems. Point-to-point links in a hub configuration are also permitted.

4.3.10 The Geographical Differences Policy, as outlined in SP 1-20 GHz, does not apply.

5. Spectrum Utilization Policy for the 38 GHz Frequency Band

Industry Canada is of the view that sufficient spectrum must be designated in the band 36-40.5 GHz to support a wide range of applications for a diversity of fixed service systems. Accordingly, 1600 MHz is made available for fixed systems in the band 38.4-40.0 GHz and the balance is being held in reserve until demand warrants the use of this spectrum. The band 38.6-40 GHz is designated for point-to-point fixed systems and the spectrum will be assigned on a paired block basis to provide deployment and equipment flexibility. Each paired block will be assigned on an exclusive basis in a given area. In addition, radio systems may be structured in a variety of ways including single and multiple hops, and hub site configurations. In order to ensure spectrum is available to a number of licensees, Industry Canada will limit the number of paired blocks assigned to each licensee in any given area.

The band 38.4-38.6 GHz is designated for one-way, point-to-point and multipoint systems. Similar to the 38.6-40 GHz band, it will be assigned by frequency blocks over a given area. Operating experience in other frequency bands has indicated that including one-way systems in paired spectrum designated for two-way systems does not always result in efficient use of spectrum.

The specific spectrum utilization policy provisions are as follows:

5.1 A full description of the relationship between bands and services, as contained in related international and domestic footnotes, can be found in the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations.

5.2 The use of the new bands 38.6-39.3 GHz and 39.3-40.0 GHz by the fixed service:

5.2.1 These bands are designated for point-to-point microwave systems.

5.2.2 The permitted transmission capacity, as defined in SP 1-20 GHz, is low, medium and high capacity. (See Annex A)

5.2.3 The spectrum is assigned on a paired block basis as follows:

Spectrum assigned on a paired block basis
Block Frequency Band Frequency Band
Block A/A' 38 600 - 38 650 MHz 39 300 - 39 350 MHz
Block B/B' 38 650 - 38 700 MHz 39 350 - 39 400 MHz
Block C/C' 38 700 - 37 750 MHz 39 400 - 39 450 MHz
Block D/D' 38 750 - 38 800 MHz 39 450 - 39 500 MHz
Block E/E' 38 800 - 38 850 MHz 39 500 - 39 550 MHz
Block F/F' 38 850 - 38 900 MHz 39 550 - 39 600 MHz
Block G/G' 38 900 - 38 950 MHz 39 600 - 39 650 MHz
Block H/H' 38 950 - 39 000 MHz 39 650 - 39 700 MHz
Block I/I' 39 000 - 39 050 MHz 39 700 - 39 750 MHz
Block J/J' 39 050 - 39 100 MHz 39 750 - 39 800 MHz
Block K/K' 39 100 - 39 150 MHz 39 800 - 39 850 MHz
Block L/L' 39 150 - 39 200 MHz 39 850 - 39 900 MHz
Block M/M' 39 200 - 39 250 MHz 39 900 - 39 950 MHz
Block N/N' 39 250 - 39 300 MHz 39 950 - 40 000 MHz

5.2.4 Paired frequency blocks are assigned within a geographical area and any paired block will be assigned only once in a given area.

5.2.5 The paired frequency blocks will be assigned according to the size of the service area. Operators requiring a large service area, such as a metropolitan area, will be assigned the lowest available block pair. In the case where the area to be served is relatively small compared to the metropolitan area the highest available block pair will be assigned. In this case, every effort will be made to re-use the highest block pairs amongst several users within a metropolitan area. To ensure that the spectrum is used efficiently, the Department will give assignment preference to applicants requiring large service areas.

5.2.6 Licensees are permitted to use any channelling arrangement within the assigned block(s) of spectrum.

5.2.7 Aggregation of paired spectrum blocks is permitted, however, licensees are limited to a maximum of two (2) paired blocks in any given area.

5.2.8 One way systems are not permitted.

5.2.9 Radio systems using analogue transmission are not permitted in these bands.

5.2.10 The Geographical Differences Policy, as outlined in SP 1-20 GHz, does not apply.

5.3 The use of the new band 38.4-38.6 GHz by the fixed service.

5.3.1 The frequency band 38.4-38.6 GHz is designated for one-way, point-to-point and one-way, multipoint communication systems (MCS).

5.3.2 The permitted transmission capacity, as defined in SP 1-20 GHz, is low and medium capacity. (See Annex A)

5.3.3 The spectrum is assigned on a block basis as follows:

Spectrum assigned on a paired block basis
Block Frequency Band
Block A 38 400 - 38 450 MHz
Block B 38 450 - 38 500 MHz
Block C 38 500 - 38 550 MHz
Block D 38 550 - 38 600 MHz

5.3.4 Frequency blocks are assigned within a geographical area and any block will be assigned only once in a given area.

5.3.5 The frequency blocks will be assigned according to the size of the service area. Operators requiring a large service area, such as a metropolitan area, will be assigned the lowest available block. In the case where the area to be served is relatively small compared to the metropolitan area the highest available block will be assigned. In this case, every effort will be made to re-use the highest frequency blocks amongst several users within a metropolitan area. To ensure that the spectrum is used efficiently, the Department will give assignment preference to applicants requiring large service areas.

5.3.6 Licensees are permitted to use any channelling arrangement within the assigned block(s) of spectrum.

5.3.7 Licensees are limited to one (1) block in a given area. A second block may be granted to a licensee on a case by case basis.

5.3.8 Radio systems using analogue transmission are not permitted in these bands.

5.3.9 The Geographical Differences Policy, as outlined in SP 1-20 GHz, does not apply.

5.4 The use of the 36.0-38.4 GHz and 40-40.5 GHz bands by the fixed service.

5.4.1 With regards to fixed and mobile service applications, this spectrum is held in reserve.

5.4.2 No fixed service licences will be permitted, unless they are of an experimental nature.

5.4.3 The Department will consider opening these bands for fixed service applications when it is evident that sufficient demand exists for point-to-point or other types of fixed systems in this frequency range.

6. Licensing Considerations

6.1 General

Radio licensing of local fixed systems in the 23 GHz and 38 GHz bands shall be in accordance to the Radio Licensing Policy for Limited Area Radio Systems (DGTP-003-95). This policy applies equally to site licensing and non-site specific licensing of point-to-point and multipoint systems.

Non-paired and paired frequency blocks will be assigned to applicants on a first come, first served basis and in accordance with the conditions outlined in the spectrum policy sections of this document.

In certain areas, if it becomes evident that the spectrum available for authorization is not sufficient to meet the demand, the Department may proceed with a competitive bidding1 process to award licences for the remaining blocks.

In order to fix a spectrum licence fee, the Minister wishes to consult with interested parties. During the consultation period, applicants who wish to provide service may apply to the Department for a radio authorization. This authorization will be valid only until the final licensing procedure comes into effect. The conditions and procedures associated with a radio authorization in the 23 GHz and 38 GHz bands are outlined in section 6.5.

6.2 Eligibility

Applicants intending to provide common carrier services must comply with the Canadian carrier eligibility criteria as set out in section 16 of the Telecommunications Act and in the Canadian Telecommunications Carrier Ownership and Control Regulations. Further, all applicants must comply with the eligibility requirements contained in Section 5 of the General Radio Regulations Part I.

6.3 Service Areas

Industry Canada proposes to issue spectrum licences for non-paired and paired blocks of spectrum for a given service area. Assignments will not be subject to site-by-site authorization.

As a first step, Industry Canada proposes to license service providers to offer service over large areas such as the 66 geographic areas identified as the LMCS service areas. These areas are those defined in the Local Multipoint Communications Systems (LMCS) in the 28 GHz range: Policy, Authorization Procedures and Evaluation Criteria document. A list of the areas can be found in Annex B and graphic representations can be found in Annex C.

The Department recognizes that licensees may see advantages to being licensed for service areas that are different from the LMCS geographic areas. Once the issues outlined in Section 7, technical considerations, are addressed the Department will be in a position to examine the possibility of having users play a greater role in defining service areas for which they wish to be licensed. The Department is interested in receiving comments as to the most appropriate definition of service areas. Also comments are invited on the best approach of incorporating suggestions for service area definition in the area licensing concept.

1 Further licensing considerations can be found in Gazette Notice DGRB-001-96, entitled Review of the Comparative Selection and Radio Licensing Process - Findings.


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