SP 3400-3700 MHz — Spectrum Policy and Licensing Provisions For Fixed Wireless Access Systems in Rural Areas in the Frequency Range 3400–3700 MHz

Nova Scotia — Maritime Tel. & Tel. Limited

Operators of FWA systems may serve customers in band 'C' exchange areas. Refer to the response to the CRTC Interrogatories Maritime Tel. & Tel. (CRTC) 14 July 1997 1510 (PCII) for a detailed description of the tariff bands. For information, the tariff bands are shown below. A limited number of customers in certain band 'B' exchange areas may also be served by an FWA operator. Permission to serve such customers in band 'B' areas will be granted on a case-by-case basis, where such service continues to be in a rural area, there are clearly demonstrated benefits to these customers, and the coverage is incidental to coverage of a band 'C' areas.

Band A: Halifax
Band B: Amherst, Bridgewater, Glace Bay, Kentville, New Glasgow, Sackville, Sydney, Truro, Yarmouth
Band C: all other exchanges

Ontario and Québec — Bell Canada

Operators of FWA systems may serve customers in band 'D1/D2a-2c' exchange areas. Refer to the CRTC General Tariff Item 60 - Bell Canada for detailed description of the tariff bands. For information, the tariff bands are shown below. A limited number of customers in certain band 'C1, C2a, C2b' exchange areas may be served by a FWA operator. Permission to serve such customers in band 'C1, C2a, C2b' areas will be granted on a case-by-case basis, where such service continues to be in a rural area, there are clearly demonstrated benefits to these customers, and the coverage is incidental to coverage of a band 'D1/D2a-2c' area.

Band A: Montreal (A/B2), Toronto (A/B2)
Band B1: Boucherville, Chomedey, Hamilton, Kitchener-Waterloo, Lachine, Laprairie, London, Longueuil, Ottawa, Pointe-Claire, Pont-Viau, Quebec, Roxboro, St-Bruno, St-Constant, Ste-Genevieve, Ste-Julie-de-Vercheres, St-Lambert, Ste-Rose, St-Vincent-de-Paul, Terrebonne
Band B2: Castlemore, Cooksville, Laval-Est, Laval-Ouest, Le Gardeur, Malton, Markham, Mirabel-Aeroport, Port Credit, St-Eustache, Ste-Therese, South Pickering, Thornhill, Unionville, Woodbridge,
Band C1: Alma, Aylmer, Barrie, Belleville, Bowmanville, Brantford, Brockville, Buckingham, Burlington, Chambly, Charny, Chateauguay, Chatham, Chicoutimi, Cobourg, Collingwood, Cornwall, Deauville, Drummondville, Dundas, Galt, Gatineau, Georgetown, Granby, Grandmere, Guelph, Jockvale, Joliette, Jonquiere, Kanata-Stittsville, Kingston, Levis, Lindsay, Loretteville, Magog, Midland, Milton, Newmarket, Niagara Falls, Niagara-on-the-Lake, North Bay, Notre-Dames-Des-Laurentides, Orillia, Orleans, Oshawa, Owen Sound, Pembroke, Peterborough, Port Colborne, Preston, Riviere-du-Loup, St-Catharines-Thorold, St-Hyacinthe, St-Jerome, St-Nicolas, St. Thomas, Sarnia, Sault Ste. Marie, Shawinigan, Sherbrooke, Simcoe, Smiths Falls, Sorel, Stoney Creek, Stratford, Sudbury, Tecumseh, Thetford Mines, Tillsonburg, Trenton, Trois-Rivieres, Valleyfield, Varennes, Victoriaville, Welland, Whitby, Windsor, Woodstock
Band C2a: Beloeil, Ile-Perrot, L'Epiphanie-L'assomption, Mascouche, Richmond Hill, St-Jean, Vaudreuil
Band C2b: Ajax-Pickering, Aurora, Brampton, Clarkson, Oakville, Streetsville,
Band D1/D2a-2c: all other exchanges

Quebec (Eastern) — Quebec-Telephone

Operators of FWA systems may serve customers in all exchange areas except Rimouski.

Prince Edward Island — Island Telecom Inc.

Operators of FWA systems may serve customers in all areas except Charlottetown. Refer to the response to the CRTC Interrogatories Island Telecom Inc. ITU (CRTC)14 July 1997 1510 (PCII) for detailed description of the tariff bands. For information, the tariff bands are shown below.

Band A: Charlottetown
Band B: Summerside
Band C: all other exchanges

Saskatchewan — Saskatchewan Telecommunications

Operators of FWA systems may serve customers in all exchange areas except Regina, Saskatoon, Moosejaw, and Prince Albert.

Yukon and North West Terroritories — Northwestel Inc.

Operators of FWA systems may serve customers in all exchange areas.

Annex 2 — CRTC Decisions and Proceedings of Interest to Rural Areas

1. Contribution and Portable Subsidy Mechanisms

In Decision 97-8, Local Competition, of May 1, 1997, the CRTC determined that a contribution mechanism is necessary to ensure that basic residential rates in high cost/low revenue areas continue to remain affordable while minimizing distortion of the competitive market. Contribution refers to the flow of revenue from services priced above costs to services priced below cost such as basic local residential services. The Commission opted for an explicit and portable contribution mechanism based on contributions from long distance service revenue. The interexchange contribution rate will be frozen at 2 cents (per minute per end) for the duration of the price cap regime of four years beginning January 1, 1998. This is to ensure stability of the contribution mechanism and to minimize distortion of the competitive local market. Contribution levels were determined in a subsequent decision (CRTC Decision 97-18). All providers of long distance toll services (including toll traffic carried between wireless and wireline stations, and long distance voice and data network services) are obliged to contribute towards the fund. The Commission further concluded that the Residential Subsidy Requirement (RSR) will be calculated based on incumbent carriers' costs and revenues by rate band (A, B, C, D) as: residential exchange costs (Phase II plus 25%), plus residential optional local costs (Phase II plus 25%) minus approved local rates. Decision 97-8 also sets out a number of obligations applying to local exchange carriers including certain requirements to provide essential services at unbundled rates.

2. Service in High Cost Areas (CRTC Public Notice 97-42)

In Decision 97-8, the CRTC noted that the advent of competition in all telecommunications markets raises the issue of appropriate regulatory approach to ensure the "continued achievement" of the policy objective of reliable and affordable telecommunications services accessible to all Canadians in all regions of Canada. In a previous decision, CRTC 96-10, Local Service Pricing Options, the Commission stated its intention to consider issues related to the provision of service to unserved areas and the upgrading of existing service to under served areas. In December, 1997, the CRTC initiated a public proceeding (PN 97-42) to "explore the best possible means of ensuring high quality telephone service in those areas where competition may not provide an appropriate solution". The Commission is seeking comments among other things on: the criteria and mechanism for extending and upgrading service to high cost service areas in a competitive environment; whether high cost service areas should be subsidized and if so, what would be the appropriate funding mechanism; which services and facilities to be funded from a high-cost service fund; the appropriate sources of funding for any funding mechanism that may be established; and eligibility and mechanism for receiving funding and whether there should be any limits on funding. The proceeding will take approximately 12 months with regional hearings held in various locations across Canada.

Revision to SP 1-20 GHz July 1998

Annex 3 — Spectrum and Licensing Policy Provisions for the Band 3400–4200 MHz


* 3700–4200 MHz is paired with 5925–6425 MHz

  • 1.0 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.
  • 2.0 Fixed Service Use:
    3400–3700 MHz Multipoint Communication Systems
    3700–4200 MHz Point-to-Point Systems2 (High Capacity)
  • 3.0 The fixed service is allocated on a co-primary basis with Radiolocation in the band 3400–3500 MHz. Usage of the fixed service allocation is subject to the domestic footnote C151 of the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations.
  • 4.0 Point-to-Point Systems in the Band 3500–4200 MHz
    • 4.1 New point-to-point systems will not be authorized to use assignments in the band 3500–3700 MHz.
    • 4.2. Existing point-to-point systems may continue to use assignments in the band 3500–3700 MHz provided the technical characteristics are 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 will be considered by the Department on a case-by-case basis outside of urban centres.
    • 4.3 New point-to-point systems in the band 3700–4200 MHz must justify a traffic growth to at least 9 DS-3. The inequality in the number of go and return channels shall not exceed 25% of the total number of go and return channels.
    • 4.4 Existing analog transmissions carrying video traffic may continue to operate until this traffic is converted to digital.
    • 4.5 The band 3700–4200 MHz is shared with receiving earth stations in the fixed-satellite service, including a large number of licence-exempt Television Receive Only (TVRO) stations.
  • 5.0 Multipoint Communication Systems (MCS) in the Band 3400–3700 MHz
    • 5.1 Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) Systems in Rural Areas
      • 5.1.1 The use of this band by multipoint communication systems is primarily limited to Fixed Wireless Access3 (FWA) applications.
      • 5.1.2 FWA systems will be licensed on a first-come, first-served basis. Industry Canada will issue a spectrum licence to authorize the use of frequency assignments in a spectrum block(s) within a defined geographical FWA service area that will be brought into service within a period not greater than six months from receipt of an approval-in-principle/licence. In addition, requests for wide area authorization, for example, large regions of a province, will not be considered for licensing.
      • 5.1.3 FWA licence applicants must coordinate their frequency requirements with existing FWA systems, existing point-to-point systems and licensed stations in the fixed-satellite and radiolocation services.
      • 5.1.4 For the purposes of this policy, and for opening the band 3400–3550 MHz for FWA systems, rural service areas are defined as those areas having low telecommunication density (teledensity). Typically these areas are high cost service areas due to extensive wireline facilities required to serve relatively few customers. Presently, the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication CRTC is in the process of defining tariff bands which would apply in the various teledensity areas, including low teledensity areas, throughout Canada. Industry Canada will initially focus the licensing of FWA systems in high cost, low teledensity areas. As an interim measure, for the purposes of defining rural areas for licensing FWA systems in the band 3400- 550 MHz, the Department will use the CRTC service areas being developed as part of the General Tariffs4 for local telephone exchanges defined as low teledensity and high-cost provisioning. Annex 1 provides details on the local telephone exchanges or locations where FWA operators may initially offer service to rural subscribers. The local telephone exchanges in Annex 1 are to be used as a guide and the Department will consider applications for FWA service in other local telephone areas and small communities of less than 4000 households where there is clear evidence that the consumers could clearly benefit from improved or new telecommunication services. In addition, it should be noted that the operation of FWA systems offering public correspondence service will be required to comply with the telecommunication regulatory requirements (e.g. CRTC, provincial authority).
      • 5.1.5 Service providers may use FWA systems for telephony services such as voice and data. Other types of services, such as video, requiring greater bandwidth are not generally permitted.
      • 5.1.6 The Department will use the frequency band plan shown below, as an interim measure, for licensing FWA systems in rural areas. This band plan may be modified as deemed necessary by the Department due to introduction of new FWA technology or services. Such changes would be done after full consultation with FWA service providers and manufacturers.

        Block A 3400–3425 MHz
        Block B 3425–3450 MHz
        Block C 3450–3475 MHz
        Block D 3475–3500 MHz
        Block E 3500–3525 MHz
        Block F 3525–3550 MHz
      • 5.1.7 The above frequency blocks may be assigned individually or as paired blocks to provide two-way services. FWA operators may select paired, or single frequency blocks in accordance with the requirements of the equipment noting that frequency coordination with other users may have an impact on the availability of any particular block. FWA applicants should consult with the appropriate Regional Office of Industry Canada for information on frequency block availability.
      • 5.1.8 The channel block arrangement plan will support a variety of transmit/receive frequency spacings and guard band requirements. To ensure service provision opportunities for a number of operators, the Department will limit any service provider, including affiliates, to one paired block, or a single spectrum block, depending on the requirements of the technology. Initially, it is anticipated that a limited number of technologies may be available and some demand for early deployment of certain technology may be concentrated in one or two frequency blocks. For this reason, spectrum blocks will be assigned on a shared basis in rural areas. Operators will be assigned to specific channels within a 25 MHz block, or paired blocks, with the objective to ensure implementation opportunities for two to three users. Although the spectrum blocks may be assigned on a shared basis, individual channels within the blocks will be assigned only once in a given area. At the request of a service provider, this sharing requirement may be reviewed, at some point in the future, by Industry Canada. In these cases, the Department may award more spectrum in the 25 MHz block(s) to the incumbent operator, in certain service areas, if specific conditions exist such as a demonstrated need for the additional spectrum and equipment is readily available in other spectrum blocks for additional operators.
    • 5.2 Future Licensing Considerations of FWA Systems in Urban Areas
      • 5.2.1 The licensing of FWA systems in the band 3400–3700 MHz in urban areas is deferred until equipment is more readily available in the full 300 MHz of spectrum and service applications are better defined in order to accommodate a range of service providers and innovative services. Also, licensing of urban FWA systems in urban areas will likely be subject to a competitive process as the demand is likely to exceed the available spectrum. It should be noted that further public consultation may be required before FWA systems are licensed in urban areas.
    • 5.3 The band 3300–3500 MHz is also allocated to amateur service on secondary basis. It should be noted that the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations was amended in 1997. Included in the changes was a new primary allocation for the fixed service in the band 3400–3500 MHz. Consequently, operators of amateur systems will continue to have access to this band on a secondary basis. Operators of amateur stations will be required to protect FWA systems and other primary services from interference and operate on a no protection basis. Radio amateurs are encouraged to consult the Department for information on FWA system implementation.
  • 6.0 Emissions from radars operating below 3500 MHz may cause interference to fixed service in the lower parts of the band 3400–3700 MHz in some coastal and border areas. The band 3300–3500 MHz is allocated to radiolocation on primary basis, limited in Canada to government use. In the United States, the band 3300–3700 MHz is allocated to radiolocation on a primary basis for government use. Consequently, FWA systems will need to coordinate with the U.S. in certain coastal areas due to the operation of ship-borne radars. As well, there are some operations of airborne radar in the band. Upon request, the Department will provide advice to applicants, based on available information, as to the potential of interference to proposed FWA systems from radars operating in Canada and the United States.

1 C15 (CAN 97) In the band 3400-3500 MHz, in certain regions of Canada the radiolocation 1 service has priority over the fixed service. Consequently, the deployment of fixed systems will be subject to successful coordination with radar facilities operated by the Government of Canada.

2 Point-to-point systems are permitted on a case-by-case basis in the band 3500-3700 MHz. See Section 4 of this Annex.

3 Fixed Wireless Access generally refers to the use of radio to provide access to a public telecommunications network for telephone and/or data services serving residential and business communities. These systems may also provide for private networks.

4 Under the CRTC General Tariff: Bell Canada, Item 60; Manitoba Telecom Services Inc, Item 460; BC TEL, Item 30, NewTel Communications Inc, Item 50. Response to CRTC Interrogatories: TELUS Communication Inc., TCI (CRTC) 14 July 97 1510; The New Brunswick Telephone Company Limited, Maritime Tel. & Tel. Limited, Island Telecom Inc, ITC MTT NB Telephone (CRTC) 14 July 97 1510 (PC II).


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