Consultation Paper on Low-power Licensed Radiocommunication Devices, Including Wireless Microphones, in the Band 698-806 MHz

Comments Received on Gazette Notice No. DGTP-011-09

September 2009
Spectrum Management and Telecommunications

Contents

  1. Intent
  2. Background
  3. Use of the Band 698-806 MHz by Low-power Licensed Radiocommunication Devices, Including Wireless Microphones
  4. Applicable Radio Standard Specifications and Client Procedures Circulars

1. Intent

As announced in Canada Gazette Notice DGTP-011-09, Industry Canada is releasing this consultation paper to seek comments on proposed changes to the use, standards, certification and licensing for the operation of low-power licensed radiocommunication devices, including wireless microphones, in the band 698-806 MHz.

Comments are requested concerning these proposed changes.

2. Background

Currently, the operation of low-power devices the band 698-806 MHz is subject to licensing on a no-protection, no-interference basis in accordance with Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-1-11, Low-power Licensed Radiocommunication Devices, and Radio Standard Specification RSS-123, Low-power Licensed Radiocommunication Devices.

Existing holders of licences for the operation of low-power radiocommunication devices may be required to move their operation to other channels or cease operation in the event of interference to other radiocommunication services.

The band 698-806 MHz has been allocated to the broadcasting service for some time, and frequencies for wireless microphones have been selected to ensure that they do not interfere with the reception of broadcasting signals that are available in the immediate area.

In 2004, the band 746-806 MHz was allocated to the mobile service on a co-primary basis with the broadcasting service (SP-746 MHz).Footnote 1 Furthermore, the bands 764-776 MHz and 794-806 MHz were designated for public safety in spectrum utilization policies SP-746 MHz and SP-768 MHz.Footnote 2

Given the nature of public safety operation and its stringent requirements for protection from harmful interference, as well as the potential for future operation of mobile service in the band 698-806 MHz, Industry Canada is seeking public comments on the continued use of the band by low-power licensed radiocommunication devices.

3. Use of the Band 698-806 MHz by Low-power Licensed Radiocommunication Devices, Including Wireless Microphones

As indicated above, the band 746-806 MHz has been allocated to the mobile service through SP-746 MHz, which was released in 2004. The bands 764-776 MHz and 794-806 MHz have been designated for public safety in spectrum utilization policies SP-746 MHz and SP-768 MHz, published in October 2004 and July 2009. Industry Canada intends to carry out separate public consultations on the use of the bands 698-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz.

In the United States, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), through a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking adopted on August 15, 2008,Footnote 3 among other provisions, tentatively concluded to amend its rules to make clear that the operation of low-power auxiliary stations (including wireless microphones and other low-power devices) within the band 698-806 MHz will no longer be permitted after the end of the U.S. DTV transition because such operations could cause harmful interference to new public safety and commercial wireless services in the band. The FCC has also tentatively concluded to prohibit the manufacture, import, sale, offer for sale, or shipment of devices that operate as low-power auxiliary stations in these bands. An immediate freeze has also been imposed on the filing of new licence applications. In addition, a freeze on granting equipment authorization for these devices in the band 698-806 MHz band is currently in effect.

Decision:

During the period of this consultation and until a decision is made by Industry Canada, the Department will not certify low-power radiocommunication devices that operate in the band 698-806 MHz or issue new licences for their use in this band.

Proposals:

1. Given the above activities and potential interference to and from other services in these bands, as well as the nature of public safety operation and its stringent requirements for protection from harmful interference, Industry Canada proposes that no new licences for the operation of low-power radiocommunication devices, including wireless microphones, be issued in the band 698-806 MHz.

2. It is further proposed that existing licensees be permitted to continue to operate low-power radiocommunication devices until March 31, 2011, provided that their operation does not create harmful interference to public safety systems operating in the bands 764-776 MHz and 794-806 MHz.

Comments are sought on these proposals.

4. Applicable Radio Standard Specifications and Client Procedures Circulars

As stated above, the use of the band 698-806 MHz by low-power radiocommunication devices is subject to licensing on a no-protection, no-interference basis in accordance with CPC-2-1-11 and RSS-123. If the proposals outlined in Section 3 are adopted, CPC-2-1-11 and RSS-123 will be modified accordingly.

Proposals:

3. It is proposed that no new certification of low-power radiocommunication devices be issued in the band 698-806 MHz.

4. In addition, Industry Canada proposes to amend the standards contained in RSS-123 and CPC-2-1-11 such that low-power radiocommunication devices will no longer comply with the standards if these devices operate in the band 698-806 MHz. If the standards are changed in this manner, then Industry Canada would prohibit the manufacture, importing, distributing, leasing, offering for sale or selling of any equipment (even equipment that is certified and meets the existing standards) that does not comply with the proposed standards.

Comments are sought on these proposals.

September 2, 2009

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Pamela Miller
Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch

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Marc Dupuis
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch

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Michael D. Connolly
Director General
Spectrum Management Operations Branch


Footnotes

  1. back to footnote reference 1 Notice No. DGTP-002-04 – Mobile Service Allocation Decision and Designation of Spectrum for Public Safety in the Frequency Band 746-806 MHz (SP-746 MHz)
  2. back to footnote reference 2 Notice No. DGTP-007-09 – Narrowband and Wideband Public Safety Radiocommunication Systems in the Bands 768-776 MHz and 798-806 MHz (SP-768 MHz)
  3. back to footnote reference 3 http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-08-188A1.pdf
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