SP 1-3 GHz — Amendments to the Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the 1-3 GHz Frequency Range

October 1999

Table of Contents

  1. Intent
  2. Narrowband Multipoint Communication Systems in the Bands
  3. Fixed Services in the Band 1700-1990 MHz
  4. Modified Fixed Services Bands 2025-2110 and 2200-2285 MHz
  5. Spectrum Transition Policy to Facilitate the Introduction of the Mobile Satellite Service in the Bands 1990-2025 MHz and 2160-2200 MHz
  6. Implementation

Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Policy
Spectrum Utilization Policies

Amended by:

1.0 Intent

In August 1997, Industry Canada initiated a comprehensive spectrum policy review proposing new opportunities for radio spectrum use in the 1-20 GHz frequency range. This was based on the considerable interest in the introduction of various services such as fixed wireless access systems, multipoint communication systems, and licence-exempt voice and data equipment. Canada Gazette Notice DGTP-006-97, entitled Proposals to Provide New Opportunities for the Use of the Radio Spectrum in the 1-20 GHz Frequency Range, put forth a number of new spectrum policy proposals.

In response to this consultation paper, the Department has received a wide range of submissions relating to the 1-3 GHz frequency range, which were reviewed and used in the formulation of the spectrum policy utilization decisions made in this policy paper.

In August 1998, Industry Canada announced a spectrum policy entitled Spectrum Policy and Licensing Provisions for Fixed Wireless Access Systems in Rural Areas in the Frequency Range 3400-3700 MHz via Canada Gazette Notice DGTP-013-98. This utilization policy, as well as the modifications found in this document, supersede the utilization policy provisions for each of the respective bands contained in Revisions to Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1-20 GHz, released by Gazette Notice DGTP-002-95.

The intent of this policy, which was announced in Canada Gazette Notice DGTP-06-99 in October 1999, is to provide spectrum utilization changes in the 1-3 GHz frequency range, which include:

  • spectrum for narrowband multipoint communication systems at 1.4 GHz for fixed telemetry applications for automatic meter reading;
  • a transition policy to facilitate the introduction of mobile satellite services in the bands 1990-2025 MHz and 2160-2200 MHz;
  • changes to the spectrum for fixed services in the bands 2025-2110 MHz and 2200-2285 MHz for point-to-point, TV-pickup and subscriber radio systems; and
  • clarification of fixed services in the band 1700-1850 MHz.

2.0 Narrowband Multipoint Communication Systems in the Bands 1427-1452 MHz and 1492-1517 MHz

2.1 Discussion

In the spectrum review under Notice DGTP-006-97, the Department proposed to designate a modest amount of spectrum in the band 1.4 GHz for narrowband multipoint communication systems (N-MCS), focused on fixed telemetry applications to accommodate such services as automatic meter reading (AMR).

The results from the consultation were favourable, and comments indicated that allowing automatic meter reading in this band would facilitate:

  • increased competition in an open market environment for electric power distribution;
  • heightened focus on developing, marketing and selling energy-related products and services; and
  • greater customer value, choice, flexibility and service.

Some existing fixed users had concerns over the introduction of telemetry systems in the band 1.4 GHz. It was recommended through the comments received that N-MCS for AMR should have priority over new subscriber radio systems (SRS) in this spectrum within urban areas and their vicinities, and that SRS systems should have priority over N-MCS outside of urban areas. It was also proposed that co-ordination be carried out for new SRS and N-MCS systems where SRS base stations are located within 70 km of any of the largest urban area boundaries.

2.2 Spectrum Designation

Taking into account industry's interest in deploying wireless meter reading services and the increasing competition in the provision of energy distribution services, the Department believes that it is in the public interest to open some spectrum at 1.4 GHz. The Department is fully aware that a number of technologies using both wireline and wireless facilities may be deployed to accommodate automatic meter reading. In terms of wireless facilities, radio facilities for mobile data communication, digital mobile and PCS networks, or licence exempt facilities may prove to be economical solutions.

Against this backdrop, Industry Canada is designating 6 MHz in the sub-bands 1427-1430 MHz and 1493.5-1496.5 MHz, which could facilitate up to 6 N-MCS service providers. Initially, licensees will be limited to 1 MHz of spectrum per applicant in an urban area, to begin deployment of wireless telemetry applications.

The use of the frequency sub-bands 1427-1430 MHz and 1493.5-1496.5 MHz corresponds to channels 1 and 1' of the SRS 3.5 MHz channeling plan. The spectrum contained in channels 1 and 1' will be shared on a geographical basis between SRS and N-MCS systems for rural and urban areas, respectively. Preference will normally be given to N-MCS implementations within urban areas and their vicinities. Access to this spectrum will be managed by Industry Canada's regional offices. Outside of urban areas, access to channels 1 and 1' by SRS systems will continue to be available, although Industry Canada will monitor the deployment of radio systems to ensure adequate access for future requirements of N-MCS.

Applicants who wish to use the sub-band 1493.5-1496.5 MHz should take into consideration the close proximity to the digital radio broadcasting (DRB) service operating in the band 1452-1492 MHz in Canada, and the mobile aeronautical telemetry service in the United States. Even with the 1.5 MHz guardband, N-MCS systems would have to design adequate system filtering to protect its receivers against high-powered DRB.

In addition to this, the FCC is currently looking into the option of opening up new spectrum for medical telemetry applications on a protected basis in several bands, including 1429-1432 MHz. These applications would be used mostly indoors, including hospitals. The Department believes the accommodation of medical telemetry is an important requirement and will closely monitor the FCC proceedings. To that end, the Department will not assign 1 MHz blocks at 1429-1430 MHz for wireless AMR until the spectrum requirements for medical telemetry have been considered.

Point-to-point fixed service links will be permitted, on a limited basis, where they are complementary to the deployment of an N-MCS system. There is no provision being made at this time to displace existing SRS systems operating in channels 1 and 1' in urban areas.

The decisions described herein supersede the utilization policy provisions for the related bands found in Gazette Notice DGTP-002-95, Revisions to Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the Range of 1-20 GHz, and are defined in Annex 1.