Responses to Clarification Questions on the Policy and Licensing Framework for Spectrum in the 3800 MHz Band

Notes:

May 5, 2023:

  • Response 4.3 in the Clarification Questions has been updated.

The following are responses to clarification questions that Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) received subsequent to the release of SPB-002-22, Policy and Licensing Framework for Spectrum in the 3800 MHz Band (hereinafter referred to as the Licensing Framework).

Questions may have been rephrased for clarity, and, in some cases, similar questions have been consolidated. ISED did not include questions that were outside the scope of clarifying the Licensing Framework.

This document may be updated from time to time as additional questions arise. Interested parties are encouraged to regularly check the Auction of Spectrum Licences in the 3800 MHz Band web page for updates.

Clarification questions and responses have been grouped under the following themes:

  1. Auction format
  2. Auction process
  3. Pro-competitive measures
  4. Encumbered blocks and service areas
  5. Transition process
  6. Streamlined exchange process
  7. Interference coordination
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1. Auction format

Question 1.1: In the auction software, how will ISED distinguish between encumbered and unencumbered products within a single Tier 4 service area?

Response 1.1: Similar to the 3500 MHz spectrum auction, ISED will add suffixes to Tier 4 service area identifiers: “-0” to denote unencumbered products and “-1” to denote encumbered products. By default, the 3800 MHz auction software will list unencumbered products before encumbered products for each Tier 4 service area.

 
Question 1.2: Will ISED adjust the encumbrances and associated opening bids and eligibility points to reflect the mitigation measures in place for radio altimeters?

Response 1.2: No. In determining encumbrances within a service area, ISED is only considering encumbrances from protected fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations and fixed services. Opening bid prices and eligibility points will only be updated to reflect these encumbrances.

 
Question 1.3: How will the cross-band spectrum cap be enforced during the 3800 MHz auction? Are bidders able to place bids that would exceed the cap on all the licences they are interested in and then leave it to the auction system to enforce the cap?

Response 1.3: As indicated in annex F, a bidder is not allowed to submit bids that would result in it exceeding the 100 MHz cross-band cap in any round. This means that, for a given service area, a bidder’s maximum bid will be 10 licences, less the number of licences that the bidder holds in the 3500 MHz band in that service area (see also response 3.2 for the specific licences that will be considered). In the case of a service area with two categories, the sum of the bidder’s bids for unencumbered and encumbered products cannot exceed 10, less the number of licences that the bidder holds in the 3500 MHz band in that service area.

Cross-band caps will also be validated during the bid processing to ensure the cross-band cap is respected at all times. If the bidder submits multiple bids per product in a round after Round 1, the auction software will determine whether the bids are compliant with the cross-band cap based on the bid with the highest price for each product; in other words, based on the quantities that the bidder would have of each product after bid processing for the round, if all of its bids for the two products were applied.

For example, consider a bidder in a service area with unencumbered and encumbered blocks available, who already holds 5 blocks of 3500 MHz spectrum. As such, this bidder would be eligible to bid for up to 5 unencumbered and/or encumbered blocks of 3800 MHz in this service area , and the combination of its bids with the highest price for both products could not exceed 5. Suppose that in a given round, this bidder tries to reduce its demand for the unencumbered product from 5 to 0 and increase its demand for the encumbered product from 0 to 5. These bids would be accepted by the auction software as they are compliant with the cross-band cap. However, if the bidder attempted to submit a bid to reduce demand from 5 to 2 unencumbered blocks and another bid to increase demand from 0 to 5 encumbered blocks, these bids would not be accepted and the auction software would indicate that these bids are not compliant with the spectrum cap.

After valid bids are submitted and accepted, the auction software will then ensure that processed bids satisfy the cross-band cap. In the example above where the bidder submitted a bid to reduce its demand for the unencumbered product from 5 to 0 and a bid to increase its demand for the encumbered product from 0 to 5, if, due to insufficient aggregate demand, it might not be possible to apply the bid to reduce demand from 5 to 0 in its entirety and so this bid would be applied partially. In this case, the bid to increase demand for the encumbered product from 0 to 5 would then also be applied partially. For example, if the bid to reduce to 0 unencumbered blocks could not be applied fully because of insufficient demand and instead a reduction from 5 to 2 unencumbered blocks is applied, then only an increase from 0 to 3 encumbered blocks would be applied in order to satisfy the cross-band cap constraint. The auction software would then indicate that the bid to reduce demand in the unencumbered product was applied partially due to insufficient aggregate demand, and that the bid to increase demand in the encumbered product was applied partially in order to be compliant with the spectrum cap.

 
Question 1.4: Is it possible for the auction to end with an activity requirement below 100%?

Response 1.4: As noted in the Licensing Framework, the clock stage will conclude for all products in all service areas after the first round in which, after the bids have been processed, there is no excess demand for any product in any service area. Therefore, it is possible for the clock stage to conclude while the activity requirement is below 100%.

 
Question 1.5: What are the rules for forming assignment areas? Can service areas within the list of the eight most populated service areas be combined into a single assignment area (for example, 4-136 Calgary and 4-141 Edmonton)?

Response 1.5: Two or more Tier 4 service areas will be combined into an assignment area when the following conditions all hold:

  1. the Tier 4 service areas form a contiguous geographic region;
  2. the Tier 4 service areas are in the same Tier 2 service area;
  3. each of the Tier 4 service areas has the same number of unencumbered and encumbered blocks; and
  4. for each of the Tier 4 service areas, the same bidders won the same number of unencumbered and encumbered blocks.

Service areas among the eight most populated service areas could be combined into a single assignment area subject to the conditions above. However, given that 4-136 Calgary and 4-141 Edmonton do not form a contiguous geographic region, they could not be combined into a single assignment area without additional Tier 4 service area(s) that, when combined with them, form a contiguous geographic area (for example, with 4-142 Edson/Hinton).

 
Question 1.6: In a service area with two categories (unencumbered and encumbered), a cross-category winner will also be given the opportunity to submit a "contiguity bid." By submitting a positive contiguity bid, the bidder "opts in" for contiguity across the categories. Can a bidder "opt in" for contiguity in one service area but "opt out" in another service area if both are combined into an assignment area?

Response 1.6: No. When two or more service areas are combined into an assignment area, each winning bidder in those service areas will be presented with a single set of bidding options for each category for the assignment area as a whole. The contiguity bid would apply for all Tier 4 service areas being assigned within that assignment area. Therefore, it will not be possible to "opt in" for contiguity in one service area but "opt out" of contiguity in other service areas within the same assignment area.

 
Question 1.7: If only one cross-category winner submits a positive "opt in" bid, will it automatically receive contiguous assignments of its encumbered and unencumbered products with an assignment price of zero?

Response 1.7: As indicated in section 12.8 of the Licensing Framework, if only one cross-category winner places a bid to “opt in” for contiguity, then its licences will be awarded as contiguous and its assignment price will be zero, irrespective of the other bids of the “opt-in” bidder.

 
Question 1.8: If a bidder submits the highest positive "opt in" bid, will it receive contiguous assignment of its encumbered and unencumbered products even if, based on the values of its other assignment bids, the bidder would prefer another assignment to the contiguous assignment?

Response 1.8: As indicated in section 12.8 of the Licensing Framework, when two or more bidders win licences in both categories and both place bids to “opt in” for contiguity, the auction system will first consider the sum of each bidder's contiguity bid, its bid for its highest frequency unencumbered bidding option and its bid for its lowest frequency encumbered bidding option to determine which bidder will be assigned contiguous licences. The bidder with the highest such bid sum will be assigned contiguous licences across the two categories irrespective of the other bids of the “opt-in” bidders, and that bidder's assignment price will equal the second-highest such bid sum. Once the winner of the contiguous assignment has been determined, all other bids of this bidder and all bids by other bidders for bidding options that include the assigned licences will be excluded from the winner and price determination calculations for the other assignments in this assignment area.

 
Question 1.9: Please provide numerical examples of an assignment round with contiguity bids.

Response 1.9: The following examples explain how contiguity bids are used during the assignment round, for a single service area in which both unencumbered and encumbered blocks are available, and four bidders have won licences during the clock stage. Example 1 demonstrates how contiguity is determined when only one winning bidder submits a contiguity bid, and example 2 demonstrates how contiguity is determined when multiple bidders submit contiguity bids.

Table 1 identifies the number of blocks won by each winning bidder during the clock stage. Bidders B1 and B2 each won one unencumbered block and five encumbered blocks, bidder B3 won three unencumbered blocks, and bidder B4 won 10 encumbered blocks.

Table 1: Allocation after the clock stage

Bidder
Unencumbered blocks
Encumbered blocks
B1 1 5
B2 1 5
B3 3 0
B4 0 10

Suppose these four bidders submitted the assignment bids shown in table 2. Although other assignment options would be available to these bidders, for the purposes of these examples, it is assumed bidders did not place bids for those options.

Table 2: Assignment stage bids

Bidder
Unencumbered blocks
Encumbered blocks
B1 Z: $500; AA: $100 AB.AC.AD.AE.AF: $100
B2 W: $500; AA: $200 AB.AC.AD.AE.AF: $200
B3 W.X.Y: $1000 N/A
B4 N/A AM.AN.AP…AW: $800

Example 1: Only one bidder submits a positive contiguity bid

Suppose that bidder B1 submits a contiguity bid of $200 and that bidder B2 does not submit a positive contiguity bid. In this case, bidder B1 would be assigned contiguous unencumbered and encumbered blocks (AA...AF) with a total assignment price $0.

To determine the assignment and the assignment prices for other bidders, all bids by bidder B1 and the bids of other bidders for bidding options that include licences AA, through AF would be excluded, as illustrated in table 3.

Table 3: Remaining assignment stage bids after B1 is assigned contiguous cross-category spectrum

Bidder
Unencumbered blocks
Encumbered blocks
B1 Z: $500; AA: $100 AB.AC.AD.AE.AF: $100
B2 W: $500; AA: $200 AB.AC.AD.AE.AF: $200
B3 W.X.Y: $1000 N/A
B4 N/A AM.AN.AP…AW: $800

Based on the remaining assignment bids for unencumbered blocks, bidder B2 would be assigned unencumbered block Z with an assignment price of $0 and bidder B3 would be assigned unencumbered blocks W.X.Y with an assignment price of $500. The assignment price of bidder B3 for W.X.Y is determined by bidder B2’s bid of $500 on block W. Based on the remaining assignment bids for encumbered blocks, bidder B2 would be assigned encumbered blocks AG...AL with an assignment price of $0 and bidder B4 would be assigned blocks AM…AW with an assignment price of $0, as there were no other bids for this assignment. These results are summarised in table 4.

Table 4: Assignment results if only B1 submits a positive contiguity bid

Bidder
Category
Assignment
Bid for assigned option
Assignment price
B1 Unencumbered and encumbered AA.AB.AC.AD.AE.AF $400 (=$100 +$100 +$200) $0
B2 Unencumbered Z $0 $0
B2 Encumbered AG.AH.AJ.AK.AL $0 $0
B3 Unencumbered W.X.Y $1000 $500
B4 Encumbered AM.AN.AP…AW $800 $0

Example 2: More than one bidder submits a positive contiguity bid

Suppose that bidders B1 and B2 each submit a contiguity bid of $200, and that the bids for assignment options continue to be as shown in table 2. In this case, bidder B2 will be assigned contiguous unencumbered and encumbered blocks (AA...AF) with an assignment price of $400. Bidder B2 would be allocated contiguous licences since its total bid sum of $600 ($200 for AA, $200 for AB…AF, $200 for contiguity) exceeds the total bid sum of $400 ($100 for AA, $100 for AB…AF, $200 for contiguity) by bidder B1. The total bid sum by bidder B1 determines the assignment price for bidder B2 ($400).

To determine the assignment and the assignment prices for other bidders, all bids by bidder B2 and the bids of other bidders for bidding options that include licences AA through AF would be excluded, as illustrated in table 5.

Table 5: Remaining assignment stage bids after B2 is assigned contiguous cross-category spectrum

Bidder
Unencumbered blocks
Encumbered blocks
B1 Z: $500; AA: $100 AB.AC.AD.AE.AF: $100
B2 W: $500; AA: $200 AB.AC.AD.AE.AF: $200
B3 W.X.Y: $1000 N/A
B4 N/A AM.AN.AP…AW: $800

Based on the remaining bids for unencumbered blocks, bidder B1 would be assigned block Z with an assignment price of $0 and bidder B3 would be assigned blocks W.X.Y with an assignment price of $0. Based on the remaining bids for encumbered blocks, bidder B1 would be assigned blocks AG…AL with an assignment price of $0 and bidder B4 would be assigned blocks AM…AW with an assignment price of $0. Bidders B1, B3 and B4 all pay assignment prices of $0 since there are no other assignment bids for the licences they have been assigned. These results are summarised in table 6.

Table 6: Assignment results if both B1 and B2 submit contiguity bids of $200 each

Bidder
Category
Assignment
Bid for assigned option
Assignment price
B1 Unencumbered Z $500 $0
B1 Encumbered AG.AH.AJ.AK.AL $0 $0
B2 Unencumbered and encumbered AA.AB.AC.AD.AE.AF $600 (=$200 +$200 +$200) $400
B3 Unencumbered W.X.Y $1000 $0
B4 Encumbered AM.AN.AP…AW $800 $0
 
Question 1.10: In annex F14, paragraph 58, the HTML and PDF versions use different references for the activity rule. Which reference is the correct reference?

Response 1.10: ISED has updated annex F to correct the discrepancy between the two versions. For clarity, annex F14, paragraph 58 contains an example of the eligibility calculation for round 7 and refers to annex F14, paragraph 54(b) (the general version of the activity rule).

 
Question 1.11: How are pseudo-random numbers applied in order to break ties during bid processing?

Response 1.11: The auction software assigns a pseudo-random number to each bid submitted. Bids to change demand are processed in increasing order of price points, using the assigned pseudo-random numbers to break ties, if necessary, across all products.

2. Auction process

Question 2.1: What is the eligibility criteria to participate in the auction?

Response 2.1: To apply to participate in the 3800 MHz auction, interested parties must submit a complete application in accordance with the process described in section 14 of the Licensing Framework. In addition, applicants must meet the eligibility criteria in subsection 9(1) of the Radiocommunication Regulations, as part of the Conditions of Licence detailed in annex C of the Licensing Framework.

 
Question 2.2: What guidance does ISED plan to provide to bidders before the auction regarding bid increments applied during clock rounds?

Response 2.2: Information on bid increments will be included during training sessions provided to qualified bidders prior to the start of the auction. During the auction, ISED will adjust the amount of round-to-round price increases within a range of 1% to 20% to facilitate the progress of an efficient and timely auction, and will consider overall auction dynamics in determining appropriate bid increments. Typically, ISED starts with a price increment of 10%. ISED may increase price increments in later rounds to facilitate the timely conclusion of the auction.

 
Question 2.3: Is it possible for the activity requirement to be reduced during the auction?

Response 2.3: Generally, activity requirements increase as the auction progresses. However, ISED maintains the right to increase or reduce the activity requirement during the auction in consideration of overall auction dynamics.

 
Question 2.4: How much notice will ISED provide prior to a change in the activity requirement?

Response 2.4: Typically, advance notice of a change in the activity requirement will be provided several rounds prior to the change and, in general, during a previous bidding day. However, ISED maintains the right to change the activity requirement at any time during the auction in consideration of overall auction dynamics.

 
Question 2.5: Will there be a recess between the end of the clock stage and the start of the assignment phase, and if so, how long will the recess be?

Response 2.5: Typically, there will be a break of several business days between the end of the allocation (clock) stage and the start of the assignment stage. ISED will release the schedule of the assignment stage, including the information on combined service areas, a number of business days before the first scheduled assignment round.

 
Question 2.6: How many assignment rounds will take place per day, and how long will each round be?

Response 2.6: ISED is planning to run up to four assignment rounds per day. Typically, bidding in each assignment round will be open for one hour followed by a one-hour recess between rounds. ISED reserves the right to adjust the number of rounds per day.

 
Question 2.7: In what circumstances does ISED plan to deviate from the order of assignment rounds described in annex G2 of the Licensing Framework?

Response 2.7: ISED is planning to follow the order of assignment rounds described in annex G2. However, ISED maintains the right to make adjustments to this order to facilitate the progress of an efficient and timely auction. For example, later rounds of the assignment stage may include more than one assignment area from within the same Tier 2 service area.

 
Question 2.8: Will bidders have more time to bid if they are eligible to bid in multiple service areas?

Response 2.8: All bidders will have the same amount of time to bid in each assignment round (typically one hour). ISED reserves the right to adjust the duration of assignment rounds.

 
Question 2.9: What happens to unsold spectrum licences after the auction?

Response 2.9: ISED will consider making any unassigned licences available for licensing through an alternative process, which could include a subsequent auction at a later date. The timing and form of such a process will depend on the demand for the available licences. ISED has recently streamlined the process for auctioning residual licences to expedite the availability of unallocated and returned licences (see SLPB-003-21, Decision on a Streamlined Framework for Auctioning Residual Spectrum Licences). If necessary, ISED may conduct a public consultation.

3. Pro-competitive measures

Question 3.1: When does the cross-band cap come into effect?

Response 3.1: The cross-band cap will be enforced during the auction and will apply to the total of a licensee’s 3500 MHz and 3800 MHz spectrum holdings for a period of five years starting from the initial licence issuance date of the 3800 MHz licences, as indicated in the Licensing Framework. Further, as indicated in Spectrum Advisory Bulletin SAB-003-22, Notice of Deadline to Apply for Transfers of 3500 MHz Spectrum Licences in Advance of the 3800 MHz Auction, ISED will not approve licence transfers requested before the issuance of 3800 MHz licences that would result in holdings that exceed the cross-band cap.

 
Question 3.2: What licences will be considered in the application of the cross-band cap during the auction?

Response 3.2: The cross-band cap will apply to the total of a licensee’s 3500 MHz and 3800 MHz spectrum holdings. This includes all primary licences in all service areas in the 3500 MHz band, including partial licences, licences encumbered by existing grid-cell licences and protected grid-cell licences; however, existing subordinate licences in the 3500 MHz band will not count towards the subordinate licensee’s cap. Holdings of partial spectrum licences will not be adjusted for population coverage. As a result, the sum of all holdings considered in the application of the cross-band cap in a given service area may exceed 200 MHz. All primary 3500 MHz licences and all licences available in the 3800 MHz auction will count equally towards the application of the cross-band cap in a given service area for the purposes of the auction.

 
Question 3.3: In assessing applications for subordinate licences, what is considered an active service in order to meet the condition of “separately and actively providing services to customers in the applicable licence area?”

Response 3.3: ISED will consider a range of criteria to determine whether an applicant is providing active service in the applicable service area. This may include requesting additional supporting documentation from applicants to be able to fully assess the application. In such instances, ISED will review these scenarios on a case-by-case basis. As indicated in Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-1-23, Licensing Procedure for Spectrum Licences for Terrestrial Services, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry may consider any and all matters deemed relevant to the request for a transfer.

 
Question 3.4: Will ISED allow transfers of 3500 MHz licences through the end of the 3800 MHz auction?

Response 3.4: As indicated in Spectrum Advisory Bulletin SAB-003-22, Notice of Deadline to Apply for Transfers of 3500 MHz Spectrum Licences in Advance of the 3800 MHz Auction licensees may apply to transfer licences in accordance with their conditions of licence in advance of the 3800 MHz auction. Licensees requesting to transfer any of their existing holdings in the 3500 MHz band must file all licence transfer applications prior to February 24, 2023. Following the 3800 MHz auction application deadline, ISED will resume allowing transfer applications between entities where neither is participating in the 3800 MHz auction.

 
Question 3.5: Will ISED allow 3500 MHz licences to be returned prior to the 3800 MHz auction to increase the amount of spectrum a licensee and/or a bidder can bid on during the auction?

Response 3.5: As indicated in Spectrum Advisory Bulletin SAB-003-22, Notice of Deadline to Apply for Transfers of 3500 MHz Spectrum Licences in Advance of the 3800 MHz Auction licensees seeking to return 3500 MHz licences for the purposes of updating their eligibility under the cross-band cap for the 3800 MHz auction must do so by May 26, 2023. Any subsequent returns of 3500 MHz licences prior to the auction will not update the calculation of the cross-band cap as of that date.

 
Question 3.6: Will ISED publish a list of 3500 MHz spectrum holdings prior to the 3800 MHz auction to determine the maximum amount of spectrum a bidder can bid on?

Response 3.6: As indicated in Spectrum Advisory Bulletin SAB-003-22, Notice of Deadline to Apply for Transfers of 3500 MHz Spectrum Licences in Advance of the 3800 MHz Auction ISED has published a table of current holdings in the 3500 MHz band. ISED will publish a final list of 3500 MHz spectrum holdings for the purpose of applying the cross-band cap by June 30, 2023.

 

4. Encumbered blocks and service areas

Question 4.1: What information will be provided with regards to encumbered service areas and when?

Response 4.1: As indicated in the Table of Key Dates, ISED will provide an updated list of satellite-dependent service areas and encumbered service areas by the end of April 2023. Opening bid prices and eligibility points that will be used during the auction will also be updated at that time.

As indicated in the Licensing Framework, the licensed fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations and interim authorized earth stations used to determine these encumbrances can be found in ISED’s Spectrum Management System.

 
Question 4.2: Will ISED publish potential encumbrances in all service areas, including areas where there may be less than 10% of the population affected?

Response 4.2: ISED is only providing a list of service areas categorized as encumbered as part of the auction process. These are the service areas that are satellite-dependent as indicated in section 9 of the Decision on the Technical and Policy Framework for the 3650-4200 MHz Band and Changes to the Frequency Allocation of the 3500-3650 MHz Band (the Repurposing Decision), and non-satellite-dependent service areas where 10% or more of the population is affected by the operations of fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations in satellite-dependent areas, consolidated sites and the Government of Canada sites located in North Bay.

Prior to the auction, ISED intends to publish maps that include, where possible, an estimate of the encumbrance from existing FSS earth stations.

 
Question 4.3: How is ISED determining the level of encumbrance in such service areas?

Response 4.3: The levels of encumbrance provided are intended as an initial evaluation for potential bidders and do not guarantee the population that licensees will be able to serve. The levels of encumbrance were determined using assumptions to generally protect fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations from interference from flexible use stations under worst-case sharing scenarios.

Given the large number of licensed earth stations operating in satellite-dependent areas, the earth station encumbrances were derived with the following assumptions to help ease computation:

  • FSS earth station receiver noise temperature: 70 K
  • Earth station antenna height: 5 m
  • Antenna gain: G(θ) = 32 - 25 log(θ), where θ is the earth station elevation angle

In addition, ISED assumed a co-channel (in-band) interference-to-noise (I/N) protection threshold of -10 dB for the earth station receiver, and used the worst-case assumption that the flexible use base station was pointing in the direction of the earth station.

The effects of clutter loss were considered, but in the majority of cases, the effects of terrain were not included in these calculations. Terrain impact was only considered for stations within 120 km of the satellite-dependent areas identified in interim guideline GL-10, with the possibility to create encumbrances in non-satellite-dependent tiers.

In practice, mitigation measures such as the antenna orientation of flexible use base stations and transmitter power adjustment could also lower the level of encumbrance. Flexible use licensees will have the ability to coordinate and negotiate mutually beneficial commercial agreements with existing FSS earth station operators to reduce levels of encumbrance. ISED also notes that some of these FSS earth station operations could eventually transition to 4000-4200 MHz. Consequently, the actual levels of encumbrance in many service areas could be lower than the estimated levels. The levels provided to illustrate encumbrance do not serve as protection contours for earth stations. The coexistence measures between flexible use and earth station operations are defined in Standard Radio System Plan SRSP-520, Technical Requirements for Fixed and/or Mobile Systems, Including Flexible Use Broadband Systems, in the Band 3450-3650 MHz.

 

5. Transition process

Question 5.1: What is the protection status for new wireless broadband service (WBS) stations deployed after the Decision on the Technical and Policy Framework for the 3650-4200 MHz Band and Changes to the Frequency Allocation of the 3500-3650 MHz Band (Repurposing Decision) and prior to the displacement deadline of March 31, 2025?

Response 5.1: The protection status of WBS operations is detailed in section 10.1.2 and D17 of the Repurposing Decision. ISED will publish a document prior to the start of the 3800 MHz auction detailing the transition process. Technical requirements and protection criteria will be made available through a relevant standard radio system plans (SRSP).

 
Question 5.2: What is the protection status for fixed satellite service (FSS) earth stations before and after the transition deadline?

Response 5.2: The protection status of FSS earth stations is detailed in sections 10.3 and 10.4 of the Decision on the Technical and Policy Framework for the 3650-4200 MHz Band and Changes to the Frequency Allocation of the 3500-3650 MHz Band. Information pertaining to licensed FSS earth stations and interim authorized earth stations is available through ISED's Spectrum Management System. The technical rules to protect FSS earth stations will be detailed in a SRSP which will be published before the 3800 MHz auction. ISED will also publish a document prior to the start of the 3800 MHz auction detailing the transition process.

 

6. Streamlined exchange process

Question 6.1: Under the streamlined process, are exchanges required to encompass licences in both bands or will only transfers involving licences in the same band be permitted?

Response 6.1: As stated indicated in section 9 of the Licensing Framework, ISED will consider exchanges of equal amounts of spectrum within the same service areas regardless of band. ISED will publish further details related to the process prior to the start of the 3800 MHz auction.

 
Question 6.2: What is the streamlined process for the exchange of 3500 MHz and 3800 MHz licences and when will the information be made available to potential bidders?

Response 6.2: ISED is currently developing the rules around the streamlined process for exchanging licences between or within the 3500 MHz and 3800 MHz bands. A guidance document on this process will be published prior to the application deadline for the 3800 MHz auction. This will include additional details on the application of section 5.6 of CPC-2-1-23, Licensing Procedure for Spectrum Licences for Terrestrial Services for this streamlined exchange process.

 
Question 6.3: When will the streamlined exchange process take place?

Response 6.3: The streamlined exchange process will take place after the provisional winners of the auction have been published, allowing all interested parties to have the same information regarding existing licensees.

 
Question 6.4: Which conditions of licences will apply to an exchanged licence?

Response 6.4: As indicated in section 9 of the Licensing Framework, licences in the 3500 MHz and 3800 MHz bands may be subject to different transition timelines, levels of encumbrances, deployment requirements, etc. In such cases, the transition timelines, encumbrances, deployment requirements, including deployment timelines, and any other conditions of licence would remain attached to the licences themselves unless amended or added to as part of the transfer process. The details of how ISED may consider amending these conditions of exchanged licences, including those related to transfers of 3500 MHz set-aside blocks, will be outlined in the streamlined process guidance document.

 

7. Interference coordination

Question 7.1: When will the technical standards become available for the 3800 MHz band?

Response 7.1: ISED intends to publish the relevant SRSP and radio standards specifications (RSS) prior to the start of the 3800 MHz auction.

 
Question 7.2: When will the mitigation measures for flexible use operations to protect radio altimeters from interference end?

Response 7.2: ISED continues to study this issue. ISED will consult with stakeholders on the technical standards which also includes potential updates to the mitigation measures prior to amending the standards.