70/80 GHz Band Opens in Canada

July 19th, 2018

After a lengthy wait I was greeted this week with some great news in my inbox from our friends at Industry Canada Spectrum Group. Some progress has indeed been made with what we call the 70/80 GHz frequency band. Here’s the announcement: IC decision on the 70/80GHz (and 92GHz) bands

In summary, IC has agreed to allow Fixed Microwave systems on these bands using a Spectrum License based on Tier 4 service areas. So this means any licensee will have access to the full band for as many systems as they wish to deploy in the area for which they’ve purchased the yearly license. Tier 4 is the same set of areas used for 3.650GHz ‘lightly licensed’ systems. The license fees for 3.650GHz are based on population in the service area. The 70/80GHz license fees may, or may not use the same formula. More on this below…

IC has made it clear it will go with the European CEPT bandplan.This splits the band into 19 x 250MHz channels. These channels can be used individually or two or more contiguously to allow wider bandwidth radios like Bridgewave GigE products we’ve been selling into Mexico and the USA for some time.

It looks like we’ll have to wait just a little longer while IC issues the following documents:

  • RSS (radio system standards) general document outlining requirements of equipment to be used on these new frequencies
  • SRSP (standard radio system planner) which provides all the technical data for radios to be used on this band(s)
  • CPC (client procedures circular) which will tell potential licensees how to go about getting their 70/80GHz license

IC has said that all band-licensees must upload data on their proposed 70/80GHz systems first before deploying. This is to give maximum visibility to other licensees. It will also be used to satisfy the FCFS (first come first served) requirements when resolving interference complaints. This similar to 3.650GHz. As for license fees, no decision has been made on this yet. There will be a ‘Public Consultation’ and input from the Radio Advisory Board. I encourage any potential user of the band to reply to the consultation, or let me know your thoughts as I plan on replying.

Interim Licensing – some good news here:

Once the RSS & SRSP documents are issued, I gather later this summer or early autumn, IC will accept new licensees to the band. This will allow operation at no cost until the License Fees are established. I’m told this could be a few months, so this will be a nice reward for early adopters and all of us whom have been patiently waiting.
The Bridgewave FlexPort 80, GE80 and AR80 products we carry looks to be perfect fits for the likely to be adopted bandplan. Let us know if you’d like to learn more about these 1000Mbs+ radios.