21 December Mr. Michael Helm Director General Telecommunications Policy Branch Industry Canada 300 Slater Street Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0C8

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1 21 December 2001 Don Woodford Director - Government & Regulatory Affairs Mr. Michael Helm Director General Telecommunications Policy Branch Industry Canada 300 Slater Street Ottawa, Ontario, K1A 0C8 Dear Mr. Helm: Subject: Bell Mobility Comments: Consultation on an Application to Use Mobile Satellite Spectrum to Provide Complementary Terrestrial Mobile Service to Improve Satellite Coverage - Canada Gazette - Part 1 Notice No. DGTP , dated 19 October 2001 Bell Mobility is pleased to submit the following comments in response to the above captioned Gazette Notice. Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any further questions concerning these comments. Yours truly, Attachment Bell Mobility 105, rue Hôtel-de-Ville 5 e étage Hull (Québec) J8X 4H7 Tel: (819) Fax: (819) Internet ID:

2 Canada Gazette Part 1 Notice No. DGTP Bell Mobility Cellular Inc. Comments Concerning: Consultation on an Application to Use Mobile Satellite Spectrum to Provide Complementary Terrestrial Mobile Service to Improve Satellite Coverage Published in the Canada Gazette, dated 19 October December 2001

3 Introduction 1. Bell Mobility is pleased to provide the following comments in response to Canada Gazette Part 1 Notice No. DGTP : Consultation on an Application to Use Mobile Satellite Spectrum to Provide Complementary Terrestrial Mobile Service to Improve Satellite Coverage, dated 19 October 2001 (the Notice). Bell Mobility notes that the Department is inviting comments on a particular aspect of TMI's application, namely the proposal to deploy a digital mobile service, as in-fill or complementary service, to the mobile satellite service (MSS). 2. Bell Mobility further notes that, similar to this public consultation in Canada on the use of complementary terrestrial mobile service to improve mobile satellite coverage, the FCC in the USA is also conducting a public consultation, through a notice issued on 17 August 2001, concerning, Flexibility for Delivery of Communications by Mobile Satellite Service Providers in the 2 GHz Band, the L-band, and the 1.6/2.4 GHz Band. It should be noted that the ancillary terrestrial service proposal in the L-band covered in the FCC's notice is based on Motient Corporation's petition, which is identical to the TMI proposal under consideration in this consultation. 3. Bell Mobility notes that its comments, herein, are limited to the TMI proposal and the L-band frequencies that are the subject of the Notice. Terrestrial Mobile Service Component and Discussion 4. Bell Mobility notes that the Department is inviting comments on a particular aspect of TMI's application, namely the proposal to deploy a digital terrestrial mobile service as in-fill or complementary service to the MSS. 5. The applicant contends that because of attenuation of the satellite signal by large buildings in the urban core and the lack of in-building coverage, the in-fill base stations are required in the L-band to supplement satellite coverage. The mobile terminals are proposed to communicate through both the satellite and base stations. The satellite path would be the preferred communications link, but if the user's satellite path were blocked, the communication link would be sustained via the in-fill base stations. The applicant further notes that there would

4 - 2 - be adequate spectrum available for the operation of both the multi-beam satellite and the terrestrial base stations. This is possible because the ancillary terrestrial channels would be assigned to frequencies that could not otherwise be used within the satellite beam in which the terrestrial base station is located due to satellite inter-beam interference considerations. 6. Bell Mobility notes that the main reason for the deployment of in-fill base stations is to overcome the apparent difficulties in achieving signal penetration in urban areas and inside buildings, and related difficulties in achieving economies of scale for equipment and service pricing. It is understood that this ancillary terrestrial coverage is designed to cover dense urban areas such as downtown Toronto, Vancouver and Ottawa. 7. Using the above technical capabilities, TMI would be able to continue to fully deliver on its primary service mandate (wide area satellite based service to all Canadians independent of location) with the added ability of allowing those same Canadians to continue to receive that service via their satellite phone when they enter more cluttered urban centres. In Bell Mobility's view, this fact forms the basis for the required decision. Issues Raised for Comment (a) Is it in the public interest to encourage a greater flexibility in the use of the mobile satellite spectrum resources by permitting complementary terrestrial mobile services to improve service coverage in urban centres? Would permitting the development of a terrestrial mobile system without protection or guaranteed continued spectrum access, create an unreasonable expectation for the service operator and the consumers? 8. Bell Mobility notes that TMI, as the Canadian mobile satellite service carrier, currently operates the Canadian MSAT mobile satellite system that provides reliable service to customers in rural and remote areas throughout Canada, including during times of emergency. Bell Mobility views such services to be in the public interest. 9. TMI, like other MSS providers, notes that it has struggled financially due to limitations surrounding the availability of its services. In particular, TMI contends that it is not possible to 2

5 - 3 - deliver high quality and dependable MSS services in major urban and indoor environments due to blockages and technical limitations on satellite link fade margin. 10. Bell Mobility notes that TMI and Motient have formed Mobile Satellite Venture L.P. (MSV), a joint venture, which plans to construct and operate a next-generation MSS-system that will use a combination of spot-beam satellites with integrated, ancillary, in-fill terrestrial base stations to substantially improve coverage, capacity and reliability to indoor and urban areas. It is also understood that the in-fill base stations will be reusing the MSS spectrum assigned to MSV. TMI contends that customers using lightweight, handheld mobile terminals will be able to communicate through both the satellite and ancillary terrestrial base stations. 11. Currently the L-band spectrum is not fully utilized in urban areas where "shadowing" prevents delivery of MSS service. This spectrum could not be reassigned to another application, since MSAT terminals using this spectrum travel everywhere and would interfere with any alternative usage that is not controlled in conjunction with the MSS service. However, under an integrated system using base stations to provide in-fill coverage, MSS service will become more spectrally efficient and be able to utilize portions of the L-band spectrum that would otherwise lie fallow. 12. From the above discussions, Bell Mobility believes that TMI's proposed MSS system using in-fill terrestrial base stations would meet the Canadian telecommunications policy objectives, as stated in section 7 of the Telecommunications Act, namely: i) to render reliable and affordable telecommunications services of high quality accessible to Canadians in both urban and rural areas in all regions of Canada; and ii) to enhance the efficiency and competitiveness, at the national and international levels, of Canadian telecommunications. 13. Bell Mobility further notes that it would be crucial to insure that the spectrum continues to meet its original intended use of fully delivering on its primary service mandate (i.e., wide area satellite based service to all Canadians independent of location) with the added ability of 3

6 - 4 - allowing those same Canadians to continue to receive that service via their satellite phone when they enter more obstructed urban centres. As such, Bell Mobility believes that no single-mode/terrestrial-only terminals should be authorized for use on this spectrum. In other words, the ancillary terrestrial service is just that - ancillary to a satellite-primary MSS system. 14. Although the complementary terrestrial mobile service would be required to operate on a non-interference basis with MSS, such an operation would not present any difficulty because of close coordination amongst the five L-band operators subject to the 1996 Mexico City Memorandum of Understanding for the Intersystem Coordination of Certain Geostationary Mobile Satellite Systems (the MOU). In accordance with the MOU, these L-band operators have developed and agreed upon a framework to facilitate annual and dynamic spectrum assignment agreements among the operators. Each one-year agreement is revisited annually to provide each system with an amount of spectrum based upon its current and projected near-term traffic requirements. Further, it should be noted that the joint venture operations of MSV would make use only of the assigned spectrum for TMI and Motient for supporting both the satellite and terrestrial mobile service operations. (b) Given that the availability of the spectrum for terrestrial mobile services will depend explicitly on the design of the satellite and the operation and control by the satellite carrier of the frequencies used on a beam-by-beam basis, should approval for complementary terrestrial mobile services be granted as part of the approval of an MSS application? Or should there be an opportunity to consider licensing other interested carriers who may wish to operate and offer the terrestrial mobile service as complementary to the mobile satellite service, under a set of requirements and on a no-protection, non-interference basis? 15. Bell Mobility notes that L-band is already scarce 2 x 33 MHz spread across five operators operating in North America. Centralized control of spectrum, allocated dynamically according to demand and movement of users across the entire coverage area, are key to having a workable system. Coordinating between an MSS provider and independent operators of the terrestrial system would create numerous technical problems in terms of preventing interference into MSV and the other MSS-systems. Problems of a business nature would also arise. For 4

7 - 5 - example, what would be the profit-sharing formula used, and if parties were unable to reach an acceptable agreement, who would arbitrate? If the terrestrial operator wishes more spectrum, who will resolve such a dispute if the satellite operator is unable to allocate more spectrum? Most importantly, the current L-band MSS business model has been proven not to be viable. A larger market access with a ubiquitous service offering, including in urban areas, is necessary to providing the financial viability which will ensure the longer-term availability of this service for remote users. Bell Mobility is also of the view that approval for complementary terrestrial mobile services should be granted as part of the approval of an MSS application. (c) What steps should be taken to address the potential for aggregate power interference of base-stations to other MSS systems (E-s service links) operating at co-frequencies and in different geographical areas (non co-coverage)? 16. Bell Mobility notes that this problem should be manageable if the MSS operator also provides the terrestrial in-fill service. Firstly, the spectrum is allocated between the five MSS operators in the region and each operator will operate within its allotted spectrum. Secondly, the MSS operator will need to monitor the aggregate interference level and assign frequencies as required, but this would be virtually unworkable if multiple licensees were meant to work in conjunction with one another - terrestrial operators would object to any reductions in their spectrum allocation. (d) What measures should be taken to ensure that the terrestrial mobile service will not restrict or interfere with the spectrum priority access and operation of GMDSS and AMS(R)S according to ITU regulations? 17. Centralized control is again key to being able to ensure that frequencies are cleared for emergency situations. (e) As the spectrum is allocated to the mobile satellite service, and any terrestrial mobile service offering cannot be protected or guaranteed continued access to spectrum, what conditions should be considered, if any, for the service offerings? Should associated subscriber terminals be limited to either single-mode (mobile satellite) service or 5

8 - 6 - dual-mode (mobile satellite and terrestrial mobile) service but not as single-mode terminals for terrestrial mobile service? 18. Bell Mobility suggests that no single-mode/terrestrial-only terminals be authorized. The ancillary terrestrial service is just that - ancillary to a satellite-primary MSS-system. For clarity, in this submission "ancillary" is defined to mean: (i) operation on a non-interference, no protection basis; (ii) ancillary terrestrial service would be permitted only when the operator has an MSS satellite in operation (following catastrophic failure of a satellite and pending launch of a replacement satellite, terrestrial operation could also be permitted for a limited defined period); and (iii) ancillary terrestrial operation would be permitted only under common resource (call set-up and tear down) control with the satellite operation. (f) In the event that the Department should decide to approve the terrestrial mobile service as complementary to mobile satellite service, what regulatory treatment should be provided to the licensee? For example, should a separate authorization be provided for the terrestrial component; should the use of the spectrum attract license fees similar to those for similar terrestrial mobile services; should the mobile spectrum aggregation limit, otherwise known as the spectrum cap, apply (spectrum defined in Radio System Policy RP-21 for PCS, cellular and similar high mobility radiotelephony services)? 19. Licence fees have already been set for MSS - this remains primarily a MSS-system. It is not a terrestrial system, as the terminals must be able to communicate directly with a satellite. The prime function is to provide a satellite service and the terrestrial component serves only as an adjunct to it to as when necessary with limited terrestrial network use. As a result, Bell Mobility is of the view that such complementary use would be authorized as part of the existing MSS licence and should, therefore, fall within the existing MSS fee structure. 6

9 Currently the Department's policy on spectrum cap, as defined in RP-21, does not include the consideration of any MSS spectrum. Neither does the FCC include any MSS spectrum in computing their spectrum cap, which applies only to the PCS, Cellular and SMR spectrum. Furthermore, the FCC has not proposed the consideration of the spectrum cap in its notice considering Flexibility for the Delivery of Communications by Mobile Satellite Service Providers in the 2 GHz Band, the L-band, and the 1.6/2.4 GHz Band. It should be noted that the amount of L-band spectrum assigned to each L-band operator is subject to annual revision based on its current and projected near-term traffic requirements. Thus the operator's assignment could change from year to year based on their marketplace needs. Therefore, Bell Mobility submits that there is no reason at this time for the consideration of the L-band spectrum in the spectrum cap. (g) Other mobile satellite operators, of existing or future satellite networks, that may wish to seek similar spectrum flexibility to develop terrestrial mobile service to complement their mobile satellite services, are encouraged to participate in this consultation process. 21. Bell Mobility notes that its comments, in response to this consultation, are based on the specific proposal put forward by TMI in its application. Bell Mobility suggests that since other proposals may involve different service arrangements that each such proposal be considered on an individual case basis as they arise. (h) Are there other matters the Department should consider, relevant to the application? 22. Bell Mobility has no further comment to offer in this regard. *** End of Document *** 7

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