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stds-802-16-tg3: ITU Meetings Re: 5250-5350 MHz: Loss of Spectrum for Outdoor LE RLANs

Hello to all:

I thought I would give all of you in TG4 and TG3 a heads up as to what is 
happening in Geneva next week on an issue that is of considerable 
importance to the technology you are developing and the wireless services 
you may wish to provide.

  I will be attending a meeting of the ITU JRG 8a/9b committee which will 
be discussing the coexistence of outdoor WAS ( wireless access service) 
devices  with Earth Exploration Satellite Systems (Active) (EESS). As you 
may or may not know, the 5250-5350 MHz band has EESS as a primary  user in 
this band. UNII and other regulations (in ITU region 3) allow WAS devices 
to use this band on a non-interfering basis with EESS. The debate currently 
before the ITU 8a/9b subcommittee is whether outdoor WAS should be allowed 
to operate in this manner post 2003. There is tremendous pressure, 
primarily from the Europeans, to remove outdoor terminals from the band.

Canada has been pushing for a directive antenna specification to be used on 
outdoor WAS. Such antennas would significantly reduce outdoor  RLAN 
interference to EESS. During the 22-26 October meetings of the ITU 
8a/9b,  decisions will be made whether to accept this antenna 
specification  or to reject  it. Such a decision would be forwarded up the 
ITU regulatory chain via the 8a and 9b study groups and would eventually 
become a  recommendation  tabled at WARC 2003. The US FCC is on record 
stating that it will support outdoor license exempt FWA applications within 
the 5250-5350 band only  if it is shown that co-existence can be achieved. 
This co-existence decision will likely be  made next week and it is my 
personal opinion that  the US will  in all  likelihood adopt the decision 
as its WARC 2003 policy regarding outdoor LE in the 5250-5350 MHz band.

The meetings in Geneva will discuss the proposed EIRP mask for outdoor WAS 
terminals. There is significant protection afforded to the EESS by this 
mask, but there is always a slight chance of interference. It is over the 
issue as to what “slight” entails that the arguments will ensue. In such 
discussions it is very important that our ITU  representatives have a clear 
understanding of how important the 5250-5350 MHz band is to RLAN service 
providers and manufacturers. The representatives  are keen to respond 
to  private sector input and my experience is that they will work very hard 
for the development  of an equitable solution that will be satisfactory to 
both the RLAN and EESS community. To date the EESS community has been very 
active in stating their case. The RLAN community, because of its diversity, 
small size of companies, and focus on the current economic climate, has not 
been  as forthright in stating its perspectives.

It is important that those of you who  have an interest in seeing 5250-5350 
MHz. preserved for outdoor applications make your concerns known now. This 
is probably the last chance in view of the regulatory process that will 
transpire over the next year. If permission to operate in 5250-5350 MHz is 
lost to the outdoor RLAN community,   there will likely be no case for 
additional bandwidth in the future considerations at 5450-5560 MHz…..and in 
post WARC 2003 there will only be 100 (possibly 125) MHz  in the 5725-5825 
MHz band only allowed for outdoor LE applications. In such a scenario, 
the  FDD type systems for which we have be devising specifications  in TG4 
will be very difficult, if not impossible, to implement . TDD systems 
developers also should carefully consider the above issues.  Bandwidth, 
even with the use of directive antennas, is much more valuable than no 
bandwidth at all. Currently, 200 MHz is available to the outdoor LE RLAN 
community. If there is success in preserving the band in 5250-5350 and the 
community  works toward additional allocations in the 5450-5560 MHz band, 
in post WARC 2003 up to  300 MHz  could be available for global outdoor LE 
RLAN applications. If  success is not forthcoming, then the community will 
have a crowded 100 or so MHz…..which is a  difficult scenario on which to 
build a case for a viable broadband wireless industry.

I strongly urge you to get in touch with your ITU JRG 8a/9b representatives 
and make it known that you care about  the above issues. Your 
representatives want feedback from you. So far, they have been hearing the 
EESS side of the story.  In Canada you should email Doug Sward at . For the United States email  Paul Marrangoni at . For other countries I will endeavor to find  your 
representative if you email me.

Even short email messages expressing concern carry weight. Please send them 
before Thursday, the 18th of October as your ITU representatives will begin 
traveling soon. You can copy me on the emails if you so wish.

Thanks for your  time.

John Sydor
Research Broad Band Wireless
Communications Research Centre
3701 Carling Avenue
Ottawa, Canada
K2H 8S2
Ph. 613-998-2388