FCC, Canada agree on spectrum-sharing deals along U.S.-Canada border

Even if incumbent Canadian carriers remain adamantly opposed to letting Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) enter the Canadian wireless market, the U.S. and Canada can still cooperate on some wireless issues. To wit, the FCC and Industry Canada, the Canadian governmental department that includes the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission, inked three interim spectrum-sharing arrangements along the U.S.-Canada border.

Although the bands covered by the agreements are relatively obscure, the FCC said the deals will expand mobile broadband deployment, improve aviation communications services and enable more efficient use of spectrum for business and industrial users.

Part of the agreement covers fixed wireless services in the 71-76 GHz, 81-86 GHz, 92-94 GHz and 94.1-95 GHz bands. The FCC said that specific agreement will allow spectrum licensees to expand backhaul for wireless networks, high-speed wireless LANs and broadband across "high bandwidth point-to-point links."

The agencies also struck a deal on aviation air-to-ground services in the 400 MHz band, which they said would lead to better sharing and coordination of that spectrum close to the countries' border.

Lastly, the FCC announced a deal for the 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz bands, which are used by Specialized Mobile Radio Services (SMR) and for business and industrial radio services, primarily for voice. This agreement simplifies the conditions for permitting secondary users in the band, which the FCC said would increase its efficiency while protecting primary users.

"The arrangements announced today will help pave the way for improved wireless broadband deployment along the U.S.-Canada border for consumers and businesses, among other multiple public and commercial benefits," Acting FCC Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn (a member of FierceWireless' 2013 Most Influential Women in Wireless list) said in a statement. "The arrangements are also critical to maximizing interference protection for commercial licensees operating along our common border with Canada, and will also promote more efficient use of spectrum. The arrangements were reached as a result of a collaborative effort by the FCC, the State Department, NTIA and Industry Canada."

For more:
- see this release
- see this TV Technology article
- see this Converge Digest article

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