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Government Opens Consultation on a New Spectrum Policy for Supplemental Mobile Coverage from Satellites

Credit: SpaceQ.

The Canadian Government launched the Consultation on a Policy, Licensing and Technical Framework for Supplemental Mobile Coverage by Satellite this week.

In the press release from Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED), the government said “Canadians need to be able to count on reliable telecom services no matter where they live. High-quality telecom services not only support economic and social activities but are also crucial for emergency services and public safety.”

The government says the new spectrum policy would be “a first step toward enabling service providers to start using commercial mobile spectrum to expand wireless services via satellites.”

Potential benefits would include:

  • expanded wireless services particularly in unserved and underserved areas, including rural, remote and Indigenous communities
  • improved access to emergency services and 9-1-1
  • increased reliability and resiliency of telecommunications services
  • more investment in wireless networks, in their evolution and in the expansion of services

The Government released also stated that, “This technology represents an exciting opportunity. While it is still in its early stages and subject to limitations, it is expected that this new capability will improve over time with technological development and as more satellites are launched. This new spectrum policy is about laying the foundation so we can maximize the benefits of this technology for Canadians as it becomes available.”

Canada’s largest telecom providers including Rogers and Telus have all been been working with companies such as SpaceX, Lynk Global and others to bring satellite direct to mobile services, with emergency services as the first application.

The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry said, “Canadians depend on high-quality and reliable wireless services every day, and particularly during emergencies and natural disasters, such as wildfires. That’s why our government is enabling service providers to start harnessing the potential of supplemental mobile coverage from satellites as this technology advances to support expanded wireless services where and when they are needed most.”

The closing date for comments is September 13, 2024 while the closing date for reply comments is October 25, 2024.

About Marc Boucher

Boucher is an entrepreneur, writer, editor & publisher. He is the founder of SpaceQ Media Inc. and Executive Vice President, Content of SpaceNews. Boucher has 25+ years working in various roles in the space industry and a total of 30 years as a technology entrepreneur including creating Maple Square, Canada's first internet directory and search engine.

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