Archived — Proposed Spectrum Utilization Policy, Technical and Licensing Requirements for Broadband Public Safety in the Band 4 940-4 990 MHz

July 2005

Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Policy

Gazette Notice DGTP-005-05: Proposed Spectrum Utilization Policy, Technical and Licensing Requirements for Broadband Public Safety in the Band 4 940-4 990 MHz

Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Background
  3. Spectrum Utilization
  4. Eligibility
  5. Licensing Issues
  6. Technical Issues

1.0 Introduction

The purpose of this paper, announced in Gazette Notice DGTP-005-05 is to initiate a public consultation and invite comments on proposals to introduce public safety services in the band 4940-4990 MHz. The proposals outlined in this spectrum policy paper seek to address the eligibility, licensing, technical and service issues to accommodate the fixed and mobile service use in support of public safety.

Industry Canada invites interested parties to provide their views and comments on the issues raised in this paper, in accordance with the instruction provided in the accompanying Notice, DGTP-005-05. Submissions must be received no later than October 7, 2005 to ensure consideration.

2.0 Background

The provision of public safety and national security services, with attention to sovereignty protection, relies heavily on advanced communications including a wide range of radiocommunication service applications. In recent years, the need for new wireless technologies and radio applications has put significant pressure on the Department to find priority spectrum for these requirements.

Since 9/11, a tremendous amount of effort has been dedicated by various administrations to ensure the safety and security of their citizens and people around the world. The efforts of the Canadian Government to improve public safety have remained unabated over the past four years through the joint collaborative efforts of the Department as well as safety and security agencies. As a result, well formulated strategies which advance the objectives of the Government have been established.

With the modernization of telecommunications and broadcasting infrastructures, new spectrum has become available to meet critical public safety and security needs. One example is the digitization of the Canadian broadcasting system and in particular, the transition of over-the-air TV broadcasting which has created an opportunity of late, to open exclusive priority spectrum in the range 746-806 MHz for public safety. Another example is the band 4400-4940 MHz, which is no longer required for long-haul microwave facilities as it has been superseded by the builds of many fibre optic transmission systems in the 1990's for intercity networking. Consequently, the spectrum policy (i.e. Spectrum Utilization Policy 3-30 GHz in part) designated the band 4400-4940 MHz for Government of Canada use, which includes the many military radiocommunication applications of National Defence. At the same time, the band 4940-4990 MHz was designated for broadband public safety communications.

In Canada, our public safety agencies have indicated to the Department how critical the band 4940-4990 MHz is to support advanced broadband technologies enabling high-speed wireless transfers of large files, images and video, as well as intranet access, at specified locations. These agencies have also indicated that they require dedicated spectrum for critical broadband applications the same way they depend on narrowband voice systems today.

The Department and the Canadian industry have participated heavily in the international forum with the development of ITU-R Report M.2033 "Radiocommunication objectives and requirements for public protection and disaster relief" and with Resolution 646 (WRC-03) "Public protection and disaster relief" (PPDR). These provide guidance for future advanced solutions to satisfy the operational needs of PPDR organizations. Resolution 646 identifies the band 4940-4990 MHz as a band for consideration as a regionally harmonized band for ITU Regions 2 and 3 which include the Americas and Asia-Pacific.

In the U.S., the band 4940-4990 MHz was transferred from Federal Government to non-Government use in 1999. Subsequently, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) proposed to allocate this band to non-Government fixed and mobile services, excluding the aeronautical mobile service, on a co-primary basis and concluded that the public interest would be best served by designating the band for use in support of public safety. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has since adopted the licensing and service rules including eligibility, channelling plans and how to use the band to minimize the impact on radio astronomy operations.

The Department believes that the requirement for spectrum harmonization in the band 4940-4990 MHz for public safety and other commercial mobile services with the U.S. is critical whenever possible. A compelling reason for Canada to seek common spectrum with the U.S. for public safety use is to ensure that Canadian public safety agencies develop compatible networks and effective services with U.S. public safety agencies for interoperability, mutual aid and border security. Moreover, common public safety spectrum in Canada means compatible equipment with U.S. agencies, and greater availability of products at lower cost due to vendor economies of scale.

As indicated earlier, SP 3-30 GHz , added a primary mobile allocation in the band 4940-4990 MHz and designated its use for fixed and mobile systems in support of public safety. SP 3-30 GHz also limited the Government of Canada's (GoC) exclusive use of fixed and mobile services, on a primary basis, to 4400-4940 MHz through Canadian footnote C25 (see Section 3.1). In so doing, a moratorium was placed on the licensing of new non-Government of Canada fixed systems in the band 4400-4940 MHz. Existing fixed systems in the band 4400-4940 MHz have been grandfathered and GoC systems are to co-ordinate their use with those systems. SP 3-30 GHz also indicated that new GoC operators are encouraged to take all practicable steps to use the band 4400-4940 in light of the new public safety designation.

The Department has worked with the public safety community to assist in improving the critical communication and infrastructure of public safety agencies over the past years to address service inter-operability, open equipment standards, and to improve access to spectrum resources in existing and new bands. This consultation initiative, to open broadband spectrum for public safety services, represents an example of the commitment and the importance the Government attaches to preserving the highest level of safety and security for its citizens and to working with the public safety community to increase the effectiveness of their critical communications, including wireless infrastructures. As such, the Department is now prepared to propose and establish the eligibility, licensing, technical and service rules for the implementation of public safety services in the band 4940-4990 MHz.

3.0 Spectrum Utilization

3.1 Fixed and Mobile Use

The Department has designated the band 4940-4990 MHz for both fixed and mobile application use in support of public safety. It is anticipated that this band will be able to support a variety of public safety applications if sufficient flexibility is offered such that users can customize operations of the band to suit their individual needs. For example, in rural areas, there may be a greater need for public safety operations covering larger distances. On the other hand, public safety officials in larger cities may have a greater need for mobile and point-of-presence uses. Allowing users to customize operations of the band to suit their individual needs yields optimal user flexibility as well as spectrum efficiency.

Examples of potential applications might include:

  • point-of-presence operations such as automatic high-speed file transfers (e.g. transfer of maps, building layouts, emergency medical service files, missing person images etc.) from emergency sites to mobile units;
  • operation of Vehicular Area Networks (VANs) which connect applications within the vehicle and the surrounding area of operation;
  • operation of temporary fixed links; and,
  • traditional, fixed point-to-point and point-to-multipoint microwave operations, ancillary to public safety mobile operations to support backhaul or backbone communication links for public safety services.

In the band 4950-4990 MHz, communications between aircraft and land stations is not permitted (see international footnote 5.442 which excludes the aeronautical mobile service (AMS) in this band). However, the Department may consider authorizing temporary sites for aeronautical communications within the band 4940-4950 MHz.

The Department seeks comments on the following questions: 

What types of public safety applications are foreseen to be deployed in Canada in the near future?

Are there requirements for aeronautical mobile use in the band 4940-4950 MHz in Canada? If yes, for what purpose?

3.2 System Applications

Generally, there are four potential modes of operation for system applications:

  • Point-to-point
    • Directional antennas are used to connect fixed locations;
  • Point-to-multipoint
    • Connections are from one fixed location to several other fixed locations;
  • Transportable
    • Temporary operation from an established point within an area in fixed, multipoint or mobile mode; and
  • Mobile
    • From a fixed location to a platform in motion, or between mobile platforms.

For these applications, it is anticipated that multiple users will require access to the spectrum within the same area, using one or more of the above modes of operation, at the same time.

It is also expected that existing commercial off-the-shelf technologies used in adjacent bands, such as the 5 GHz licence-exempt LAN band, will be leveraged. Due to the frequency hopping/spread spectrum nature of this equipment, these technologies are considered to be robust. They also incorporate "smart" features such as "listen-before-talking" which enables the equipment to select a clear channel for operation from all the channels available in the band. When such features are incorporated in equipment, interference is usually experienced as a delay in data throughput rather than a denial of service. The level of effort required to coordinate amongst users to ensure maximum use and availability of spectrum in a given area is therefore also reduced.  In any event, and as with all licensed services, it should be noted that the level of protection which can be afforded to a particular installation is a "best effort" level. Moreover, the technologies being developed for use in the 4940-4990 MHz band may be ad hoc in nature.

While the Department prefers and encourages the use of "smart" technologies in this band, comment is sought as to whether there is a requirement to accommodate equipment which is only capable of operating on specific channels.

3.3 Channelling Plan

The Department believes in adopting a spectrum utilization plan that will be beneficial from an operational perspective, and should not unduly restrict the flexibility of 4 940-4 990 MHz band licensees and users.

A radio frequency (RF) channelling plan is proposed for this band which consists of ten, 1 MHz channels and eight, 5 MHz channels which may be combined to create channel sizes of 5, 10, 15 or 20 MHz (see Figure 1). Footnote 1 It is expected that this will provide users with maximum flexibility to employ existing technologies, to facilitate economies of scale, and allow for the implementation of future broadband technologies. The 1 MHz channels may be useful for narrow bandwidth operations such as slow scan short-term video surveillance where high-quality data is unnecessary. For example, channels could be combined to meet the requirements for Wireless Local Area Networks (WLANs) where a higher bandwidth is required.

The Department believes that the combination of adopting smaller channels and permitting aggregation will result in a plan that best addresses public safety requirements for present and future applications.

Figure 1

Figure 1

The Department seeks comment on the proposal to adopt this RF channelling plan. Is there a requirement for separate channels for fixed and mobile applications, etc? Provide rationale if an alternative plan is preferred.

3.4 Incumbents

Since the release of SP 3-30 GHz in October 2004, all incumbents in the band 4940-4990 MHz, with the exception of radio astronomers, have retuned, clearing the way for the new public safety designation. SP 3-30 GHz limited Government of Canada's (GoC) exclusive use of fixed and mobile service, on a primary basis, to 4400-4940 MHz through Canadian footnote C25. In so doing, a moratorium was placed on the licensing of new non-Government of Canada fixed systems in the band 4400-4940 MHz.

In SP 3-30 GHz , the Department indicated that any compatibility issues and necessary transition arrangements between existing GoC systems operating in the band and the newly designated applications would be subject for future consideration.

Consequently, the Department sees no need for any transition measures and immediately places a moratorium on the licensing and use of GoC fixed systems in the band 4940-4990 MHz.

All radio astronomy operators, in the band 4950-4990 MHz, where their allocation is primary, are to be afforded protection as per international footnote 5.149.


  1. back to footnote reference 1 For ease of discussion, the channels have been labelled.

4.0 Eligibility

The Department believes that existing eligibility criteria and definitions for designated public safety spectrum should be used for the band 4940-4990 MHz to ensure support of critical public safety operations for the protection of life and property. The Department also believes that such criteria should be sufficiently flexible to provide access by a variety of entities to the 4940-4990 MHz band, particularly if this will increase the effectiveness of public safety communications, foster interoperability and further security initiatives. These objectives will be best accomplished by establishing a hierarchy for access to the spectrum.

In Spectrum Utilization Policy SP 30-896 MHz , Part 1, Spectrum Allocation and Utilization in Certain Bands in the Range 30.01 - 896 MHz (SP  30-896 MHz) published in May 1990, the Department considers government safety services to be those provided by federal, provincial and municipal governments and their affiliated agents (e.g. private ambulance services) which are exclusively related to the preservation of life and protection of property.

In Standard Radio System Plan 502, Issue 4, Technical Requirements for Land Mobile and Fixed Radio Services Operating in the Bands 806-821 / 851-866 MHz and 821-824 / 866-869 MHz (SRSP -502), the Department further recognizes the following hierarchy of safety service providers:

  1. Category 1 - police, fire and emergency medical services.
  2. Category 2 - forestry, public works, public transit, dangerous chemical clean-up, customs and other agencies contributing to public safety.
  3. Category 3 - Other government agencies and certain non-government agencies.

Category 1 system operators are eligible for trunked or conventional systems.

Category 2 system operators are eligible to share trunked systems with Category  1 users provided the latter remain the major users of the system. Major users are agencies which have priority over other types of users on the system. Category 2 system users would not be eligible to operate their own systems within this band unless the local district director is satisfied that their operation would not preclude the future introduction of a Category 1 system.

Category 3 system operators and selected supervisory personnel of non-government agencies (e.g. hydro and gas utilities) may be permitted access to public safety systems during emergency situations where their access will be controlled by the major users operating those systems.

The Department encourages public safety entities to explore strategic partnerships, but emphasizes that the objective of such arrangements must be to improve public safety communications for the protection of life and property, rather than to accommodate the needs of non-public safety communications for non‑critical activities.

The Department is proposing that access to the band 4940-4990 MHz will be given according to the same criteria as described above. Comments are invited on this proposal.

Moreover, the Department seeks comment on whether flexibility should be considered, in certain areas of the country, where priority needs have been fully met and significant unused frequencies remain.

5.0 Licensing Issues

5.1 Purpose

In this section, the Department seeks comment on the most appropriate licensing and fee regime for broadband public safety services in the band 4940-4990 MHz.

5.2 Canadian Overview: Radio and Spectrum Licences

In Canada, there are two types of radio authorizations that would lend themselves to the licensing of systems in the band 4940-4990 MHz – radio licences and spectrum licences. Both licence types are provided for under the Radiocommunication Act and the Act further stipulates the Minister of Industry may fix their terms and conditions as well as the services which may be provided by the licence holder.

A radio licence is an authorization for the installation and operation of radio apparatus and is most often issued on a site-specific basis, but may be issued to authorize mobile or transportable operations.

The federal budget legislation of 1996 amended the Radiocommunication Act to provide for spectrum licences, a class of radio authorization incorporating the concept of area licensing. Spectrum licensing benefits both the Government and its clients by reducing the administrative burden associated with licensing individual radio apparatus. Common to all spectrum licences is authorization by geographical area and frequency or frequency block, rather than authority for the installation and operation of an individual radio apparatus. Spectrum licensees are responsible for ensuring that their radiocommunication networks are properly planned and coordinated prior to operation including approval of antennas and their supporting structures and other conditions of licence applicable to all licensees, which are outlined in Section 5.8.

5.3 U.S. Approach

In the U.S., the FCC uses a non-exclusive geographic licensing scheme based on a public safety entity's legal jurisdictional area of operation. Jurisdictional areas can be comprised of states, counties, cities, towns, municipalities, etc., and can encompass every geographical area that has an established public safety entity.

Each state and local government is eligible to hold a licence and public safety entities may negotiate sharing agreements with entities not eligible to hold a licence in this band, such as private critical infrastructure industries, provided those entities perform operations in support of public safety. Sharing of systems must be by written agreement and all communications by the non-licensee must be in support of public safety (i.e. the protection of life, health or property).

Licensees in the U.S. are authorized within their legal jurisdictions. Permanent fixed point-to-point operations in the band are permitted on a secondary basis and must mitigate any interference caused to primary operations.

All frequencies are shared among licensees, and adjacent and co-located licensees are required to cooperate and coordinate their use of the spectrum. While not mandatory, the FCC states that public safety entities may use existing regional planning committees to facilitate the shared use of this spectrum with nearby jurisdictions and to govern frequency sharing during situations requiring joint operations.

Licensees of stations suffering or causing harmful interference are expected to cooperate and resolve this problem by mutually satisfactory arrangements.

5.4 Licensing Discussion

When deciding on the most appropriate type of radio authorization for services that support public safety in the band 4940-4990 MHz, the Department seeks to facilitate the deployment of new public safety applications and minimize interference without placing an excessive administrative burden on users.

In formulating this proposal, the Department anticipates that licensees will be deploying a wide variety of systems and will want to deploy and adjust their systems to meet their individual and changing needs. A spectrum licence gives greater autonomy to licensees to deploy and configure their network in the manner most fitting their needs, and requires them to undertake the appropriate studies and coordination measures with other users in their proximity and respecting all other conditions of licence. Similar obligations would be required for radio licences, without the additional flexibility.

Given the envisaged use of the band, potential use of spread spectrum "smart" radio equipment, and the critical role of public safety organizations in protecting Canadians, the Department is of the view that the most appropriate radio authorization in the band 4940-4990 MHz is a non-exclusive spectrum licence to eligible entities. It is proposed that each licensee would be granted a licence for the full 50 MHz covering their area of jurisdiction. Licensees in the same or overlapping geographical areas would be expected to cooperate in the coordination of use of the band.

Individual site licences would not be required. However in order to provide licensees of this band the information for coordination with other users, the Department will require that the technical information be provided by the licensees in the prescribed format and entered into a database. Details will be established through the development of a Client Procedures Circular (CPC) at a later date.

The Department is of the view that the issuance of spectrum licences as described above will best accommodate these uses. Comments are invited on the proposal.

If comments support the accommodation of permanent fixed point‑to‑point operations, please indicate whether there should be a requirement for licensing on a site‑by‑site basis.

The Department invites alternative proposals for licensing of the services.  Provide details as to which specific aspects of the alternative proposal you consider to be favourable.

5.5 Licence Term

The Department proposes a 10-year licence term with annual licence fees payable by March 31st.

The Department invites comment on the licence term.

5.6 Licence Fees

5.6.1 Authority and Requirements

The Department's authority to set spectrum licence fees is pursuant to the powers granted to the Minister of Industry in section 19 of the Department of Industry Act. The Actstates that the Department may establish fees following a public consultation.

On March 31, 2004, the User Fees Act (which can be found on the Department of Justice Web site at came into effect with the aim of strengthening the elements of accountability, oversight, and transparency in the management of user fee activities. This formally outlines requirements for the setting of new and amended fees which are largely in line with the practice already in place in the Spectrum Management Program.

5.6.2 Spectrum Management Principles

The radio frequency spectrum supports a wide range of business, industrial, scientific, medical, research, personal and cultural activities, in both the private and public sectors. Canada depends upon radio frequency spectrum to maintain its sovereignty and security, and to safeguard its citizens. Radio spectrum is a finite public resource, the use of which Industry Canada manages on behalf of Canadians.

In order to facilitate the efficient development of radiocommunications and ensure effective management of the radio frequency spectrum, the Department strives to apply the most appropriate economic and regulatory principles to maximize the benefits to society through the use of this resource. As outlined in A Spectrum Policy Framework for Canada (SPFC), the Department manages spectrum in a manner that supports fair competition, captures resource rents where they exist and recovers spectrum management costs where such rents do not exist.

In Canada, all public sector licensees are charged fees for their use of the radio frequency spectrum on the same basis as private sector licensees, in order to promote the use of the spectrum resource in an economically efficient manner. This also ensures that the public sector decision makers are aware of the full cost of the inputs consumed versus the benefits gained; it avoids cross subsidization amongst levels of government; and avoids distorting choices in the provision of radiocommunication services (e.g. undermining the provision of services by the private sector).

5.6.3 Discussion and Proposed Fee

In developing the proposed fee, the Department has considered existing fees in both Canada Footnote 2 and other countries (i.e. the U.S., UK and Australia). Only the U.S. has a comparable plan to issue non‑exclusive spectrum licences in this frequency band for a geographic area consistent with the jurisdictional area of eligible entities. At this point, the U.S. is not charging public safety agencies fair economic rent for their use of this spectrum, and hence there is no comparable fee.

The proposed licensing approach in this band envisages non-exclusive access to the full 50 MHz of spectrum for public safety use. Non-exclusive licensing is anticipated to be feasible given the advanced equipment expected to be used in this band. By restricting eligibility, the value of the spectrum for those who are eligible is increased by limiting the likelihood that the spectrum will become overly congested. Licensees are required to share and coordinate with any number of other operators. The Department is proposing a fee which endeavours to ensure that the appropriate rent is collected, and at a level which ensures the spectrum is used efficiently.

The Department expects that in the most populated areas of the country, up to four safety agencies will be licensed based on an agency's area of jurisdiction. Given this assessment, the Department proposes a fee of $0.0042 per 50 MHz per pop (i.e. $0.000084 per MHz per pop) subject to a minimum fee of $250.00.

The following table has some sample licence areas:

Sample licence areas
Licence Area Population Fee (based on $0.0042 per pop)
National 30,007,094 $125,000
Province of Quebec 7,237,479 $ 30,149
Greater Toronto Area 4,682,897 $ 19,507
Montreal 3,426,350 $ 14,273
Vancouver 1,986,965 $ 8,277
Calgary 951,395 $ 3,963
Halifax 359,183 $ 1,496

Please provide your comments on the proposed licence fee associated with a spectrum licence in this band.

5.7 Service Standards

Industry Canada currently has established service standards for certain licensing processes. In general, where service standards exist, analysis and domestic coordination are required by the Department prior to issuing a licence. Where international coordination is required, the service standard is significantly increased. If spectrum licences for broadband public safety services are issued as proposed, the Department proposes using the existing microwave application service standard of four weeks from receipt of a complete application. It is anticipated that an on-line modification to the licensing database to provide for automated applications and approvals for this type of licensing will improve the turnaround time in the future. It should be noted that all emergency services are given priority service when necessary and every effort will continue to be made to accommodate the needs of the public safety agencies.

Please provide comments on whether this service standard is appropriate.

The Department invites comments on any issues related to the fee as proposed and also invites comments on ideas or proposals for ways to improve the service to which the fee relates.

5.8 Conditions of Licence and Ministerial Authority

In addition to the conditions of licence discussed above (eligibility, licence term, etc.), the following conditions will apply to the spectrum licences awarded through this licensing process.

5.8.1 Laws, Regulations and Other Obligations

The licensee is subject to, and must comply with, the Radiocommunication Act, the Radiocommunication Regulations, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Radio Regulations and the Canadian Table of Frequency Allocations pertaining to its licensed radio frequency bands. The licence is issued on condition that the certifications made in the application materials are all true and complete in every respect.

The Minister continues to have the power to amend the terms and conditions of spectrum licences (see 5(1)(b) of the Radiocommunication Act). Such powers would be exercised on an exceptional basis and only after full consultation. Section 40 of the Radiocommunication Regulations continues to apply.

5.8.2    International Coordination

Canada currently does not have an agreement with the U.S. government for the sharing of the 4 940-4 990 MHz frequency band along the border regions. However, the Department notes that licensees will be subject to future agreements between Canada and the U.S. for use in the border regions.

5.8.3 Radio Station Installations

It is proposed that site-specific radio licences will not be required for each radio station. However, for each radio station, the licensee must ensure that:

  • radio stations are installed and operated in a manner that complies with Health Canada's limits of exposure to radio frequency fields;
  • where applicable, antenna structures are marked in accordance with the recommendations of Transport Canada; and
  • prior to the installation of significant antenna structures, consultation with the appropriate land-use authorities has taken place.

Installation of any significant antenna structure must be delayed for a period of time sufficient for Departmental review where, after considering reasonable alternatives and consultation options, land-use consultation negotiations remain at an impasse, and radio installations are installed and operated in a manner that complies with technical boundary and out-of-band emission conditions as specified by the Department.

Refer to Client Procedures Circular 2-0-03, Environmental Process, Radiofrequency Fields and Land-Use Consultation (CPC-2-0-03), as amended from time to time.

5.8.4 Provision of Technical Information

When the Department requests technical information on a particular station or on a network, the information must be provided by the licensee according to the definitions and criteria specified by the Department. Details will be outlined in a Client Procedures Circular to be issued in the future.

6.0 Technical Issues

6.1 Interference Issues

6.1.1 Radio Astronomy Operations

The band 4950-4990 MHz is allocated to the radio astronomy service on a primary basis. International footnote 5.149 urges all administrations to take all practicable steps to protect the radio astronomy service from harmful interference.

The Department therefore is requesting comments on what restrictions and technical criteria public safety operations should observe in order to protect the radio astronomy service in the band 4 950-4 990 MHz in Canada. Provide a rationale for the proposal.

6.2 Technical Standards for the Mobile ServiceFootnote 3

The Department notes that interoperable communications among public safety users is often important.Footnote 4 It has been suggested that Industry Canada could encourage the community of public safety users to plan, share and coordinate their common spectrum needs to facilitate interoperable communications. In addition, the Department acknowledges that in order to achieve radiocommunication interoperability, consideration must be given to several aspects such as planning and coordination, standards and technology and spectrum requirements.

To achieve an appropriate level of interoperability within the available spectrum, dedicated spectrum may need to be designated and authorized with specific conditions. Such conditions could include the need to support a multiplicity of radio equipment manufacturers whose equipment would conform to a common standard to ensure interoperability and a successful uptake of any new spectrum.

The Department notes that broadband equipment standards are not being proposed for the band 4 940-4 990 MHz by the FCC . The adoption of any particular standard could preclude new technologies and hence impose restrictions on users, which would impede their ability to benefit from future equipment that enhances public safety operations.

The Department seeks comments on whether there is a requirement for interoperable communications in the band 4940-4990 MHz and if so, whether there is a requirement for a dedicated channel for interoperability purposes.

In addition, the Department seeks comments on whether it should recommend a common/open standard (e.g. the Media Access Control and physical layers) for equipment used by public safety agencies in the band 4940-4990 MHz. If yes, what should it be? Provide technical rationale for the proposed common/open standard.

The Department will address the issue of power and emission limits in conjunction with the Radio Advisory Board of Canada.

Issued under the authority
of the Radiocommunication Act

space to insert signature
Larry Shaw
Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch


  1. back to footnote reference 2 Existing annual licence fees for spectrum licences in Canada are:  Multipoint Communications System (MCS) - $0.008 per household per 6 MHz of spectrum; Local Multipoint Communications System (LMCS) - $0.50 per household per 500 MHz ; and PCS/Cellular - $0.03512361 per MHz per pop.
  2. back to footnote reference 3 Under the mobile service, both fixed stations and mobile stations can be authorized. Fixed stations are usually considered to be the base station with which the mobile station communicates. Mobile stations can also include hand-held portables.
  3. back to footnote reference 4 The Department understands interoperability to mean the ability of public safety officials from different organizations (or the same organization) to exchange information by radio according to a planned and set method. The Department also understands that the authority for Canadian public safety services occurs at several levels (municipal/regional, provincial/territorial, and national). As such, the Department recognizes that interoperable communications links are either multi-jurisdictional (involving public safety agencies having different geographical areas of responsibility) or multi-disciplinary (involving two or more different public safety agencies) in nature. An example of multi-jurisdiction communication includes a fire department from one city communicating with a fire department from another city. An example of multi-disciplinary communication includes a fire department communicating with a police department.
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