Spectrum Management Service Standards

August 2007
Updated March 2013

Spectrum Management and Telecommunications


  1. Our Objectives
  2. Our Committment to You
  3. Approval of Licence Applications
  4. Investigating Interference to Radiocommunication Systems
  5. Radio and Terminal Equipment Certification
  6. Issuance of Radio Operator Certificates
  7. If You Are Not Satisfied With Our Service


1. Our Objectives

  • To ensure that all radio spectrum use is compatible.
  • To ensure the availability of spectrum for new users, uses and technologies.
  • To provide spectrum users with frequency assignments that meet their needs.
  • To minimize occurrences of harmful interference.
  • To ensure that cases of harmful interference are investigated promptly.
  • To ensure that radio operator certificates are issued in a timely manner

2. Our Commitment to You

We will provide prompt and courteous service to all our clients. This document outlines our standards for client service, including:

  • the time required to process a radio station licence application;
  • the time required to identify sources of harmful radiocommunication interference; and
  • the time required to assess requests for radio equipment certifications/listings and terminal equipment registrations.
  • the time required to process a radio operator certificate application

We will strive to meet our standards and/or negotiated in-service dates. Should undue delays be encountered, we will explain the reason for the delay, establish a new in-service date with you, and provide an opportunity to discuss the matter.

3. Approval of Licence Applications

If you submit a complete radio station licence application, we will process it within the time frames indicated within this document. If, however, your application is unsigned or incomplete, the standards described will not apply until all required information is received.

As well, if your proposed radio station is to be located near a border area, or will use frequencies that require coordination with a foreign administration or another agency, the issuance of your licence may be delayed.

Questions associated with the coordination process and its impact upon your application can be directed to your local Spectrum Management office. A complete listing of Industry Canada's regional and district offices is provided in Radiocommunication Information Circular 66 (RIC-66), and is available at the following Internet address: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf01742.html

3.1 Licence Application Types and Processing Standards

Fixed Parameter Radio Stations

Radio licence applications for aircraft, ship, radiotelephone and mobile stations (added to existing systems or when no frequency selection is required) will be processed within three (3) weeks.

Once processing is complete, applicants will be invoiced for outstanding authorization fees, or an authorization will be issued if no fees are required or if required fees have been paid in advance.

Land Mobile Radio Stations

Radio licence applications for land mobile service and mobile stations (other than those indicated above) for which coordination with a foreign administration or other agency is not required will be processed within seven (7) weeks.

If, however, such applications do require coordination with a foreign administration or other agency, they will usually be processed within thirteen (13) weeks. This estimation is based upon typical processing time provided by foreign administrations or other agencies, and actual delays for specific licence applications may vary. It should also be noted that delays due to foreign administration or other agency activities are beyond Industry Canada's control.

Once processing is complete, applicants will be invoiced for outstanding authorization fees, or an authorization will be issued if no fees are required or if required fees have been paid in advance.

Microwave Radio Stations

Radio licence applications for fixed microwave stations for which coordination with a foreign administration or other agency is not required will be processed within four (4) weeks.

If, however, such applications do require coordination with a foreign administration or other agency, they will usually be processed within ten (10) weeks. This estimation is based upon typical processing time provided by foreign administrations or other agencies, and actual delays for specific licence applications may vary. It should also be noted that delays due to foreign administration or other agency activities are beyond Industry Canada's control.

Once processing is complete, applicants will be invoiced for outstanding authorization fees, or an authorization will be issued if no fees are required or if required fees have been paid in advance.

Earth Radio Stations

Complete radio licence applications (including required fees) for fixed Earth stations will be evaluated and a departmental response provided within seven (7) weeks.

Should the departmental response indicate that international coordination is required, additional delays can be expected. Although the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) currently states that administrations receiving earth station coordination requests are to provide a formal response within four (4) months, further analysis and subsequent delays may also be encountered for specific earth station applications. It should also be noted that delays due to foreign administration or other agency activities are beyond Industry Canada's control.

Negotiated In-service Dates

Some radio licence applications are very complex, involving multiple frequencies and numerous station sites. In other instances, applicants may request that their radio licences be issued on a specific future date. In these situations, it may not be possible to meet the service standards outlined in this document. Regardless, we will contact you to discuss your application and operational requirements, and make every effort to accommodate such requests. As well, a specific in-service date may be negotiated with you, and that date will become our service commitment to you.

3.2 Radio Licensing — Your Role

You can help us meet our service commitment to you by:

  • ensuring that your application is complete when you submit it;
  • providing all necessary supporting information; and
  • signing your radio licence application form.

The following departmental Spectrum Direct website can be used to submit licence applications and monitor progress related to licence issuance: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/h_sf05303.html.

4. Investigating Interference to Radiocommunication Systems

We will provide you or your radio service representative with advice on how to identify sources of radio interference. We may also investigate the problem and take appropriate actions. Note that Industry Canada will respond to interference situations involving safety-related communication systems on a priority basis.

4.1 Harmful Interference and On-site Visits

The Radiocommunication Act defines harmful interference as a radio signal or other electromagnetic energy that:

  • endangers the use or functioning of a safety-related radiocommunication system; or
  • significantly degrades, obstructs or repeatedly interrupts, the use or functioning of radio apparatus.

Where possible, we will use radio monitoring equipment and computer analysis to help identify sources of harmful radio interference.

When we receive a report of harmful radio interference, we will:

  • request specific information from you (see Section 4.3) in order to make an initial assessment;
  • provide advice to you or your radio service representative to help identify the source of the interference;
  • where required, initiate a technical investigation to identify the source of the interference; and
  • advise you of the results of our investigation within twelve (12) weeks.

We will consider the need for on-site visits on a case-by-case basis, depending upon the nature and frequency of occurrence of the radio interference, as well as actions already taken to attempt a resolution of the problem.

4.2 Non-harmful Interference

Non-harmful interference, although annoying, does not significantly degrade or prevent desired radiocommunications. In such cases, we will assist you by discussing the problem and recommending appropriate courses of action for your consideration.

4.3 Investigating Radio Interference — Your Role

Before contacting us, please ask your radio service representative to confirm that your radio equipment is installed and functioning properly, and that it is operating in compliance with the technical parameters and conditions of your radio station licence.

If the service representative cannot help you, please provide us with the following information in order to help us identify the source of your radio interference:

  • your radio station licence number (or call sign);
  • the radio frequency being affected and if any squelch tone is used;
  • the name and telephone number of your radio service representative;
  • the name and telephone number of a contact person familiar with the reported interference problem;
  • the actions you and your service representative have taken to address the problem;
  • the date and time when the radio interference started, how often it occurs; and
  • the type of sound, voice or other noise being heard. If you hear a voice, please note the time, location and content of the information you hear.

If only mobile radio stations are being affected, note the geographic area(s) where the radio interference problem seems to be the most severe.

During an on-site visit, please ensure that someone is available to assist us.

5. Radio and Terminal Equipment Certification

In addition to issuing radio licences and investigating interference problems, the Department also sets technical certification standards for radio and terminal equipment sold, imported and distributed in Canada. This is done to ensure compatibility among all radio spectrum users and to minimize the occurrence of radiocommunication interference.

If you submit a complete application for radio/terminal equipment assessment, we will process it within the time frames indicated within this document. If, however, your application is unsigned or incomplete, the standards described will not apply until all required information is received.

The following service standards are applicable to the Department's Certification and Engineering Bureau for services related to radio and terminal equipment:

  • assessments of equipment certification applications will be completed within two (2) weeks on a first-come, first-served submission basis;
  • equipment registration and listing services will be completed within two (2) working days; and
  • equipment reassessments requiring testing or technical expertise services will be completed within two (2) weeks, on a first-come, first-served request basis.

5.1 Radio/Terminal Equipment — Your Role

You can help us meet our service commitment to you by:

  • ensuring that your application is complete when you submit it;
  • providing all necessary supporting information; and
  • signing your application form.

6. Issuance of Radio Operator Certificates

If you, an accredited examiner or an accredited institute submit an application for the issuance of a new Amateur Radio Operator Certificate or a new Professional Radio Operator Certificate (class GOC, ROC-MC or ROC-A), we will process it within four (4) weeks. Once processing is complete, the certificate will be mailed to the applicant.

If, however, your application is unsigned, incomplete or missing some documentation or the required photographs for the Professional Radio Operator Certificate class GOC, the standards described will not apply until all required information is received. Please also note that illegible applications will be returned.

Please visit the Service Standard for the Issuance of Radio Operator Certificates page for more information.

6.1 Radio Operator Certificates — Your Role

You can help us meet our service commitment to you by:

  • ensuring that your application is complete, duly signed as required and legible when you submit it;
  • providing all necessary supporting information and documentation as required;
  • For faster service, take advantage of our on-line option for the submission of applications available at: www.ic.gc.ca/callsign or www.ic.gc.ca/radio-operator.

7. If You Are Not Satisfied With Our Service

We expect to meet the service standards described within this document. If, however, you feel that we have not done so, please let us know by:

  • contacting the person who served you to find out why service standards were not met; or
  • discussing the matter with a departmental manager or director, as appropriate, if you do not know the name of the person who served you, or if you are not satisfied with the explanation provided. The manager/director will investigate the matter and will contact you as quickly as possible.

Note that, with respect to radio/terminal equipment service concerns, Industry Canada's Certification and Engineering Bureau may also be contacted via email at: certification.bureau@ic.gc.ca.

As well, Industry Canada’s Amateur Radio Service Centre and the Radio Operator Certificate Service Centre may also be contacted for radio operator certification service concerns via email at: spectrum.amateur@ic.gc.ca or spectrum.certificates@ic.gc.ca respectively.

For more information, please consult your nearest Industry Canada Spectrum Management office. A complete list of these offices is provided in Radiocommunication Information Circular 66 (RIC-66), and is available at the following Internet address: http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf01742.html.