Notice Regarding the Operation of Wireless Medical Telemetry Systems Devices in Canada

June 19, 2009

1. WMTS Operation in the Bands 1395–1400 MHz and 1427–1429.5 MHz

With the publication of Canada Gazette Notice No. DGTP–006–09 − Spectrum Allocation and Utilization Policy Regarding the Use of Certain Frequency Bands Below 1.7 GHz for a Range of Radio Applications (SP–1.7 GHz), Industry Canada is designating the bands 1395–1400 MHz and 1427–1429.5 MHz specifically for WMTS use. Currently, the bands 174–216, 216–217 and 608–614 MHz are also available for WMTS use in Canada. WMTS applications in these bands will be permitted on a licence–exempt basis, i.e. there will be no protection from interference.

During its study of these new frequency bands (1395–1400 MHz and 1427–1429.5 MHz), the Department concluded that, in Sydney, Nova Scotia, and Gander, Newfoundland and Labrador, high power emissions from government radar operations prevent the possibility of WMTS equipment being used in the bands 1395–1400 MHz and 1427–1429.5 MHz due to an unacceptable risk of interference. Hence, the Department is urging hospitals in Sydney and Gander to use WMTS equipment designated for use in the band 608–614 MHz until further notice. Hospital administrators should also note that the band 216–217 MHz is available for medical telemetry as permitted by Industry Canada's Radio Standards Specification RSS–210, Low–power Licence–exempt Radiocommunication Devices (All Frequency Bands): Category I Equipment (http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt–gst.nsf/eng/sf01320.html).

The Department is requiring that manufacturers of WMTS equipment provide clear notice of this information in their equipment documentation.

2. WMTS Operation in the Bands 470–608/608–614 MHz

The use of the band 608–614 MHz for WMTS is permitted by the Department pursuant to RSS–210. Some WMTS equipment can also be programmed to operate in bands below 608–614 MHz, i.e. in the band 584–608 MHz, which corresponds to TV channels 33–36.

Hospital administrators should note that new digital television (DTV) broadcasting services are currently being introduced in the band 470–608 MHz. Recent experience in the United States has demonstrated that WMTS equipment operating in proximity to digital television stations could receive significant interference. Hence, the continued use of WMTS equipment that operates in proximity to digital television stations in the band 584–608 MHz is not recommended.

Industry Canada recommends that WMTS equipment be retuned to operate only in the band 608–614 MHz. Alternatively, hospitals can also purchase equipment designed to operate in the new WMTS bands, i.e. bands 1395–1400 MHz and 1427–1429.5 MHz.

Hospitals that continue to use WMTS devices that operate in the band 470–608 MHz should be aware that, as DTV stations are brought on–air in their vicinity, it may be necessary to retune these devices to another frequency for the devices to continue to operate properly. In such cases, hospital administrators should contact their local Industry Canada regional/district office for information on television stations in their area.

3. WMTS Operation in the Band 174–216 MHz

Some WMTS devices operate in the band 174–216 MHz under RSS–210. Hospital administrators should note that new DTV broadcasting services are currently being introduced in the band 174–216 MHz. For the reasons described above, the continued use of WMTS equipment that operates in the band 174–216 MHz is not recommended.

As it is possible that this equipment may not be retunable to another band, the Department recommends that hospitals purchase equipment designed to operate in the WMTS bands, e.g. 608–614 MHz, 1395–1400 MHz and 1427–1429.5 MHz. Hospitals that continue to use WMTS devices that operate in the band 174–216 MHz should be aware that, as DTV stations are brought on–air in their vicinity, it may be necessary to retune these devices to another frequency in order for the devices to continue to operate properly. In such cases, hospital administrators should contact their local Industry Canada regional/district office for information on television stations in their area.

For further information, please contact your local Industry Canada regional/district office. For your convenience, a list of regional offices can be found in the Department's RIC-66 document at http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt–gst.nsf/eng/sf01742.html.

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Marc Dupuis
Director General
Spectrum Engineering Branch
Industry Canada

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