Radio Spectrum Inventory: A 2010 Snapshot — Canada

Chapter 4 – Amateur Service

4.1 Background

4.1.1 Definition of Service

The ITU-R Radio Regulations, Article 1.56 defines amateur service as "A radiocommunication service for the purpose of self-training, intercommunication and technical investigations carried out by amateurs, that is, by duly authorized persons interested in radio technique solely with a personal aim and without pecuniary interest."

The ITU-R Radio Regulations, Article 1.57 defines amateur-satellite service as "A radiocommunication service using space stations on earth satellites for the same purposes as those of the amateur service."

4.1.2 Broad description of type of service/applications

The amateur service is used by individuals who have been certified to operate in those frequencies. Amateur stations do not generally have frequency assignments, but dynamically select frequencies within a band allocated to the amateur service using a listen-before-talk protocol. Amateur stations perform a variety of functions, such as training, communication between amateur stations, disaster relief communications and technical investigations in radio techniques.

4.2 Current Allocations and Utilization

4.2.1 List of Allocated Bands

There are some bands that are allocated exclusively to the amateur service, but many bands allocated to the amateur service are shared with other radio services and amateur operators are aware of the sharing conditions. The following table shows the bands allocated to the amateur service in Canada, their allocation status and whether they are shared with other services.

Table 4.1: Bands allocated to the amateur service in Canada, their allocation status and whether they are shared with other services.
Amateur Service Bands Status Shared/Exclusive
  1. Note 1: Allocated in whole or in part to both the amateur service and the amateur-satellite service. (back to table 4.1 footnote reference 1)
135.7-137.8 kHz Secondary Shared
1800-1850 kHz Primary Exclusive
1850-2000 kHz Primary Shared
3500-4000 kHz Primary Exclusive
7000-7300 kHzTable 4.1 footnote 1 Primary Exclusive
10.1-10.15 MHz Primary Exclusive
14-14.35 MHz1 Primary Exclusive
18.068-18.168 MHz1 Primary Exclusive
21-21.45 MHz1 Primary Exclusive
24.89-24.99 MHz1 Primary Exclusive
28-29.7 MHz1 Primary Exclusive
50-54 MHz Primary Exclusive
144-148 MHz1 Primary Exclusive
216-222 MHz Secondary Shared
222-225 MHz Primary Exclusive
430-450 MHz Secondary Shared
902-928 MHz Secondary Shared
1240-1300 MHz Secondary Shared
2300-2450 MHz Secondary Shared
3300-3500 MHz Secondary Shared
5650-5925 MHz Secondary Shared
10-10.5 GHz1 Secondary Shared
24-24.05 GHz1 Primary Exclusive
24.05-24.25 GHz Secondary Shared
47-47.2 GHz1 Primary Exclusive
76-77.5 GHz1 Secondary Shared
77.5-78 GHz1 Primary Exclusive
78-81 GHz1 Secondary Shared
122.25-123 GHz Secondary Shared
134-136 GHz1 Primary Exclusive
136-141 GHz1 Secondary Shared
241-248 GHz1 Secondary Shared
248-250 GHz1 Primary Shared
Amateur use from 52 MHz to 38 GHz (for additional information, refer to Annex 1):

Note: There are a number of secondary allocations for the Amateur service, illustrated by an 'S' in the box.

Amateur use from 52 MHz to 38 GHz [Description of Figure]

In general, there is more than 23 GHz of spectrum allocated to the amateur service, approximately 20% of which is allocated on a primary basis and 80% of which is allocated on a secondary basis. Although there is a large amount of spectrum allocated to the amateur service, all of the bands are very small, shared or in frequency bands above 20 GHz. Given that this study is limited to the frequency range 52 MHz-38 GHz, there is 59 MHz of spectrum allocated to the amateur service on a primary basis in this range.

4.2.2 Band plans (pairing) where applicable

Not applicable.

4.2.3 Type of licence (spectrum vs. frequency)

Amateur stations are not licensed in Canada. Amateur station operators require an Amateur Radio Operator Certificate with the Basic Qualification and a call sign. With this certificate, an amateur operator may operate within any of the amateur service frequency bands in accordance with the operator's qualifications (basic, Morse code or advanced) identified for the specified band.

4.2.4 Comparison with the United States

In general, the amateur service bands are aligned with the United States; most are also aligned internationally.

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4.3 Spectrum Inventory and Analysis

4.3.1 Major users

These bands are used by certified amateur radio operators.

4.3.2 Number of assignments and geographic information

There are currently 60,173 amateur radio operator certificates across Canada.

4.3.3 Spectrum usage maps

Not applicable.

4.4 Trend Charts

Figure 4.1 shows the total number of amateur certificates that are active in Canada by fiscal year. Over the last 10 years, the number of amateur certificates has almost doubled.

Figure 4.1 – Fiscal year total of amateur certificates
Figure 4.1 – Fiscal year total of amateur certificates [Description of Figure 4.1]

Figure 4.2 shows the total number of new amateur certificates that have been issued in Canada by fiscal year. This figure shows that, even though the total number of amateur certificates has increased over the last 10 years, the number of new amateur certificates awarded has decreased by 50%.

Figure 4.2 – Fiscal year total of new amateur certificates
Figure 4.2 – Fiscal year total of new amateur certificates [Description of Figure 4.2]
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