SAB-002-14 – Multi-Use Radio Services in the 150 MHz VHF Band

Deferral of Multi-Use Radio Services (MURS) in Canada

In 2005, Industry Canada held a public consultationFootnote 1 to invite comments regarding policy changes to accommodate new services including MURS radio products available in the United States market. Following this consultation, in June 2009, the Department released its decisions in 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, ("2009 policy decision").

Included in this policy document was a decision to introduce MURS devices in the 150 MHz band (i.e. 151.8200 MHz, 151.8800 MHz, 151.9400 MHz, 154.5700 MHz and 154.600 MHz), along with the following transition components:

  1. a five-year transition period was established from the publication date of the June 2009 spectrum policy, after which the distribution and sale of MURS devices would be permitted;
  2. all affected licensees would receive notification letters following the publication date of the spectrum policy and two years before the end of the transition period;
  3. affected licensees that wished to move to other frequencies, at their own cost, would be accommodated with new frequencies where possible. The Department would inform licensees of the availability of alternate frequencies, on a case-by-case basis, at the request of the licensee;
  4. licensees could continue to use these frequencies on a secondary, no protection basis, but might be subject to interference from the operation of MURS devices; and
  5. the Department would establish appropriate technical limits for the MURS devices in a relevant Radio Standard Specification (RSS) and/or a Standard Radio System Plan (SRSP). The provisions of paragraph (iii) and (iv) would also be applied to certain adjacent frequencies, as listed in the relevant SRSP.

According to the 2009 policy decision, MURS devices would have been permitted to operate in Canada as of June 2014. Also included was a moratorium on any further licensing of these five frequencies for new land mobile radio systems. These frequencies are currently used specifically by commercial/industrial land mobile and public safety licensees.

Since release of Industry Canada’s 2009 policy decision, uncertainties have been raised regarding potential uptake of MURS devices in Canada, and the relative merits of proceeding with MURS implementation in light of potential negative impacts to incumbent licensees.

As a result, the Department does not feel that the introduction of MURS devices in Canada is warranted at this time, and has decided to defer the introduction of MURS devices in Canada until a clearer indication of actual need is provided by Canadian MURS advocates and/or stakeholders.

Manufacturers, importers, retailers, current licensed users, and all other stakeholders are asked to take note of this provision.

Issued under the authority of the Radiocommunication Act.

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Peter Hill
Director General
Spectrum Management Operations Branch

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Marc Dupuis
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch

Footnotes

Footnote 1

Proposals and Changes to the Spectrum in Certain Bands Below 1.7 GHz (DGPT-004-05): http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/smt-gst.nsf/eng/sf08494.html

Return to footnote 1 referrer

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