CPC-2-1-22 — Licensing Procedure for Automatic Meter Reading Equipment in the 1.4 GHz Band

Issue 2
October 2001

Comments and suggestions may be directed to the following address:

Industry Canada
Spectrum Management and Operations Branch
235 Queen Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0H5

Attention: DOS

Email: ic.spectrumpublications-publicationsduspectre.ic@canada.ca

All Spectrum Management and Telecommunications publications are available on the following website: http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum.


The radiofrequency spectrum is a natural resource to which all Canadians are entitled access. Industry Canada endeavours to provide this access with a minimum of administrative burden for our clients while ensuring the efficient use of the radiofrequency spectrum.


Section 5 of the Radiocommunication Act empowers the Minister to issue spectrum licences for the use of specified radio frequencies within a defined geographic area. The Minister may also establish terms and conditions of such licences with respect to the use of the radio frequencies concerned or to the services that may be provided by the licence holder.

Section 19 of the Department of Industry Act empowers the Minister to fix fees for spectrum licences.


Governments are moving away from the regulation of the utilities and opening this industry up to competition. This has resulted in a proliferation of new energy service providers, evolving regulations and an energy sector that is moving towards open, competitive services.

Contributing to the efficient operation of these non-regulated energy services, automatic meter reading (AMR) devices are able to extract data and information from utility meters and provide that information to the appropriate utility company for analysis/processing. Utilities use this data to make real time decisions on reducing or increasing overall load on their pipelines, electrical grids/networks and water distribution systems. Moreover, with two-way, real-time communications, utilities can immediately determine meter tampering and remotely connect and disconnect service, sell off surplus energy to other utilities, and monitor brownouts or blackouts. Gas companies can check for leaks in their distribution systems and water utilities can increase or decrease the flow through their distribution systems to cope with changes in consumer demand. They can also offer customers special rates to take advantage of non-peak hours.

On October 9, 1999, in response to the business needs of these clients, the Department released Canada Gazette Notice DGTP-006-99, Amendments to the Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the 1-3 GHz Frequency Range, designating the sub-bands 1427-1430 MHz and 1493.5-1496.5 MHz to be used to provide AMR services, in urban areas.

This circular deals with the licensing of such AMR systems.


To minimize the administrative burden, on both the clients and the Department, AMR systems will not be licensed on a site-by-site basis. Instead, the Department will issue a spectrum licence for each service area.

Related Documents

  1. Spectrum Utilization Policy 1-3 GHz - Amendments to the Microwave Spectrum Utilization Policies in the 1-3 GHz Frequency Range (SP 1-3 GHz)
  2. Standard Radio System Plan 301.4 - Technical Requirements for Fixed Line-of-Sight Radio Systems Operating in the Bands 1427-1452 MHz and 1492-1517 MHz (SRSP-301.4)
  3. Radio Standards Specification 142 - Narrowband Multipoint Communication Systems in the 1427-1430 MHz and 1493.5-1496.5 MHz Bands (RSS-142)
  4. Client Procedures Circular 2-0-03 - Environmental Process, Radiofrequency Fields and Land-Use Consultation (CPC-2-0-03)
  5. Client Procedures Circular 2-0-16 - Licensing Procedure for Spectrum Licence (CPC-2-0-16)
  6. Radiocommunication Information Circular 27 - Identification of Urban vs Rural Areas (RIC-27) 
  7. Radiocommunication Information Circular 66 - Addresses and Telephone Numbers of Regional and District Offices (RIC-66)


1. General

The Department authorizes AMR systems, to operate in the sub-bands 1427-1430 MHz and 1493.5-1496.5 MHz, on a first-come first-served (FCFS) basis. If a situation arises where the demand for spectrum, in a given area, exceeds the amount allocated, the regional spectrum management office will address the issue of accommodating all interested parties which may involve a public consultation on alternative approaches to assigning spectrum.

Radio Standards Procedure 113 (RSP-113), entitled Application Procedures for Planned Radio Stations above 960 MHz in the Fixed Service, provides for simplified licensing procedures where applicable. The Department has decided to apply this flexibility to the licensing of AMR systems in the 1.4 GHz sub-bands and describes that simplified procedure in this document.

Those who apply for authority to operate AMR systems in these sub-bands, may submit their applications to any Industry Canada Spectrum Management office. Their submissions should include information on the following:

  • the manner in which the proposed system complies with the provisions of the SP 1-3 GHz;
  • a full system description, including the use of wireline or other wireless facilities, technologies and frequency bands;
  • the proposed implementation dates and deployment time frames;
  • the proposed area of operation;
  • a description of the equipment to be used;
  • the type of licence being sought, i.e. user, service provider or carrier; and
  • preferences, if any, for a specific block of spectrum.

2. Assignments

Normally, licensees will be limited to 1 MHz of spectrum in a given area. Exceptions may be made in instances where such assignments will not unduly limit access to this spectrum by other users.

The sub-bands 1427-1430 MHz and 1493.5-1496.5 MHz correspond to channels 1 and 1' of the Subscriber Radio System (SRS) 3.5 MHz channelling plan and will be shared on a geographical basis between SRS and AMR systems. The Department will not assign channels 1 and 1' for SRS systems in the vicinity of urban areas, as defined and explained in RIC-27. In instances where a proposed AMR system conflicts with an existing SRS system, in one of those urban areas, the AMR operator must work with the operator of the SRS system to mitigate any resulting interference. Beyond the vicinity of urban areas, access to the spectrum for SRS systems will continue to be available in channels 1 and 1'.

The use of some AMR channels may be impaired by medical telemetry applications or affected by assignments to stations in the Digital Radio Broadcasting (DRB) service in the band 1452-1492 MHz in Canada and the mobile aeronautical telemetry bands in the United States. Applicants should refer to SRSP-301.4 for further details.

Applicants for channels in the lower sub-band (1427-1430 MHz), proposing to operate within a 50 km radius of the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory near Penticton, B.C. (49̊19'18"N and 119̊37'08"W), must first coordinate their proposed frequency assignment with that facility. Written concurrence from the Director of the Observatory, telephone - (250) 493-2277 or facsimile - (250) 493-7767, must accompany the licence application.

3. Fixed Links and Limitations on ERP

Applicants should refer to SRSP-301.4 for details on these issues.

4. Fees

Licence fees should reflect the economic value of the radiofrequency spectrum being used. However, in the absence of a market based mechanism to determine this value, the Minister has, for this type of spectrum licence, fixed the annual fee per spectrum grid cell, using household density data obtained from Statistics Canada. Please refer to the Radiocommunication Regulations for details.

To determine the household density, for any spectrum grid cell, applicants may refer to: http://spectrumgeo.ic.gc.ca/txt/download-eng.html#spectrum_grid

5. Area of Operation

Applicants are required to define the geographical area, for which they are applying, in terms of spectrum grid cells, using the maps available on Industry Canada’s Web site at http://www.ic.gc.ca/spectrum. The area of operation need not necessarily be the actual coverage area of the system but rather is defined as the area being served. There is no restriction on the number of cells that can be licensed, keeping in mind the geographical sharing relationship between AMR and SRS systems, as described in section 2.

Should an applicant wish to provide service in a number of different areas, a spectrum licence will be issued for each area.

6. Conditions of Licence

The proposed radio apparatus must be approved under RSS-142.

Licensees must respect the restrictions described in SRSP-301.4.

The remaining terms and conditions are described in CPC-2-0-03 and CPC-2-0-16.

Date modified: