RSS-131 — Zone Enhancers for the Land Mobile Service

Issue 2, July 2003

Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Policy
Radio Standards Specification


This second issue of RSS-131 replaces Revision 2 of Issue 1 of RSS-131. This new version will be in force as of the publication date of Gazette Notice SMSE-006-03, in the Canada Gazette, Part I. Upon publication, the public has 90 days to make comments. These comments will be taken into account in the preparation of the next version of the document.


Issue 2 of RSS-131 contains the following main changes: 

  1. Technical requirements for Single Channel Enhancer has been added (Sections 2, 4.3.2, 4.4.2 and 6.3.2).
  2. A general, non-substantive reformat of the document was done.
  3. Some sections have been renumbered or deleted as consequential changes to the reformatting of the document.

Issued under the authority of the Minister of Industry

R.W. McCaughern Director General Spectrum Engineering

Table of Contents

  1. Scope
  2. General Information
  3. Certification Requirements
  4. Measurement Methods
  5. General Standard Specifications
  6. Equipment Standard Specifications
  7. 6.4 Spurious Emissions
  8. 6.5 Frequency Stability of Band Translators

1. Scope

This document sets out standards for zone enhancers (i.e. booster amplifiers) and band translators (i.e. a zone enhancer with a frequency band change) for the land mobile service, excluding those for the broadcasting service.

Typical uses for enhancers are to compensate for transmission line losses in distributed antenna systems or to enhance the signal strength in shadowed areas, such as in cellular, paging and other land mobile applications.

2. General Information

A technical acceptance certificate (TAC) issued by the Certification and Engineering Bureau of Industry Canada or a certificate issued by a Recognized Certification Body (CB) is required, pursuant to subsection 4(2) of the Radiocommunication Act, and the Radiocommunication Regulations. Before certification is granted, the applicant shall show that the applicable Industry Canada standards have been complied with.

The equipment is subject to licensing pursuant to subsection 4(1) of the Radiocommunication Act.

An amplifier to be used solely in conjunction with a particular model of radio transmitter may be tested with that model of transmitter to comply with the Industry Canada standard for that type of transmitter. Such amplifiers (i.e. those not meeting the RSS-131 Standard) cannot, however, be listed in the Radio Equipment List as enhancers and will not be authorized for use with other models of transmitters.

An amplifier certified for one technology such as Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) under this standard may not be used with another technology such as Global System Mobile (GSM) unless the amplifier has been certified for each type of technology. An amplifier that is certified to this standard may be used with other exciters of the same technology provided that the amplifier's input is attenuated such that the manufacturer's maximum rated output power is not exceeded. The TAC shall state the technologies for which the amplifier may be employed.

This Standard, RSS-131, does not apply to bidirectional (two-way) cell enhancers utilising the same amplifier for both the forward and reverse frequency bands. These devices may be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by Industry Canada's Manager of Radio Equipment Standards.

2.1 Inquiries Concerning This Standard

Inquiries concerning this Standard should be directed to: 

Manager, Radio Equipment Standards
Industry Canada
300 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0C8
Tel: (613) 990-4699
Fax: (613) 991-3961

2.2 Inquiries Concerning Equipment Certification

Inquiries concerning equipment certification should be directed to: 

Chief, Certification and Engineering Bureau
Industry Canada
3701 Carling Avenue (Building 94)
P.O. Box 11490, Station "H"
Ottawa, Ontario
K2H 8S2
Tel: (613) 990-4218
Fax: (613) 990-5009

2.3 Inquiries Concerning Licensing

Inquiries concerning licensing requirements should be directed to your local Industry Canada office (see document RIC-66).

2.4 Related Documents

The following documents should be consulted: 

  1. IPC-2-1-05 Zone Enhancers
  2. RIC 66: Addresses and Telephone Numbers of Regional and District Offices
  3. RSP-100: Radio Equipment Certification Procedure
  4. RSS-102: Evaluation Procedure for Mobile and Portable Radio Transmitters With Respect to Health Canada's Safety Code 6 for Exposure of Humans to Radio Frequency Fields
  5. TRC-49: Certification Service Fees
    Information on the Application of the Telecommunications Apparatus Technical Assessment and Testing Fees Order Made under the Financial Administration Act

2.5 Availability of Documents

Industry Canada documents are available on the Spectrum Management and Telecommunications Web site at

Assistance regarding this Web site is available by e-mail at:

2.6 Licensing Requirements

The licence application to the local office of Industry Canada shall indicate whether the operation involves single or multiple carriers and its engineering brief shall include the technical parameters of the device if it is a band translator.

3. Certification Requirements

3.1 Application for Certification

The application for certification shall be prepared and submitted in accordance with document RSP‑100.

A test report shall be submitted with the application for certification.

3.2 Test Report

The test report shall contain the following information and/or measurements: 

  1. the unit's documentation (e.g. schematics, user manual, etc.);
  2. a list of all test instruments used, identifying the instruments manufacturer, type and model number;
  3. the test voltage;
  4. the amplifier's passband gain and bandwidth;
  5. the amplifier's gain-versus-frequency response;
  6. the amplifier's rated mean output power (Prated) and its output signal coupling attenuation;
  7. the frequency stability;
  8. all the measurement results that address the requirements of other applicable Standard(s); and
  9. any additional information that is needed to better understand the operation of the equipment under consideration.

4. Measurement Methods

4.1 General

The test report information shall be obtained in accordance with the following methods and conditions: 

  1. Tests are to be conducted in accordance with good engineering practices.
  2. Where a test method specified in this document cannot be followed, an alternative appropriate method may be used provided that it is fully described in the test report. If the appropriateness of this alternative method is in doubt, the Certification Bureau of Industry Canada should be consulted.
  3. Test results are to be presented in graphical form wherever possible. The graph shall also include the specification limits.
  4. Associated equipment that is normally used with the equipment shall be so connected before the equipment is tested.
  5. Tests shall be performed at ambient temperature and at the manufacturer's rated supply voltage, and power, and with a suitably modulated input signal representative of the technology for which certification is sought. Special conditions apply for the frequency stability tests.

4.2 Passband Gain and Bandwidth

Adjust the internal gain control of the equipment under test to the nominal gain for which equipment certification is sought.

With the aid of a signal generator and spectrum analyser, measure the 20 dB bandwidth of the amplifier (i.e. at the point where the gain has fallen by 20 dB). Measure the gain-versus-frequency response of the amplifier from the midband frequency f0 of the passband up to at least f0 ±250% of the 20 dB bandwidth.

4.3 Mean Output Power

4.3.1 Multi-channel Enhancer

The following subscript "o" denotes a parameter at the enhancer output point.

Connect two signal generators to the input of the Device Under Test (DUT), via a proper impedance matching network (and preferably via a variable attenuator) so that the two input signals are equal sinusoids (and can be raised equally).

Connect a dummy load of suitable load rating to the enhancer output point. Connect also a spectrum analyser to this output point via a coupling network and attenuator, so that only a portion of the output signal is coupled to the spectrum analyser. The coupling attenuation shall be stated in the test report.

Set the two generator frequencies f1 and f2 such that they and their third-order intermodulation product frequencies, f3= 2f1-f2 and f4 = 2f2 - f1, are all within the passband of the DUT.

Raise the input level to the DUT while observing the output tone levels, Po1 and Po2, and the intermodulation product levels, Po3 and Po4.

For enhancers rated 500 watts or less: Raise the input level to the DUT until the greater level of the intermodulation products at the enhancer output terminals, Po3 or Po4, equals -43 dBW.

For enhancers rated over 500 watts: Raise the input level to the DUT until the greater level of the intermodulation products at the enhancer output terminals, Po3 or Po4, is 67 dB below the level of either output tone level, Po1 or Po2.

Record all signal levels and their frequencies. Calculate the mean output power (Pmean) under this testing condition using Pmean = Po1 + 3 dB.

4.3.2 Single Channel Enhancer

A suitably modulated signal, representative of the technology for which certification is sought, is applied to the input of the amplifier. The input power level is increased until the manufacturer's rated input power level is achieved or until a 2 dB increase in input level results in a 1 dB increase in output level (i.e. compression begins). Record the output power in the 99% emission bandwidth using any suitable means.

4.4 Spurious Emission

4.4.1 Multi-channel Enhancer

The spurious emissions of the equipment under test shall be measured using the two-tone method in section 4.3.1, with the two tones Po1 and Po2 set to the required levels.

Using a spectrum analyser with a resolution bandwidth set at 100 kHz, search for spurious emissions from 30 MHz to at least 5 times the highest RF passband frequency. The search may omit the band that contains the test tones and intermodulation products.

4.4.2 Single Channel Enhancer

The enhancer shall be operated as described in section 4.3.2 during the search for spurious emissions.

Using a spectrum analyser with a resolution bandwidth set at 100 kHz, search for spurious emissions from 30 MHz to at least 5 times the highest RF passband frequency. The search may omit the band that contains the input signal.

4.5 Frequency Stability of Band Translators

In addition, the local oscillator frequency stability of the band translator shall be reported.

Frequency stability is a measure of the frequency drift due to temperature and supply voltage variations, with reference to the frequency measured at +20°C and rated supply voltage.

The following temperature and supply voltage ranges apply: 

  1. at 10 degree intervals of temperatures between -30°C and +50°C, and at the manufacturer's rated-supply voltage; and
  2. at +20°C temperature and ± 15% supply voltage variations.

5. General Standard Specifications

5.1 Quality Control

Periodic testing shall be carried out by the manufacturer or importer to ensure continuing compliance (with the standards) of the newly manufactured/imported equipment intended for sale in Canada. The manufacturer or importer shall correct non‑compliance problems. Industry Canada will conduct audit checks, from time to time, to ensure compliance.

5.2 Equipment Labels

Equipment that is certified under this Specification shall be permanently labelled on each item or as an inseparable combination. The label shall contain the following information: 

  1. The certification number, prefixed by the term "IC: ";
  2. The manufacturer's name, trade name or brand name; and
  3. A model name or number.

Equipment for which a certificate has been issued is not considered certified if it is not properly labelled.

Note: The information on the Canadian label can be combined with the manufacturer's other labelling requirements.

5.3 User Manual

The user manual shall contain the following information on the enhancer: 

  1. The nominal passband gain (dB);
  2. The nominal bandwidth;
  3. The rated mean output power;
  4. The input and output impedances, and;
  5. The following notice: "The Manufacturer's rated output power of this equipment is for single carrier operation. For situations when multiple carrier signals are present, the rating would have to be reduced by 3.5 dB, especially where the output signal is re-radiated and can cause interference to adjacent band users. This power reduction is to be by means of input power or gain reduction and not by an attenuator at the output of the device."

5.4 External Controls

The device shall not have any external controls accessible to the user which enable the device to be adjusted, selected or programmed to operate in violation of the limits prescribed in this Standard.  Furthermore, information on internal adjustments, reconfiguration or programmability of the device shall only be made available to service depots and agents of the equipment supplier and NOT to the public.

5.5 Exposure of Humans to RF fields

Before equipment certification is granted, the procedure of RSS-102 must be followed concerning the exposure of humans to RF fields

6. Equipment Standard Specifications

6.1 Amplifier Gain and Bandwidth

The passband gain shall not exceed the nominal gain by more than 1.0 dB. The 20 dB bandwidth shall not exceed the nominal bandwidth that is stated by the manufacturer. Outside of the 20 dB bandwidth, the gain shall not exceed the gain at the 20 dB point.

6.2 Output Power

The manufacturer's output power rating Prated MUST NOT be greater than Pmean for all types of enhancers.

Additional Power Back-off Condition for Multiple Carrier Operations: 

An example of a single carrier operation is a band translator that incorporates an (IF) filter of a passband equal to one channel bandwidth. Another example of a single carrier operation is the use of an enhancer, before the connection to the antenna, to boost a low power transmitter (single carrier) to a higher power.

An example of a multiple carrier operation is the use of an enhancer to amplify off-air signals that contain the wanted carrier and two (or more) adjacent band carriers. If the enhancer passband is wide enough to pass more than the wanted channel bandwidth, the enhancer output stage will be loaded by the multiple carriers.

Examination:  with 3 carrier signals (of assumed equal level), the peak voltage will be 3 times the single carrier voltage. The corresponding Peak Envelope Power (PEP) will be 32 times greater than a single carrier or 9/4 = 2.25 times greater than 2 tones PEP. Therefore the permissible wanted signal operating point has to be backed off by 3.5 dB (i.e. Ppermissible = Prated - 3.5 dB ).

Note 1: All enhancers will be classified in the Radio Equipment List (REL) for a single carrier operation.

Note 2: For a multiple carrier operation, the rating must be reduced by 3.5 dB or more.

Note 3: If there are more than 3 carriers present at the amplifier input point, greater power back-off may be required. This can be examined on a case-by-case basis.

6.3 Non-Linearity

Transmitter signals amplified by a non-linear device (enhancer or translator) will alter the occupied bandwidth of the transmitted signals; therefore, the extent of non-linearity shall be tested.

6.3.1 Multi-channel Enhancer

For a multi-channel enhancer, any intermodulation product level must be attenuated, relative to P, by at least: 

43 + 10 Log10P, or 70 dB, whichever is less stringent,

where P is the total RF output power of the test tones in watts.

6.3.2 Single Channel Enhancer

For a single channel amplifier, the 99% emission bandwidth shall be measured under the conditions described in section 4.3.2 and the spectrum analyser plots submitted in the test report. Set the resolution bandwidth of the spectrum analyser from 1% to 3% of the 99% emission bandwidth and set the video bandwidth to 3 times the resolution bandwidth. Record both the amplifier input and output signals.

All emissions in the amplifier's output signal that falls outside a licensed frequency block or allocated bandwidth for the technology under test must be attenuated, relative to P, by at least:

  43 + 10 Log10P, or 70 dB, whichever is less stringent

where P is the manufacturer's rated output power in watts.

6.4 Spurious Emissions

Spurious emissions of zone enhancers and translators shall be suppressed as much as possible.

Spurious emissions shall be attenuated below the rated power of the enhancer by at least:

43 + 10 Log10(Prated in watts), or 70 dB, whichever is less stringent.

Note:   If the minimum standard is not met, check to see if the input signal generators have a high harmonic content.

6.5 Frequency Stability of Band Translators

A band translator is essentially a repeater station and should introduce as little frequency error as possible. The frequency stability should therefore meet the objectives of the overall land mobile or cellular service for which it serves. Better frequency stability than the minimum standard cited below will therefore be required in some cases.

The frequency stability shall be within ± 1.5 parts per million (0.00015%).

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