SRSP-506 — Technical Requirements for Land Mobile and Fixed Radio Services Operating in the Bands 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz

Issue 2
October 1999

Table of Contents

1. Intent

1.1 This Standard Radio System Plan (SRSP) states the minimum technical requirements for the purpose of efficient spectrum utilization for land mobile and fixed point-to-point systems operating in the bands 896-901 and 935-940 MHz.

1.2 Radio systems conforming to the requirements contained in this SRSP will take priority in licensing and coordination over non-standard systems proposed for operation in these bands.

Systems, which employ spectrally efficient technologiesFootnote 1, are strongly encouraged and may also be authorized on a standard basis.

1.3 The arrangements for non-standard systems are outlined in Spectrum Utilization Policies SP Gen (SP Gen), General Information Related to Spectrum Utilization and Radio Systems Policies.

2. General

2.1 Equipment used for land mobile or fixed systems operating in the above bands must comply with appropriate Technical Standards listed in Para. 3.1. A TAC (Technical Acceptance Certificate) is required for the equipment if the applied Radio Standards Specification appears on the Category 1 Equipment List.

2.2 Although a radio system conforms to the requirements of this SRSP, the Department may require modifications to the system whenever harmful interferenceFootnote 2 is caused to other radio sites or systems, except when such interference is due to inadequate receiver selectivity as dealt with under 2.3 below.

2.3 The Department reserves the right to limit protection to licensed radio receivers only to the extent of bandwidth of the transmitters whose emissions they are licensed to receive. Licensees and/or applicants should use receiver selectivity characteristics or filters that provide rejection of harmful interference.

2.4 Systems that employ a base station as an automatic repeater station shall transmit on frequencies identified as base transmit frequencies. Dispatcher stations (often referred to as control stations) operating through an automatic repeater station shall transmit on frequencies identified as mobile transmit frequencies.

2.5 Single frequency operation utilizing the base/repeater transmit frequency (known as repeater talk-around) beyond the service area of a paired frequency system may be permitted on a case-by-case basis as an adjunct to the paired frequency system. Some channels have also been designated for talk-around use (see Section 4.5). Such operation may be permitted within the authorized service area at the discretion of the system operator and will be on a non-protection, non-interference basis to the other users of the system in the case of radio service provided by a radiocommunication service provider.

2.6 Very low capacity (VLC) fixed systems may be authorized in these bands on a non-standard basis beyond 120 km of the centre of the metropolitan areas listed in Annex B and should be in accordance with applicable technical provisions of Standard Radio System Plan 507 (SRSP-507).

3. Related Documents

3.1 The current issues of the following documents are applicable:

3.1.1 Standard Radio System Plan 507 (SRSP-507): Technical Requirements for Line-of-Sight Radio Systems Operating in the Fixed Service in the Bands 932.5-935 MHz and 941.5-944 MHz.

3.1.2 Radio Standards Procedure 100 (RSP-100): Radio Equipment Certification Procedures.

3.1.3 Radio Standards Procedure 101 (RSP-101): Application Procedure for Planned Radio Stations Operating on Frequencies below 960 MHz.

3.1.4 Radio Standards Specification 119 (RSS-119): Land Mobile and Fixed Radio Transmitters and Receivers, 27.41 to 960 MHz.

3.1.5 Radio Systems Policy 003 (RP-003): Policy Guidelines for Mobile Radio Trunked Systems.

3.1.6 Spectrum Utilization Policies SP Gen (SP Gen): General Information Related to Spectrum Utilization and Radio Systems Policies.

3.1.7 Spectrum Utilization Policy SP-896 MHz (SP-896 MHz): Spectrum Utilization Policy for the Fixed, Mobile, Radiolocation and Amateur Services in the Band 896-960 MHz.

3.1.8 Radio Systems Policy RP-Gen (RP-Gen): General Spectrum Policy Principles and Other Information Related to Spectrum Utilization and Radio System Policies.

3.1.9 Radiocommunication Regulations: The new Radiocommunication Regulations replace the General Radio Regulations, Parts I and II, the Interference Causing Equipment Regulations and the Radio Operator Regulations. They provide for the necessary regulatory framework in which to manage the radio frequency spectrum.

3.1.10 Terrestrial Radiocommunication Agreements and Arrangements

4. Band Plan

4.1 Sharing Arrangements Along the Canada/United States Border

In the interest of equitable sharing of spectrum along the border and to reduce coordination and administrative effort and time, the governments of Canada and the United States have entered into arrangements whereby certain portions of the bands 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz are set aside on a block allocation basis for the unrestricted geographic use of either country in border areas. The terms of these arrangements take into account the demographic differences that exist along the border between the two countries. Protection and sharing zones are illustrated in Annex C Figure 1. The bands 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz are shared on a block allotment basis within the sharing zones and the entire bands are available for assignment within the protection zones. There are however, certain power and height restrictions applicable within both the sharing and protection zones.

4.1.1 Special Conditions for the Use of Certain Frequencies

Frequencies primarily allotted for unrestricted use by the United States may be assigned in Canada for use within the sharing zones under the following conditions:

  1. The predicted maximum power flux density (PFD) of the signal at the border, calculated using free space propagation (taking into account any antenna discrimination in the direction of the border), does not exceed the limits specified in Annex C Tables C1 and C2.
  2. In Sharing Zone II, in recognition of special topographical conditions, the use of a point-to-point propagation model is permitted; in which case the limit for the predicted maximum PFD shall be -107 dBW/m2, at or beyond the border.
  3. In all three sharing zones, assignments for these stations are subject to the condition that in the event the actual signals exceed -107 dBW/m2 at or beyond the border, the licensee will take immediate action to eliminate any interference.
  4. Assignments on these frequencies will not be entitled to protection from U.S. stations.

4.2 Channelling Plan for the 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz Bands

A channelling plan is outlined below, including provision for national/wide-area and special systems. The geographic availability for these bands is illustrated in Annex A Figure 1. The channel designation is given in Annex A Table 1, a detailed channelling plan is given in Annex A Table 2 (a) and (b).

4.2.1 The normal channel spacing for this spectrum is 12.5 kHz and assignments begin 12.5 kHz from the band edge. However channel spacings which are whole multiples of 12.5 kHz (25 kHz, 50 kHz, etc.) will be considered on a case-by-case basis, taking local considerations and spectrum efficiency into account. The spacing between associated mobile and base station frequencies is 39 MHz. The detailed channel designation is given in Table 1.

4.2.2 The spectrum in the bands 896-901 MHz and 935-940 MHz is channelized into two 5 channel subgroups yielding 10 channel groups. Within a given 10 channel group, the separation between channels is 12.5 kHz, forming a spectrum block of 125 kHz maximum. The spectrum is channelized in this fashion to permit either trunking or other spectrum efficient technologies to be used.

4.2.3 The distribution of the contiguous channels for any one licensed system within the geographical area to be served may range from one site to many. In those cases where multiple sites are employed, and where the channels are re-used within the area being served, the subset of channels used at any one site may or may not be contiguous.

4.2.4 The following paired channels are to be available for the implementation of an Advanced Train Control System (ATCS):

935.8875 / 896.8875 MHz
935.9375 / 896.9375 MHz
935.9875 / 896.9875 MHz
936.8875 / 897.8875 MHz
936.9375 / 897.9375 MHz
936.9875 / 897.9875 MHz

The details of the use of these frequencies for ATCS in border areas will be worked out between the two appropriate operating Agencies: the Association of American Railways (AAR) in the United States and the Railway Association of Canada (RAC) in Canada. Within the sharing zones, any non-ATCS usage will require coordination with ATCS usage in both countries. Outside the sharing zones, a similar coordination with the RAC will be required for non-ATCS usage along railway rights-of-ways. These frequencies may be used for non-ATCS applications in areas distant from railway rights-of-way, at the discretion of the Regional Executive Director.

4.3 Channeling plan

In accordance with RP-003, an applicant for a trunked radio system is usually assigned up to five (5) pairs of channels at a time. However, where an application is made for other than 5 pairs of channels to be used on multiple sites, the application will be considered, subject to adequate justification being provided. Minimum loading of the existing channels, in accordance with Section 5.2 will be a condition for system expansion.

The spectrum availability is illustrated in Annex A Figure 1. Assignments will be made starting with the lowest available block and proceeding numerically upward, unless proper justification is provided and the spectrum availability otherwise permits. Assignments for conventional (i.e., non-trunked) systems can be made from the available spectrum in a given area.

4.4 National and/or Wide Area Radio Systems

A national land mobile frequency assignment will be considered if the operational function satisfies the following requirements: (1) operational necessity for the mobile and/or portable radio equipment to travel and be used on a regular basis, normally within all regions of the country, AND operational necessity for the mobile and/or portable radio equipment to operate on the same frequency(ies) at all operating locations OR (2) to provide response to unpredictable emergencies of national geographic scope and concern.

A "wide-area" land mobile radio system is a system that has common frequencies assigned for use under the following conditions:

  1. operational necessity for the land mobile/portable radio equipment to travel and be used on a regular basis between two or more geographic areas (a geographic area is defined as the coverage area obtained from a base station in accordance with its effective radiated power (ERP) and effective antenna height);


  2. operational necessity for the land mobile/portable equipment to operate on the same frequency(ies) at all operating locations.

The specific channel groups available for both systems are outlined in Table 2(a).

4.5 Other Designated Channels

The channels designated below are available for test, demonstration and talk-around use. These channels will be licensed on a shared no protection basis.

Between 81°W and 85°W
within sharing and protection zones
396, 397
East of 71°W/West of 85°W
396, 397, 398, 399

5. Channel Sharing and Loading Guidelines

5.1 Channel Sharing

Section 40 of the Radiocommunication Regulations states: "The assignment of a frequency or frequencies to a holder of a radio authorization does not confer a monopoly on the use of the frequency or frequencies, nor shall a radio authorization be construed as conferring any right of continued tenure in respect of the frequency or frequencies".

5.2 Loading Guidelines

The Department is currently revising its loading guidelines. Until such time as the new guidelines will be issued, the Department will continue to apply the following guidelines in determining adequate loading of communications channels, and thus, of radio channels.

5.2.1 Mobiles per channel

For the purpose of designating the loading guidelines, users will be divided into two major categories: safety services and other applicants. Noting that trunked usage is to provide more efficient use of the spectrum than conventional usage, the basic loading guidelines in terms of number of mobiles per communication channel for radio systems follow:

User Category Radio System Type Mobiles per
Communication Channel
safety services conventional 30
trunked 50
others conventional 75
trunked 90

5.2.2 Traffic model

Another approach that may be applied by the Department in some locations, is based on traffic theory and makes use of the Erlang C model. This model assumes that the system will queue a certain number of blocked calls.

The Grade of Service will be defined by a specified delay, in message lengths, such that calls delayed will not exceed the specified delay with a probability P(t) of 0.03 (3%). That is, 97% of the calls placed will not be delayed by greater than the specified delay.

For Safety Services, the specified delay is 1 average message length For Other Services, the specified delay is 3 average message lengths

The average length is defined by the average Push to Talk (PTT) duration.

5.2.3 Other considerations

The Department recognizes that the above approaches may not be appropriate for all systems and networks. The Department will give consideration to technologies, changing user behavior or pattern, introduction of new services, systems, and network deployment as a whole when assessing frequency requirements.

These guidelines are to be interpreted as minimum levels, recognizing that they represent a broad average over many different services with different message characteristics. In the frequency assignment process, these guidelines will be utilized in conjunction with current observed channel occupancy data (obtained with automatic occupancy measuring equipment) to determine whether additional mobiles may be added to a channel or whether additional channels are required. Such observations will also be used to assess the general loading criteria and the inherent trade-off between sound spectrum management and acceptable grades of service.

RP-003 provides a detailed description of the policy governing the implementation of trunked systems.

6. Technical criteria

6.1 Radiated power and antenna heights limits

Effective radiated power (ERP) shall be limited to that necessary to provide the required service as governed by the system requirements and will be subject to the limitations stipulated in Annex C Tables A1 and A2.

6.2 Co-channel separation

Only co-channel interference between base stations will be taken into consideration. Normally, the geographic separation between co-channel systems will be calculated based on a non-overlap of the 40 dBμV/m service contour of the existing station and the 22 dBμV/m interference contour of the proposed station.

The service contour of the existing station is usually calculated based on probability of service of 50% of the time for 90% of the locations at edge of contour.

The interference contour is calculated using the probability that the signal level used is not exceeded more than 10% of the time, i.e. 90% of the time the signal is below the threshold, for 90% of the locations.

Issued under the authority of the Minister of Industry

R.W. McCaughern
Director General
Spectrum Engineering


Footnote 1

Different channelization from what is described herein may be considered if it results in increased spectrumefficiency.

Return to footnote 1 referrer

Footnote 2

Harmful Interference means an adverse effect of electromagnetic energy from any emission, radiation or induction that (a) endangers the use or functioning of a safety-related radiocommunication system, or (b) significantly degrades or obstructs, or repeatedly interrupts, the use or functioning of radio apparatus or radio-sensitive equipment.

Return to footnote 2 referrer