SAB-001-10 — Low-power Licensed Radiocommunication Devices, Including Wireless Microphones, in the Band 698-806 MHz

January 2010

Currently, the use of the band 698-806 MHz by low-power licensed radiocommunication devices is subject to licensing on a no-protection, no-interference basis in accordance with Client Procedures Circular CPC-2-1-11, Low-power Licensed Radiocommunication Devices, and Radio Standards Specification RSS-123, Low Power Licensed Radiocommunication Devices.

In September 2009, Industry Canada sought comments on proposed changes to the use, standards, certification and licensing for the operation of low-power licensed radiocommunication devices, including wireless microphones, in the band 698-806 MHz. Specifically, it was proposed that no new certification or licensing, for the operation of low-power radiocommunication devices, including wireless microphones, be issued in the band 698-806 MHz. It was further proposed that existing licensees be permitted to continue to operate low-power radiocommunication devices until March 31, 2011, provided that their operation does not create harmful interference to public safety systems operating in the bands 764-776 MHz and 794-806 MHz. Comments generally supported these proposals.

As noted, the bands 764-776 MHz and 794-806 MHz are already designated to public safety. The future use of the bands 698-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz is subject to separate consultation. However, given the nature of public safety operation and its stringent requirements for protection from interference, as well as the potential for possible future operation of mobile service in the band 698-806 MHz, no new licences for low-power licensed radiocommunication devices will be issued effective immediately.

Also effective immediately, the Department will no longer accept applications for certification of low-power licensed radiocommunication devices that operate in the band 698-806 MHz.

In addition, RSS-123 and CPC-2-1-11 will be modified in order to revise the applicable equipment standards and the licensing of these devices. The results of the modifications will be as follows:

  1. Once the RSS-123 standards are modified, it will be prohibited to manufacture, import, distribute, lease, offer for sale or sell any equipment that does not comply with the revised standards. This prohibition will apply to all equipment, including equipment that has been certified to meet the former standards.
  2. Similarly, the usage and operation of low-power licensed radio devices will be prohibited in the band 698-806 MHz. In the public safety bands, 764-776 MHz and 794-806 MHz, these devices will be permitted to operate until March 31, 2011. In the remaining bands (698-764 MHz and 776-794 MHz), these devices will be allowed to operate until a later date, which will be announced by the Department.

Manufacturers, importers, retailers and current licensed users are asked to carefully note these impending prohibitions.

Licensees are further advised that public safety systems may cause interference to devices that are covered by RSS-123. In such a case, licensees are encouraged to contact their local Industry Canada regional office to seek alternate channels.

Issued under the authority
of the Radiocommunication Act

Pamela Miller
Director General
Telecommunications Policy Branch

Marc Dupuis
Director General
Engineering, Planning and Standards Branch

Fiona Gilfillan
Director General
Spectrum Management Operations Branch