SAB-001-17 — Displacement of Existing Fixed Service Assignments in the Frequency Band 5850–5925 MHz

February 2017

The purpose of this notice is to advise that Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) will allow the introduction of vehicle-mounted Dedicated Short-range Communications (DSRC) devices in the Band 5850–5925 MHz and will therefore be displacing fixed service assignments in that frequency range.

DSRC operations

In 2004, ISED (then Industry Canada) designated the band 5850–5925 MHz for DSRC.Footnote 1 In 2006, this was followed by a moratorium on the licensing of new non-DSRC systems in this band.Footnote 2 In 2007, a public consultation was held to invite comments regarding Proposed Spectrum Utilization Policy, Technical and Licensing Requirements to Introduce Dedicated Short-range Communications-based Intelligent Transportation Systems Applications in the Band 5850–5925 MHz (2007 DSRC Consultation). The Department deferred issuing a decision on the policy, technical and licensing requirements for DSRC as responses to the 2007 DSRC Consultation indicated that DSRC technology was not yet sufficiently mature.

Renewed interest in DSRC has prompted the Department to finalize a transition policy for existing fixed service assignments in order to enable DSRC on-board vehicle units in this band in a timely manner. These DSRC on-board vehicle units will operate on a licence-exempt basis and will be certified under the applicable Radio Standards Specification (RSS). 


The Spectrum Policy Framework for Canada (2007) outlines, among other things, the policy guidelines dealing with the allocation of spectrum resources and the displacement of radio systems. The policy, formulated under the Radiocommunication Act and Radiocommunication Regulations, states that:

The Department will reallocate spectrum, as necessary, such as to support the implementation of new services or to comply with changes to international frequency allocations. The impact of these reallocations on existing services, including the potential displacement of existing services, will be taken into account. However, any displaced spectrum users will be responsible for all costs incurred as a result of any reallocation of spectrum by the Department.

The 2007 DSRC Consultation proposed that displacement of existing fixed stations would be done only as needed, i.e., when roadside DSRC infrastructure equipment was licensed in a particular area. Furthermore, longer displacement time was proposed for stations in rural areas as DSRC infrastructure was expected to be deployed in urban areas first.

The development of vehicle-to-vehicle DSRC technology has taken place at a faster pace than roadside infrastructure technology. Since automobiles with vehicle-to-vehicle DRSC systems (which do not depend on roadside infrastructure) can operate anywhere that roadways exist, the notification will apply to fixed stations in both rural and urban areas. Consequently, the transition policy for the existing fixed service assignments as specified below is in effect as of the date of publication of this bulletin.

Transition Policy Provisions

The following provisions for displacement apply to incumbent fixed service stations in the band 5850–5925 MHz:

  1. Pursuant to this Spectrum Advisory Bulletin, the Department will issue formal notifications to incumbent licensees for the displacement of affected fixed service frequency assignments.
  2. These notices will afford a minimum notification period of 18 months from receipt of notification. Licensees operating in rural areas may request for an extended notification period of more than 18 months but not exceeding 2 years.  Approval of such requests will be on a case-by-case basis. Application for extension must be accompanied with justification and be submitted within 90 days of receipt of notification.
  3. Fixed station licensees will cease operation of the identified frequency assignments on or before the date indicated in the served notification.
  4. Notwithstanding provision 3, licensees of fixed stations may submit an application to the Department requesting continuation of the operation of particular stations on a no-protection, no-interference basis with respect to future DSRC systems and any other existing or future services or operations in the band. Each application must be submitted to the appropriate ISED regional officeFootnote 3 and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The application must indicate how the continued operation of these stations would not create harmful interference to future DSRC systems (e.g. fixed station located in a remote area such as a mountain top). Application must be submitted within 90 days of receipt of notification.
  5. ISED will monitor and may make changes to the transition policy as required.