Spectrum Management Innovation Committee

Spectrum management systems, including licensing and spectrum usage databases, are critical to the management of the radio spectrum that benefits all users. These databases contain essential details on all communication installations. Evolving technologies and the increasing complexity of communications networks as well as the growing numbers of wireless systems and spectrum users makes it imperative that spectrum management tools and databases are optimized and evolve to meet both current and future demands. 

As the complexity of spectrum management increases, both regulators and spectrum users are increasingly being required to utilize more software and web-based tools and processes to manage licensing data, including the use of automation. Confidence in the use of these new tools and their results is heavily dependent on the accuracy and quality of the data contained within the licensing database. In addition to managing coexistence amongst spectrum users, the licensing data is also used to calculate RF exposure levels and compliance to Safety Code 6, which directly affects the safety of the general public. The ISED database information will also be used in the near future by third-party systems to directly control devices to dynamically share spectrum, further driving the need for high data integrity. Maintaining a high level of data integrity requires efforts by all licensees to ensure that licensing data is accurate and up to date, otherwise confidence in the data would rapidly decline.

Along with the integrity of the data, spectrum management systems and related databases must also be secure. User access to the data must include sufficient security measures to ensure the data is protected, and not subject to unauthorized access or disclosure. Security is of paramount concern to some licensees including those RABC members involved with policing and national security. 

As the finite spectrum becomes more and more congested, the need to share spectrum between users will become much more pronounced. The use of cognitive systems and other spectrum sharing mechanisms will in the long term become more prevalent. When and if dynamic spectrum access protocols are deployed, the security of these dynamic access protocols is of utmost importance. Spectrum management tools must be capable of evolving to include new spectrum sharing protocols. 

The Spectrum Management Innovation Committee is a permanent committee reporting to the RABC Executive, will function in an advisory role to Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED, or “the Department”) on matters regarding current and future spectrum management tools and processes, including web-based applications hosted and operated by the Department intended to be used by licensees, radio spectrum users, equipment vendors, and others. This does not include systems and databases operated by third parties.

The Committee will act as an interface between the Department and RABC members representing the radio communications industry, spectrum users, and equipment vendors and manufacturers. The Committee will provide input and feedback to the Department when and as requested on issues regarding current spectrum management tools, e.g. the Spectrum Management System (SMS), as well as advice on the development and implementation of future spectrum management systems being hosted and operated by ISED. 

It is important that the user interfaces and processes are easy to use for both current and future spectrum management systems, that the database information is readily available to the benefit of radio spectrum users for use in spectrum sharing and management, and that a high degree of data integrity is maintained for the information contained in the various spectrum management databases managed by the Department. 

The scope of the Committee will include providing advice on ISED-hosted radio and spectrum licensing systems as well as radio equipment certification databases. The committee scope excludes systems and databases operated by third parties. In addition to current systems, it is also intended that the Committee will provide advice to the Department during the planning and implementation phases of future spectrum management systems. 

The Committee will include Working Groups dealing with the following:

SMS Improvement Working Group

In co-operation with ISED, this group will continue working towards resolving issues and suggesting new features to improve the user interface and functioning of the ISED Spectrum Management System (SMS)

Data Integrity Working Group 

This working group will work towards identifying potential data integrity issues, including providing suggested solutions to identify and correct database errors, as well as advice on other processes to improve the quality and integrity of the data contained in the ISED licensing databases. 

It is anticipated that efforts will have to be made by many or perhaps all licensees towards enhancing data integrity through reviews and updates of their data. The working group will assist where possible in furthering these efforts. 

Future Spectrum Management Systems

Working groups will be established as necessary to provide input and feedback from the RABC membership through the Spectrum Management Innovation Committee when and as requested by the Department regarding future spectrum management systems, including during the appropriate system planning and implementation phases. 

The current Chair of the Spectrum Management Innovation Committee is Brenda Bouchette (Tacit Law/Canadian Association of Wireless Internet Service Providers).

Current as of March 22nd. 2023