What is Band 14 in Canada?

February 1st, 2023

Band 14 is a specific frequency band in Canada that is used for public safety communications. This band is critical for ensuring that emergency services and other first responders are able to communicate effectively and efficiently in times of crisis.

The frequency band in question is 700 MHz. This band is considered to be “beachfront” spectrum, as it is particularly well-suited for providing wireless coverage in rural and remote areas. The lower frequencies in this band can penetrate buildings and other obstacles, making it possible for signals to reach areas that would otherwise be difficult to cover.

Band 14 and Band Class 14

In Canada, the 700 MHz frequency band is divided into two main categories: Band 14 and Band Class 14. Band 14 is a public safety-only band, while Band Class 14 is a shared band that can be used by both commercial and public safety entities.

Band 14 is managed by the Federal government’s Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED). ISED is responsible for issuing licenses and managing the use of this band. In order to use Band 14, organizations must apply for and obtain a license from ISED.

700 MHz allows for Robust Communications

One of the main benefits of Band 14 is its ability to provide reliable and robust communications in times of crisis. This is especially important for emergency services such as police, fire, and ambulance, as well as for other first responders such as search and rescue teams. In a disaster or emergency situation, these organizations need to be able to communicate quickly and effectively in order to coordinate their efforts and ensure the safety of the public.

In addition to its use by emergency services, Band 14 is also used by other public safety organizations such as the Canadian Coast Guard, Transport Canada, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. These organizations rely on the reliability and robustness of Band 14 to carry out their important missions.

Band 14 supports new technologies

Another benefit of Band 14 is that it is also able to support new technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G. As these technologies continue to evolve, Band 14 will play an increasingly important role in connecting devices and systems, and enabling new applications and services.

Despite its many benefits, there are also some challenges associated with Band 14. One of the main challenges is that this band is in high demand, and there is limited spectrum available. As a result, ISED must carefully manage the use of Band 14 to ensure that all organizations are able to access the spectrum they need.

Another challenge is that Band 14 is also used by commercial entities, which can lead to conflicts and interference. ISED must work to ensure that the use of Band 14 by commercial entities does not negatively impact the ability of public safety organizations to communicate effectively.

Band 14 is a critical frequency band in Canada that plays a vital role in ensuring the safety and well-being of Canadians. Its ability to provide reliable and robust communications, even in times of crisis, makes it a key resource for emergency services and other first responders. While there are some challenges associated with its use, ISED is working to ensure that Band 14 is used effectively and efficiently to meet the needs of all organizations. As technology continues to evolve, Band 14 will become even more important in connecting devices, systems, and enabling new applications and services to support the public safety of Canadians.

Image source: ISED