Industry Canada has updated their radio standards specifications for Wi-Fi equipments operating in the 5GHz frequency band. Check out this article to see what is new:
Industry Canada new 5GHz band regulations
As a Network Engineer, it is then important to know how many channels are available so you can design your wireless network accordingly. The more channels available you have, the better it is. It allows you to avoid CCI (or co-channel interference) which are deadly to any Wi-Fi network.
I found it pretty easy to find the information about 5GHz channels availability in the US. However, it’s very hard to find the same information for Canada. US telecommunications are regulated by the FCC (Federal Communication Commission). In Canada, IC (Industry Canada) is responsible for administering the technical standards and certification of equipment, managing the radio spectrum and the allocation of frequencies. So I dug into the IC’s official documents and finally found the useful information I am about to share with you!
Here are the details about the channels available in the 5GHz spectrum space in Canada :
What about DFS? DFS (Dynamic Frequency Selection) is a mechanism that allows wireless LANs to coexist with radar systems. It automatically selects a frequency that does not interfere with the radar systems. In Canada, any Wi-Fi devices operating on the channels 52-64, 100-116 and 132-140 have to employ a DFS radar detection mechanism. The use of DFS while implementing a Wi-Fi network is the choice of the Engineer. It allows you to use more channels for sure, however, the frequency change might bring some instability in the network. Moreover, the client devices are not always certified for DFS band operation which is the case for many portable devices. Therefore, many engineers prefer implementing their network without the use of these "DFS" channels.
The following chart puts the results in perspective illustrating the 5GHz channels with the DFS and Weather Radar restrictions:
This following table compares the channel availability in the 5GHz band in Canada with the rest of the world (without the use of DFS):
Written by François Vergès
Source : Document from Industry Canada : “RSS-210 - Licence-exempt Radio Apparatus (All Frequency Bands): Category I Equipment” Annex 9 - Local Area Network Devices