It is rumoured that radio handsets are sometimes used in Canada on 2-metre amateur bands without being certified with Industry Canada. Some of those sets may be modified or reprogrammed to operate on 2m commercial bands, it is said. That would of course be against Industry Canada regulations.

Is it theoretically possible to have a radio handset which is compliant with Industry Canada regulations for use on both 2m amateur bands and 2m commercial bands, and properly certified by Industry Canada? Can anyone give examples of handsets which meet these criteria?

My understanding of Industry Canada regs for commercial bands is that a mobile handset must not provide a way of choosing arbitrary frequencies in the field. At most they can permit switching between pre-programmed channels. The programming must be done with a gadget separate from the handset (like a special cable and computer and software). My understanding of the Canada regs for amateur radio are that it is permitted and normal to handsets to provide a way — like a numeric keypad — of choosing arbitrary frequencies in the field. However, the keypad is not required for amateur gear, and it is compliant to use a radio with pre-programmed channels on amateur bands. And my understanding is that a handset is only regs-compliant if it is actually certified with Industry Canada, and is on IC's list of compliant radios.

If my understanding is correct, then it isn't clearly impossible for one handset to comply with regs for both amateur and commercial 2m bands. But I would like answers that can confirm it is theoretically possible to comply. If there are examples of real handsets that are Industry Canada certified, that's a convincing way to demonstrate that it is possible.

Just to be clear, regs also specify operator licensing. For instance, an operator transmitting on amateur frequencies must hold (or be supervised by a holder of) an amateur radio licence. But I'm not concerned here with regs about operators, just regs about handsets.

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    $\begingroup$ @SDsolar I don't know how to interpret your comment. What do you mean by "the issue was"? Do you mean "the reason why it is possible for one handset to be compliant with both bands…"? Or, "the reason why it is NOT possible…"? $\endgroup$ – Jim DeLaHunt Apr 8 '18 at 9:11
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    $\begingroup$ The only radios are allowed to operate on the Canadian 70 cm "CB" bands must be specifically approved by the Canadians for that purpose. Being "compliant" as you put it could have various interpretations. Technical compliance is not sufficient. The bottom line is that they are in control of the airwaves in their country and must have approved the specific radios used there. So that means Baofengs et al are not. To underline the seriousness with which they take this, note the restrictions in USA operations in proximity to their border, on that band, even with compatible radios. $\endgroup$ – SDsolar Apr 8 '18 at 14:39
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    $\begingroup$ @SDSolar thank you for the clarification. My question is not looking for some tricky technical "compliance". I do include, "and properly certified by Industry Canada". By the way, you comments look like they amount to an answer. Why not submit them as an answer, and get points? $\endgroup$ – Jim DeLaHunt Apr 8 '18 at 19:02
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    $\begingroup$ @SDsolar If you have even a partial answer, write an answer, not a comment; a sketch of an answer posted as an answer is better than a sketch of an answer in comments. You can always delete or edit it later. Comments should be used for discussing improvements to the question. $\endgroup$ – Kevin Reid AG6YO Apr 8 '18 at 23:15
  • $\begingroup$ @SDsolar I fully agree with Kevin. The tour is pretty explicit: "This site is all about getting answers. It's not a discussion forum. There's no chit-chat." The moderators did not make that rule, but are obligated to enforce it, like it or not. $\endgroup$ – Mike Waters Apr 8 '18 at 23:28

According to Alan McLean of Industry Canada if a radio approved for use in LMR service in Canada, for example, can be software reprogrammed (without hardware modifications) to be used on the amateur bands, then such reprogramming and use is permitted by any Canada amateur radio license class as it is considered an SDR under section 44:

In regard to the use of commercially manufactured "Software Defined" radio equipment within the Amateur Radio Service:  Provided that the equipment has been manufactured capable of operating within a frequency range inclusive of those frequencies assigned for use by the Amateur Radio Service and can be configured "Solely" by means of software programming, the programming and use of these devices by an amateur radio operator holding a Basic, or Basic with Honours certificate is permissible.

It appears that Industry Canada is responsive to licensee's questions so if you have any remaining questions, you may wish to directly contact them via email.

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    $\begingroup$ In other words... yes you can, but it won't be a very convenient amateur radio transceiver. You'll need to pre-program any repeater pairs and simplex frequencies you want to use, and you'll be unable to use modes not used in commercial radio. $\endgroup$ – Jim MacKenzie VE5EV Apr 5 '18 at 16:02
  • $\begingroup$ Excellent answer and comment. $\endgroup$ – SDsolar Apr 8 '18 at 21:53

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