ARCIA gala dinner returns in style

Australian Radio Communications Industry Association

Tuesday, 15 November, 2022


ARCIA gala dinner returns in style

Finally, ARCIA could return to Melbourne for our annual gala dinner. As part of Comms Connect we welcomed over 400 guests to the Melbourne Convention Centre to showcase our industry. Our guests included representatives from Radio Frequency Users New Zealand (RFUANZ), Wireless Internet Services Providers Association (WISPA), the Australian Critical Communications Forum (ACCF) and many international visitors.

After three years of waiting, the ARCIA committee and executive were thrilled with the response from our members, partners and industry colleagues to attend the event in great spirit. Getting back to some kind of post-COVID normal is not guaranteed and we wanted to ensure that all attendees had an evening to remember. Our guest MC was Julian Morrow of The Chaser fame and we really enjoyed his take on vital communications. All the feedback from the annual dinner has been very positive and we look forward to a broader program of events in 2023 around Australia.

We also took the opportunity to formally introduce our new CEO, Paul Davis. He spoke very well, outlining many of the tasks ahead and importantly reaching out to all members and partners for feedback. Watch out for Paul visiting your state and make sure you take the chance to have your say.

ARCIA would like to congratulate all the winners of Industry Awards — in particular the Industry Professional of the Year, Gavin Jenkins, and our latest Johnathon Livingstone Seagull inductee, John la Cava, both thoroughly deserving winners. A full list of all the winners can be found at https://arcia.org.au/2022-arcia-industry-excellence-awards-winners/.

We also need to thank the organising team behind ARCIA for the event — it really felt like the band was back together. Well done team!

We would also like to thank Westwick-Farrow and the entire Comms Connect team for bringing this event back to Melbourne in spectacular fashion. The program was excellent and very well supported by government and international representatives. Listening to many of the speakers, it was refreshing to hear from many perspectives that LMR is alive and well. Australia and New Zealand are continuing to invest in LMR for public safety while at the same time embracing the LTE sector where that makes sense. What we also saw at Comms Connect were many new companies and product options for hybrid LMR/LTE devices, not to mention other technologies such as mesh networking and satellite options.

Finally, ARCIA can report progress on work that has been going on behind the scenes for several years. As wireless broadband technologies become more relevant to our market, ARCIA has been advocating that private industry needs access to acceptable spectrum. Open access to spectrum is a key enabler of a modern economy to allow multiple sectors to design and deploy private systems as they do now with Ethernet, Fibre, Wi-Fi, LMR and other technologies. The full benefits of new 5G and WBB technology are only realised if they are available to everyone.

It is indeed very pleasing to see that the ACMA has not only finally recognised this, but now plans are in place for allocation of spectrum for local area wireless broadband (LA-WBB), the ACMA terminology for private LTE spectrum. The ACMA has announced that spectrum in the 3.4–4.0 GHz band will be available for allocation for LA-WBB by mid-2023, and in a recent meeting with senior ACMA management they confirmed that this will happen. ARCIA has spent several years lobbying on behalf of our industry to have access to spectrum for private LTE systems — after all, we have been supplying private communications networks for close on seven decades. This is our future.

Hamish Duff, Hon President

Australian Radio Communications Industry Association

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