ARCIA update: latest events, an MOU and rebranding progress

Australian Radio Communications Industry Association

By Hamish Duff, President
Wednesday, 03 July, 2024

ARCIA update: latest events, an MOU and rebranding progress

Thank you to all the ARCIA members and partners who have shown terrific support for events so far in 2024. The Sydney conference and evening networking event were well attended and the buzz in the room suggested members enjoyed the events. As I write this the Brisbane event is about to happen, so make sure you book your tickets at

Many Australian colleagues ventured to a cool Christchurch over the last week of June for Comms Connect New Zealand. Another very successful event was held, with many end users, some great content and partners showcasing the latest gear. We would like to welcome the new RFUANZ Chairman, Soren Low, and all the committee members who give up their time to assist the industry. We also witnessed the retirement of Debby Morgan, the long-time secretary for RFUANZ. From our side of the Tasman Debby has been fantastic to work with and she is also a passionate advocate for our industry.

ARCIA is running many Sundowners around Australia and they are also being very well attended by members; if you are after a quick casual catch-up with your local colleagues, please consult the ARCIA events calendar for details. The recent Melbourne event saw Matt Gibson awarded the Industry Advancement Award for Victoria; he will now be a nominee for the national award in October. I am also delighted to announce that for the first time there will be a Sundowner held in Newcastle on 26 September. A big thank-you to our Hunter committee members for organising the event; it will be tremendous to offer a catch-up for the locals and I am sure they will appreciate not having to travel to Sydney for an industry event.

ARCIA continues to advocate for an open-access policy for all areas of spectrum, with the underlying theory that effective spectrum management is about the productivity of the nation, and the association has now signed an MOU with the 450 MHZ Alliance. This may seem counterintuitive to the standard LMR market, as this would allocate spectrum to suit broadband technology normally reserved for LMR. However, if there is a market there for this technology and spectrum can be shared in a useful way then it may have a place. For example, an underground mine may prefer to use lower frequency-based LTE for broadband services; this would not present an interference problem to other services if managed correctly. A similar process is unfolding in the 6 GHz market, where many users are expecting to use this spectrum to expand Wi-Fi services. This has been approved in the USA, using an automatic frequency control to protect incumbent point-to-point users.

For our major event in Melbourne, we are looking forward to a big year. The call for papers is now open for Comms Connect, so save the date (15–17 October) and put in your nominations for the annual industry awards; please don’t wait too long to nominate and miss out.

Finally, the committee has commenced work on making some changes to our constitution to keep up with our now national events and future rebranding. The major constitution change will be to have the three senior committee positions elected for a three-year period with alternating electoral periods; this is to ensure continuity of activities and planning efforts over several years, rather than a single-year approach as encompassed by our present constitution. In line with the changes made since the appointment of our CEO, plus the changes within the industry in general, the committee feel that the base of our association is moving away from ‘radio communications’ and being an ‘industry association’; as such the brand of the organisation should be reworked to reflect where we are in the modern communications ecosystem.

Hamish Duff, President, Australian Radio Communications Industry Association.

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