ACMA opens 3.6 GHz band consultations

By Jonathan Nally
Monday, 03 July, 2017

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The ACMA has released a consultation package on the future of the 3.6 GHz band (3575–3700 MHz), which is being touted as a pioneer band for 5G mobile broadband.

“In line with our established mobile broadband strategy [Word document download], we want to make sure Australia is well placed to take advantage of the emergence of 5G technologies both in the cities and the regions,” said ACMA acting Chairman Richard Bean.

“The ACMA acknowledges the strong interest in the 3.6 GHz band for 5G and other wide area broadband uses, while also recognising that there are existing services and licensees using these frequencies that want to continue operating.”

The consultation papers include:

  • Future use of the 1.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands — summary of and response to 3.6 GHz band-related submissions
  • Future use of the 3.6 GHz band — Highest value use assessment–Quantitative Analysis
  • Future use of the 3.6 GHz band — Options paper

The papers identify a range of possible replanning options for the 3.6 GHz band and include a detailed explanation of and reasoning for the ACMA’s currently preferred option to make spectrum available in metropolitan and regional areas for new services.

Various mitigation measures are proposed to reduce the effects of any change on incumbents in the band, including unusually lengthy adjustment periods.

“We have identified spectrum in the 5.6 GHz band that may be made available for point-to-multipoint users including Wireless ISPs to grow their businesses into the future,” added Bean.

“We are also investigating the establishment of ‘Earth station protection zones’ to aid ongoing long-term use of the 3.6 GHz band by satellite services.”

The ACMA is seeking public comment, with the deadline for submissions being Friday, 4 August 2017.

The ACMA will hold a spectrum Tune-Up for the 3.6 GHz band on 12 July, which will include presentations from both industry and the ACMA. More information and registration details are available on the 3.6 GHz band spectrum tune-up web page.

Image courtesy ACMA.

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