Operation of Radio LANs in the 5 GHz band may be expanded

Friday, 23 January, 2004

The operation of radio local area networks (RLANs) in the 5 GHz frequency range in Australia may soon be expanded under proposals being considered by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA).

The move follows decisions made at last year's World Radiocommunication Conference (WRC-03).

ACA Acting Chairman, Dr Bob Horton, said WRC-03 had decided to make allocations in the 5150-5250 MHz, 5250-5350 MHz and 5470-5725 MHz frequency ranges to support wireless access systems in the mobile service including RLANs, which are also known as wireless local area networks or WLANs. An additional allocation was also made to the fixed service in the 5250-5350 MHz frequency range for the implementation of fixed wireless access (FWA) systems in some countries including Australia. These new allocations came into force on 5 July 2003.

"The new WRC-03 spectrum allocations to fixed and mobile services raised some strategic questions that need to be considered by the ACA before any new spectrum regulatory arrangements can be developed," Dr Horton said.

"The discussion paper sets out the options and issues that the ACA is considering in deciding how to implement any new regulatory arrangements.

"The ACA is seeking comment on proposals, set out in the paper, which are designed to provide more opportunities for RLAN, and potentially FWA, applications in the 5 GHz frequency range," he said.

"Depending on the particular band and application, the WRC-03 decisions support the use of transmitters with maximum radiated power from 200 mW up to 2 W EIRP. The decisions also specified other technical and operational constraints."

The ACA discussion paper entitled Proposals for Spectrum Arrangements for RLANs and FWA in the 5 GHz Frequency Range Post WRC-03 canvasses issues relating to the use of four separate bands in the 5 GHz range.

The discussion paper is available on the ACMA website

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