Spectrum allocations for 5G

Thursday, 05 November, 2020

Spectrum allocations for 5G

The federal government has begun the process to allocate spectrum in the 850/900 MHz bands to support deployment of 4G (and later 5G) mobile services.

According to the government, these bands are not currently well optimised and a reallocation will enable ACMA to reconfigure the bands for 4G and 5G mobile services.

The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, has issued a spectrum reallocation declaration authorising the ACMA to make more spectrum available in the 850 MHz expansion band, and improve the use of spectrum in the 900 MHz band.

The declaration allows for the reallocation of 20 MHz of new spectrum for mobile broadband services in the 850 MHz expansion band, as well as 50 MHz in the 900 MHz band, a band that carriers currently use for 3G and 4G services.

The spectrum is slated to be sold at auction in late 2021.

In fact, the government will hold two auctions to allocate 5G spectrum next year. In April 2021, it will allocate 26 GHz band 5G spectrum to enable extremely fast, high-capacity services. And in the second half of the year, the government will allocate the low-band 850/900 MHz 5G spectrum.

“Low-band spectrum can carry the 5G mobile signal longer distances, and is best for wide coverage indoors and outside. The mid-band spectrum provides broad coverage and fast speeds and the high-band spectrum will allow blazing fast speeds over shorter distances,” said Minister Fletcher.

“We are making the low, mid and high bands available so that the telcos can provide better, faster and stronger 5G in Australia.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/iaremenko

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