Australian regulator ACMA has proposed repurposing digital dividend spectrum for mobile broadband use, and has called for suggestions on how to allocate it.
A contiguous block of spectrum between 694MHz and 820MHz will be freed up by the migration from analog to digital TV, which will be complete by 2013, ACMA said.
The first analog TV signals are already being switched off, and digital signals will be restacked to free the spectrum after the transition is complete.
ACMA has proposed to reallocate the digital dividend spectrum in an auction process.
The spectrum will most likely be offered for mobile broadband and telephony services, particularly LTE networks, ACMA said. The wide signal coverage of the 700MHz band could enable services to be delivered more cost-effectively in rural areas of Australia.
ACMA has proposed to follow the ITU Region 3 arrangements for distributing digital dividend. These call for the spectrum to be allocated in both paired an unpaired configurations, with the paired arrangement to consist of 2x45MHz blocks with a mid-band gap of 10MHz.
But the arrangements currently don't cover spectrum in the frequency band 806-820MHz, which ACMA said it may allocate separately from the rest of the digital dividend.
The consultation period will last until December 6.