Australia may refarm 1.5-GHz, 3.6-GHz for MBB

20 Oct 2016

Australian telecoms regulator ACMA has proposed refarming spectrum in the 1.5-GHz and 3.6-GHz bands for mobile broadband, including potentially in future 5G networks.

In a discussion paper, the regulator has proposed re-planning the spectrum bands in light of the international interest in utilizing them for mobile broadband by the ITU-R and APT, as well as individual countries. The regulator is seeking feedback from the industry and other stakeholders.

ACMA said the bands are currently used for a range of other services - including satellite and fixed broadband services in the 3.6-GHz band, and defence use and fixed services in the 1.5-GHz band.

“There are international standards that support 4G technologies in both the 1.5-GHz and 3.6-GHz bands. Importantly, the 3.6-GHz band is also being looked at internationally as an early band for 5G and the ACMA has decided to bring forward discussion of its future use,” ACMA chairman Richard Bean said.

“This paper gives current users of the bands as well as potential new entrants an opportunity to help us better understand the issues relevant to each band. Their views will help us to determine what, if any, frequencies and geographical areas should be considered in a possible future re-farming of the bands for mobile broadband.”

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