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Wednesday, 28 October 2009 19:48

ACMA prepares for intelligent transport systems

The ACMA has issued a discussion paper proposing the release of spectrum in the 5.9GHz band to permit the introduction of intelligent transport systems (ITS) for road users in Australia.

ITS technologies use dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to transfer real-time information over short distances between in-vehicle mobile radio units and roadside units, and can be used for a wide range of applications.

"The deployment of ITS could reduce road crashes, including those that result in fatalities. It could also decrease congestion, which would result not only in savings arising from time lost to delay and vehicle operating costs; but reduce costs associated with air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions," said Chris Cheah, acting chair of the ACMA.

The ACMA is proposing that spectrum would be allocated on a shared basis with incumbent services, saying it believes that the band can be shared by incumbent services, such as the fixed service and the fixed satellite services, and ITS with the imposition of some conditions.

The ACMA’s discussion paper Planning for intelligent transport systems has been released in the lead up to the ACMA’s Transport Spectrum Tune-Up, a one day seminar on spectrum issues in the transport sector, to be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on 18 November.

Arrangements to facilitate the use of ITS have been developed internationally in the 5.9GHz band. The ACMA says that Australian alignment with internationally harmonised arrangements for ITS is desirable for two main reasons. "Firstly, it would allow Australia to benefit from the economies of scale that develop in larger markets. Secondly, a large proportion of the vehicles in Australia are manufactured overseas and imported. ITS modules are expected to be installed in motor vehicles during manufacture, so harmonised arrangements would ensure that these modules could be used in Australia."

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