Home Telecoms & NBN 5G gets closer: ACMA consults on 5G spectrum auction arrangements

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has announced consultations on 5G spectrum auction arrangements as it prepares to auction spectrum in the 3.6GHz later this year.

The ACMA tells us that "Australia is moving one step closer to enabling 5G mobile broadband services", as it today releases "draft spectrum licensing instruments in the 3575–3700 MHz band (3.6 GHz band)". 

This comes as the ACMA reminds us all that it is "preparing to auction spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band later this year".

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said: "The ACMA is consulting on the details of the spectrum licences to be offered in the 3.6 GHz band, the draft rules of the auction and the technical framework that will underpin the new licences.

"Consultation will ensure that these are fit-for-purpose for the auction process."

We're told that the details are "contained in a discussion paper and in a number of draft legislative instruments, including a marketing plan and draft auction rules released today by the ACMA".

O'Loughlin added: "We are making spectrum available as early as possible so that all Australians can benefit from these new technologies. But we recognise the 3.6GHz auction will require incumbent operators in the band to make some changes".

In this context, the ACMA states it is "seeking comment on the introduction of planning arrangements to support frequency co-ordination and licensing of point-to-multipoint (P-MP) systems in the 5.6 GHz band".

"This is one of several previously announced strategies to support the transition of existing services in the 3.6 GHz band. The ACMA is also seeking comment on proposed measures to protect existing BoM radar services and make provision for additional radar services in future".

"We will be working closely with wireless internet service providers, satellite operators and the Bureau of Meteorology up to and well beyond the auction process to address their concerns’ O’Loughlin continued.

The ACMA has also released a draft five-year spectrum outlook 2018–22 for feedback.

The FYSO presents the ACMA’s spectrum management priorities for the coming year and over the medium term. This year’s FYSO announces key elements of a revised allocation work program, signals planning priorities, and updates progress on implementation of the Spectrum Review and new radiocommunications legislation.

O'Loughlin concludeD: "The ACMA’s spectrum planning continues to keep pace with a rapidly changing communications environment."


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.


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