31 October 2012
Wireless devices operating illegally in the
mobile phone spectrum allocated to the major
carriers are causing concern for the ACMA,
particularly in regional and remote areas.
Between July and October this year, the ACMA
dealt with 98 reports of wireless devices
interfering with mobile carrier networks-36 were in
regional and remote areas. In a growing number of
these cases, ACMA field staff found individuals and
industry using wireless local area networks (WLAN)
links in the 900 MHz spectrum band to extend a
computer network or an internet connection,
sometimes over several kilometres. The 900 MHz band
has been used successfully by the major
telecommunications carriers to deliver digital
mobile phone services across Australia for nearly
The ACMA is also concerned that the wireless
devices are often being supplied to the market
configured to operate outside the Australian
spectrum set aside for them. Interference has
mostly occurred when equipment designed in the
United States for use in the 902-928 MHz frequency
range is commissioned in Australia without the
necessary frequency range reduction to comply with
the relevant class licence and equipment standards.
In Australia, the relevant frequency range is
limited to 915-928 MHz because digital mobile phone
services operate below 915 MHz.
As a result, the ACMA is pursuing suppliers of
equipment that caused the recent interference to
ensure that their equipment is complying with the
required Australian standards.
The ACMA reported responding to 255 reports of
interference to mobile telecommunications networks
in 2011-12, an increase from 238 the previous year.
A significant number of the sources of interference
to these networks were found to be wireless devices
operating illegally within the spectrum allocated
to mobile carriers.
Further information about the relevant class
licence and short-range devices standard is
available in a fact sheet on the ACMA website.