Proposal to make further 2 GHz spectrum available
The public consultation period for the discussion paper closed on 23
November 2009, and two submissions were received from Optus and Telstra.
The ACMA is currently in the process of reviewing these responses and
finalising outcomes of the consultation process.
The allocation of Public Telecommunications Service (PTS) apparatus
licences in the 2 GHz band
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) is seeking
comment on a proposed licensing arrangement that would see spectrum in the
paired frequency bands 1920-1980 MHz and 2110-2170 MHz (the 2 GHz band)
available for allocation via the issue of Public Telecommunications Service
(PTS) apparatus licences in regional and remote areas of Australia.
The ACMA is releasing a Discussion Paper titled Licensing arrangements
to support the allocation of Public Telecommunications Service (PTS) apparatus
licences in the 2 GHz band, along with proposed amendments to subordinate
legislative instruments, for comment by industry and interested
The Discussion Paper outlines the proposed licensing and technical
coordination arrangements for the issue of PTS licences in the 2 GHz band; and
provides an explanation for the proposed amendments for the subordinate
The proposed amendments to the subordinate legislative instruments will, if
implemented, provide the necessary regulatory framework to enable PTS apparatus
licences to be issued in the 2 GHz band. The ACMA is seeking comment on
the following draft amendment instruments and technical document:
The Discussion Paper is available in
PDF (529 kb) or
Word (647 kb) formats.
The comment period for the Discussion Paper, draft subordinate instruments
and technical document closed on 23 November 2009.
The ACMA received interest in late 2008 from telecommunications providers
seeking to access spectrum in the paired frequency bands 1920-1980 MHz and
2110-2170 MHz (the 2 GHz band) in regional and remote areas of Australia. The 2
GHz band is currently allocated on a co-primary basis to fixed and mobile
services; with space research services allocated on a cop-primary basis in the
2110-2120 MHz segment respectively.
There is increasing demand, both domestic and internationally, for spectrum
to provide increased capacity for services offered by mobile telecommunications
providers. The 2 GHz band has been identified as an IMT band and
allocated internationally for mobile telecommunications services. By developing
appropriate coordination criteria and making further spectrum available in
regional and remote areas of Australia for mobile telecommunications services,
the ACMA can facilitate increased use of the band by multiple services in areas
where the spectrum may have otherwise remained unused.
In Australia, the 2 GHz band is allocated via the issue of spectrum licences
in metropolitan and regional areas; and the issue of apparatus licences in
rural and remote areas of Australia.
The ACMA believes that the issue of public telecommunications service (PTS)
apparatus licences on a site coordinated basis best supports arrangements for
the deployment of advanced telecommunications technologies (3G, 4G, LTE) in the
2 GHz band.
By issuing public mobile telecommunications service class B (PMTS Class B)
apparatus licences on a site coordinated basis, the ACMA will be able to
provide incumbent services with certainty regarding issues such as interference
management. The use of the PMTS Class B licensing option will also
provide access to the 2 GHz band using a licensing arrangement that reflects
the current use of the 2 GHz band in metropolitan and regional areas for mobile
The ACMA is also developing an assignment model for the coordination of PTS
apparatus licences in the 2 GHz band. The coordination criteria will
provide the desired level of flexibility for the ACMA to review applications
for services on a case by case basis.
The assignment model adopted by the ACMA should also provide certainty to
incumbent licensees by ensuring their ongoing protection in the band.