The ACMA has planned the 400 MHz changes to occur in a number of phases spread over several years. Milestone one is almost complete in high- and medium-density areas and will commence in low- and remote-density areas in 2014.
Milestone two involves the transition to 10 MHz, split in segments S, T, X and Y, with:
- government users to move out of segments S and X
- non-government users to move out of segments T and Y.
Within high- and medium-density areas, and within the 100 km boundary around these areas, the transition towards milestone two begins on 31 December 2014. See our project plan for more detail on what’s required to meet this milestone.
Achieving milestone one compliance in capital cities has helped prepare the way for the implementation of milestone two by:
- Clearing users from 452.5–453 MHz and 462–462.5 MHz during 2013.
Spectrum options have included moving to temporary licences in 440–450 MHz or into space created in 469.9875–520 MHz by the bandwidth reduction process of milestone one and reverting to apparatus licences in segments NN and SS (relatively lightly used with channels available in most locations).
- Clearing users from segment Y into 462–462.5 MHz or into vacant spectrum created in 469.9875–518 MHz.
In addition, spectrum embargo 56 has frozen growth in 469.9875–489.99375 MHz to preserve options for services that may wish to move out of segments S and X.
With the clearance of 452.5–453 MHz, the subsequent transition of users to a 10 MHz frequency split may be achieved in many instances by moving the base receive segment down by 0.5 MHz (that is, the base transmit frequency is retained and the base receive frequency reduces by 0.5 MHz). Alternatively, users can relocate to spectrum in 469.9875–518 MHz.
Simultaneously, government users in 452.5–457.50625 MHz and 462.5–467.50625 MHz will relocate to harmonised government spectrum, and non-government users in 457.50625–459.9875 MHz and 467.50625–469.4875 MHz will relocate elsewhere in the 450–470 MHz band, or to another part of the 400 MHz band.
It is important that licensees consider their options to adhere to the requirements of milestone two and put appropriate plans in place.