700 MHz band (digital dividend)
The ACMA will reallocate spectrum in the 700 MHz or 'digital dividend' band, which lies in the frequency range 694-820 MHz. This large contiguous block of spectrum will be freed up as a result of the switchover to digital television across Australia and subsequent restack of digital TV broadcast transmissions to channels below 694 MHz.
The Government has announced that analog television transmission will be progressively turned off from 2010, with a complete switchover to digital television transmission by December 2013.
The reallocation of this band in Australia is part of a worldwide trend of releasing digital dividend spectrum to allow greater use of this valuable public resource.
Reallocation of digital dividend spectrum will involve the planning and implementation of:
- Technical spectrum configuration arrangements for the band;
- Allocation processes that maximise efficient spectrum use; and
- An overall process that will realise the greatest benefits for the Australian public.
A summary of the consultation that has taken place on the 700 MHz reallocation can be found here.
2.5 GHz band
The ACMA will reallocate part of the spectrum within the 2.5 GHz band-namely, the spectrum in the frequency ranges of 2500-2570 and 2620-2690 MHz.
In Australia, the 2.5 GHz band is currently licensed almost exclusively to free-to-air television broadcasters for television outside broadcasting, including electronic news-gathering (ENG), under apparatus licensing arrangements.
The proposal to reallocate part of the 2.5 GHz band follows a review seeking to move the band to its highest value use. In addition, the review sought to identify suitable long-term spectrum arrangements to support incumbent ENG services.
In addition, following identification of the 2.5 GHz band internationally for use by Wireless Access Services (WAS), harmonisation of the band for WAS is increasing across advanced economies.
A summary of the consultation that has taken place on the 2.5 GHz reallocation can be found here.