Draft recommendation for regional 1800 MHz band | ACMA

Draft recommendation for regional 1800 MHz band

Issue for comment 3/2015—10 February 2015

Consultation on the discussion paper Draft spectrum reallocation recommendation for the 1800 MHz band—Regional areas of Australia has now closed.


The discussion paper sought comment on a draft recommendation the ACMA proposes to make to the Minister, and other matters related to the allocation of the regional 1800 MHz band. The ACMA also held a ‘Spectrum Tune Up’ on the March 4 2015 to discuss with stakeholders the draft reallocation recommendation consultation.

Submissions to this consultation were received from:

The ACMA is now considering the responses from interested stakeholders and the information gathered at the Spectrum Tune Up before making a final reallocation recommendation to the Minister for Communications. This is anticipated to be in Q2 2015.


The ACMA is seeking comment from potentially affected apparatus licensees and other stakeholders on a draft reallocation recommendation for the regional 1800 MHz band.

The ACMA proposes to recommend to the Minister for Communications that the frequency ranges 1725–1785 MHz and 1820–1880 MHz in regional Australia be declared for allocation via the issue of spectrum licences.

The ACMA has prepared a notice under section 153G of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 detailing the terms of the draft recommendation. A discussion paper provides further information on the draft recommendation and other matters related to an allocation of spectrum in the band.

The draft recommendation is summarised as follows:

Element of draft recommendation The ACMA's proposed recommendation
Licence type Spectrum licences
Parts of the spectrum 1725–1785 MHz and 1820–1880 MHz in regional Australia, where ‘regional Australia’ is defined by the HCIS identifiers described in the ACMA’s written notice
Reallocation period Two years in all parts of the spectrum
Reallocation deadline 12 months before the end of the reallocation period.

The ACMA encourages potentially affected apparatus licensees and other interested parties to consider the terms of the draft recommendation and provide written comments to the ACMA.

The discussion paper also invites comment on other matters relevant to any future allocation of spectrum in the regional 1800 MHz band, including:

  • allocation methodology
  • lot configuration
  • the allocation of ‘residual lots’ of spectrum that are currently subject to spectrum licensing, but are not allocated.

The ‘residual lots’ comprise:

  • 2 x 5 MHz in Adelaide
  • 2 x 2.5 MHz in regional South Australia
  • 2 x 2.5 MHz in Cairns/Townsville.

Making a submission

The ACMA invites written comments from potentially affected apparatus licensees and other interested stakeholders on the terms of the draft recommendation and other matters raised in the discussion paper by COB Wednesday 11 March 2015.

Submissions on the draft recommendation will be taken into account by the ACMA in preparing a final recommendation to the minister under section 153F of the Act. Submissions on other matters for comment will be considered by the ACMA in finalising the configuration of the regional 1800 MHz band spectrum for allocation.

Submissions should be sent to:

By email: SpectrumLicensingPolicy@acma.gov.au

By mail
The Manager
Spectrum Licensing Policy Section
Spectrum Management Policy Branch
Australian Communications and Media Authority
PO Box 78
Belconnen ACT 2616

Media enquiries should be directed to Emma Rossi on 02 9334 7719 or by email to media@acma.gov.au


There is increasing demand for access in regional Australia to the frequency range 1725 MHz–1785 MHz and 1820 MHz–1880 MHz (‘the regional 1800 MHz band’). This is due to the increasing availability of Long Term Evolution (LTE) technology, including 4G, to deliver mobile services. The regional 1800 MHz band is predominantly used for fixed services that are authorised under apparatus licences. The ACMA has formed the view that existing regulatory arrangements in the band are not well able to accommodate mobile services. Since 2011, an embargo has applied to the 1800 MHz band stating that no further apparatus licences are to be issued in the frequency.

The ACMA commenced consultation in 2012 with all stakeholders to identify appropriate regulatory approaches to balance the needs of both existing and prospective licensees in the band. The ACMA considers spectrum licensing to be the licensing arrangement best able to accommodate emerging high-value uses of the band such as mobile services. Spectrum licences give licensees certainty of tenure and the flexibility to deploy different technologies under the same licence. The 1800 MHz band is already spectrum-licensed in all major metropolitan areas. Part of the wider 1800 MHz band (1710 MHz–1725 MHz and 1805 MHz–1820 MHz) is spectrum-licensed in regional Australia. The ACMA considers that extending spectrum licensing to the rest of the band would provide the opportunity for more efficient use of spectrum through contiguous holdings and help to facilitate trading of licences in the band.

Therefore, the ACMA proposes to recommend to the minister that he reallocate the 1800 MHz band in regional Australia for spectrum licensing.

Effective consultation

The ACMA is working to enhance the effectiveness of its stakeholder consultation processes, which are an important source of evidence for its regulatory development activities. To assist stakeholders in formulating submissions to its formal, written consultation processes, it has developed Effective consultation—a guide to making a submission. This guide provides information about the ACMA’s formal written public consultation processes and practical guidance on how to make a submission.

Publication of submissions

In general, the ACMA publishes all submissions it receives. The ACMA prefers to receive submissions that are not claimed to be confidential. However, the ACMA accepts that a submitter may sometimes wish to provide information in confidence. In these circumstances, submitters are asked to identify the material over which confidentiality is claimed and provide a written explanation for the claim.
The ACMA will consider each confidentiality claim on a case-by-case basis. If the ACMA accepts a claim, it will not publish the confidential information unless authorised or required by law to do so.

Release of submissions where authorised or required by law

Any submissions provided to the ACMA may be released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (unless an exemption applies) or shared with other Commonwealth Government agencies or other parties under Part 7A of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005. The ACMA may also be required to release submissions for other reasons including for the purpose of parliamentary processes or where otherwise required by law (for example, under a court subpoena). While the ACMA seeks to consult submitters of confidential information before that information is provided to another party, the ACMA cannot guarantee that confidential information will not be released through these or other legal means.


The Privacy Act 1988 imposes obligations on the ACMA in relation to the collection, security, quality, access, use and disclosure of personal information. These obligations are detailed in the Australian Privacy Principles that apply to organisations and Australian Government.

The ACMA may only collect personal information if it is reasonably necessary for, or directly related to, one or more of its functions or activities.

The purposes for which personal information is being collected (such as the names and contact details of submitters) are to:

  • contribute to the transparency of the consultation process by clarifying, where appropriate, whose views are represented by a submission
  • enable the ACMA to contact submitters where follow-up is required or to notify them of related matters (except where submitters indicate they do not wish to be notified of such matters).

The ACMA will not use the personal information collected for any other purpose, unless the submitter has provided their consent or the ACMA is otherwise permitted to do so under the Privacy Act.

Submissions in response to this paper are voluntary. As mentioned above, the ACMA generally publishes all submissions it receives, including any personal information in the submissions. If a submitter has made a confidentiality claim over personal information which the ACMA has accepted, the submission will be published without that information. The ACMA will not release the personal information unless authorised or required by law to do so.

If a submitter wishes to make a submission anonymously or use a pseudonym, they are asked to contact the ACMA to see whether it is practicable to do so in light of the subject matter of the consultation. If it is practicable, the ACMA will notify the submitter of any procedures that need to be followed and whether there are any other consequences of making a submission in that way. 

Further information on the Privacy Act and the ACMA’s privacy policy is available at www.acma.gov.au/privacypolicy. The privacy policy contains details about how an individual may access personal information about them that is held by the ACMA, and seek the correction of such information. It also explains how an individual may complain about a breach of the Privacy Act and how the ACMA will deal with such a complaint.

Last updated: 25 June 2015