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Spectrum planning for the 28 GHz band - Consultation 36/2018

In light of domestic interest from a variety of industry sectors, the ACMA has initiated a review of the 28 GHz band (27.5–29.5 GHz) 

Now under review
Consultation number
IFC 36/2018
Days remaining 0 of 32 days
  • 1

    Open for comment

    28 Oct 2018
  • 2

    Consultation closed

    28 Nov 2018

Key documents

Executive summary

The ACMA has initiated a review of the entire 28 GHz band (27.5–29.5 GHz). Reviewing all potential uses of the entire band, rather than incrementally reviewing parts of the band or focusing on particular uses, allows for a more holistic consideration and balancing of all potential uses of the band, including both existing and future uses.

Currently, the 28 GHz band is used by the fixed satellite service (FSS) for both apparatus-licensed coordinated gateway earth stations and, in part of the band, ubiquitously deployed uncoordinated class-licensed earth stations (in some cases for moving terminals). In addition to the FSS uses, part of the 28 GHz band is also currently planned for fixed point-to-point links.

Beyond existing uses of the band, including future evolution of those uses, there is interest in other major markets in using some or all of the band for wide-area wireless broadband services supporting both fixed and mobile applications. This international interest is part of broader momentum in support of millimetre wave (mmWave) frequency bands for 5G mobile services. A range of other bands are also under scrutiny, including the immediately adjacent 26 GHz band (24.25–27.5 GHz). While the ACMA is well progressed in considering the 26 GHz band for wide-area terrestrial wireless broadband, including identifying a range of planning options, in the context of the current review of the 28 GHz band, it is too early to discount this use altogether.

To obtain information from stakeholders on potential planning options, this consultation paper identifies a number of broad scenarios for future use of the 28 GHz band. While the ACMA has yet to form any views on preferred long-term arrangements in the band, several of the scenarios are designed to explore the scope for sharing multiple uses of the band in order to maximise the overall utility of the band.

Submissions in response to this 28 GHz spectrum planning discussion paper will help the ACMA assess whether there is a case for further consideration of arrangements in the 28 GHz band, including whether to progress the band to the preliminary replanning stage of the ACMA replanning process. At that time, additional consultation would occur before any regulatory decisions were made on changing planning or licensing arrangements in the band.

Relationship to ACMA work on 26 GHz

As outlined in the ACMA’s five-year spectrum outlook (FYSO), the 28 GHz band is included at the initial investigation stage of the ACMA’s major band replanning process. Accordingly, this discussion paper provides preliminary thinking on existing and possible future uses for the 28 GHz band and their associated spectrum needs. The paper does not contain any detailed replanning options or Authority ‘preliminary views’ and no regulatory changes will occur as a result of this paper.

This is in contrast to the 26 GHz options paper on which the ACMA is also seeking public comment (IFC 32/2018). As the planning for the 26 GHz band is more advanced than the 28 GHz band, implementation of options for the band are being considered. Responses to the 26 GHz band consultation may help shape the replanning considerations for the 28 GHz band.

Issue for comment

The ACMA welcomes comment from stakeholders on the issues set out in the consultation paper 28 GHz spectrum planning.

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