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Draft spectrum re-allocation recommendation for the 850/900 MHz band - consultation 14/2020

We are consulting on issues relevant to the potential re-allocation of the 850/900 MHz band, including the terms of a draft recommendation we propose to make to the Minister and other matters relevant to the re-allocation process.

Submissions now public
Consultation number
IFC 14/2020
Days remaining 0 of 56 days
  • 1

    Open for comment

    14 May 2020
  • 2

    Consultation closed

    08 Jul 2020
  • 3

    Outcome published

    11 Nov 2020
  • 4

    Submissions published

    06 Apr 2021

Key documents


The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts has made the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Re‑allocation—850/900 MHz Band) Declaration 2020.

Subsection 153C(2) of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 requires the ACMA to publish on its website a notice stating that the declaration has been made. See the notice below.

The declaration was made after the minister considered our recommendation, which is set out below.

The re-allocation recommendation

After considering the issues raised in submissions, we made our re-allocation recommendation.

One part of our final recommendation to the minister differed from what we consulted on in the draft version of the re-allocation recommendation. We recommended a re‑allocation end date of 30 June 2024 across all specified parts of the spectrum.

This was rather than recommending two different end dates – 31 December 2023 for the 900 MHz band and 30 June 2024 for the 850 MHz expansion band.

The ACMA consulted on other matters relating to the allocation, including possible lot configuration and allocation format. We will consult further on these with stakeholders when developing the allocation instruments for the 850/900 MHz band auction.

Our final recommendation to the minister

The ACMA recommended that:

  • The Minister make one or more spectrum re-allocation declarations in relation to the following frequency ranges (including the higher number but not the lower number, in each case) (each a ‘specified part of the spectrum’ and collectively the ‘850/900 MHz band’):
    • 809–825 MHz;
    • 854–870 MHz;
    • 890–915 MHz;
    • 935–960 MHz.
  • For each specified part of the spectrum, the declarations should be expressed to apply to the area described in Table 1.
  • For each specified part of the spectrum, the declarations should state that the part should be re-allocated by issuing spectrum licences.
  • The specified parts of the spectrum should be subject to re-allocation in relation to a period commencing no later than 28 days after the declarations are made and ending on 30 June 2024 (the re-allocation period).
  • The declarations specify a re-allocation deadline of 12 months before the end of the re-allocation period, being 30 June 2023.

Table 1: HCIS identifiers for 850/900 MHz band

The HCIS identifiers  below can be converted into a Placemark through a facility on the ACMA website

Specified area

HCIS identifiers

Australia-wide area

BR, BS, BU, BV, CR, CS, CT, CU, CV, DQ, DR, DS, DT, DU, DV, EP, EQ, ER, ES, ET, EU, FP, FQ, FR, FS, FT, FU, GP, GQ, GR, GS, GT, GU, HO, HP, HQ, HR, HS, HT, HU, IO, IP, IQ, IR, IS, IT, IU, IV, IW, JO, JP, JQ, JR, JS, JT, JU, JV, JW, KQ, KR, KS, KT, KU, KV, KW, LR, LS, LT, LU, LV, LW, LX, LY, MS, MT, MU, MV, MW, NT, NU, AR8, AR9, AS2, AS3, AS5, AS6, AS8, AS9, AT1, AT2, AT3, AT5, AT6, AT8, AT9, AU2, AU3, AU6, AU9, AV9, AW3, BT1, BT2, BT3, BW1, BW2, BW3, BW5, BW6, CW1, CW2, CW3, CW4, DW1, DW2, DW3, EV1, EV2, EV3, EV4, EV5, EV6, EV7, FV1, FV2, FV3, FV4, FV5, GO3, GO4, GO5, GO6, GO7, GO8, GO9, GV1, GV2, GV3, GV6, HV1, HV2, HV3, HV4, HV5, HV6, HV8, HV9, HW3, HW6, JX1, JX2, JX3, JX5, JX6, KO1, KO4, KO5, KO7, KO8, KP1, KP2, KP4, KP5, KP6, KP7, KP8, KP9, KX1, KX2, KX3, KX4, KX5, KX6, KX8, KX9, KY2, KY3, KY6, LP4, LP7, LQ1, LQ2, LQ4, LQ5, LQ7, LQ8, LZ1, LZ2, LZ3, MR1, MR4, MR5, MR7, MR8, MR9, MX1, MX2, MX3, MX4, MX7, MY1, MY4, MY7, MZ1, NS4, NS7, NS8, NS9, NV1, NV2, NV3, NV4, NV5, NV7, BT4A, BT4B, BT4C, BT4E, BT4F, BT4G, BT4I, BT4J, BT4K, BT4M, BT4N, BT4O, BT6C, BT6D, BT6G, BT6H, BT6K, BT6L, BT6O, BT6P, BT7A, BT7B, BT7C, BT7E, BT7F, BT7G, BT7I, BT7J, BT7K, BT7L, BT7M, BT7N, BT7O, BT7P, BT8I, BT8J, BT8K, BT8L, BT8M, BT8N, BT8O, BT8P, BT9C, BT9D, BT9G, BT9H, BT9I, BT9J, BT9K, BT9L, BT9M, BT9N, BT9O, BT9P, NW1A, NW1B, NW1C, NW1D, NW1E, NW1F, NW1G, NW1H, NW1I, NW1J, NW1K, NW1L, BT4D1, BT4D2, BT4D4, BT4D5, BT4D7, BT4D8, BT4H1, BT4H2, BT4H4, BT4H5, BT4H7, BT4H8, BT4L1, BT4L2, BT4L4, BT4L5, BT4L7, BT4L8, BT4P1, BT4P2, BT4P4, BT4P5, BT4P7, BT4P8, BT6B3, BT6B6, BT6B9, BT6F3, BT6F6, BT6F9, BT6J3, BT6J6, BT6J9, BT6N3, BT6N6, BT6N9, BT7D1, BT7D2, BT7D4, BT7D5, BT7D7, BT7D8, BT7H1, BT7H2, BT7H4, BT7H5, BT7H7, BT7H8, BT7H9, BT8E7, BT8E8, BT8E9, BT8F7, BT8F8, BT8F9, BT8G7, BT8G8, BT8G9, BT8H7, BT8H8, BT8H9, BT9B3, BT9B6, BT9B9, BT9E7, BT9E8, BT9E9, BT9F3, BT9F6, BT9F7, BT9F8, BT9F9, NW1M1, NW1M2, NW1M3, NW1M4, NW1M5, NW1M7, NW1M8, NW1N1, NW1N2, NW1N3, NW1O1, NW1O2, NW1O3, NW1P1, NW1P2, NW1P3

The issue

We propose to recommend that the Minister make one or more re-allocation declarations for the re‑allocation of the 850/900 MHz band by issuing spectrum licences across all of Australia (excluding the mid-west Radio Quiet Zone).

The proposal follows extensive consultation with stakeholders and the consideration of reform options for spectrum in the 850/900 MHz band, to enable it to be used for 4G and 5G mobile broadband services. We believe that:

  • the best way to achieve reconfiguration of the 850/900 MHz band is to re-allocate the spectrum and undertake a price-based allocation of spectrum licences.
  • 2 MHz of spectrum should be allocated to accommodate the future downshift of spectrum licences in the adjacent 850 MHz band.

In accordance with the Radiocommunications Act 1992, we have prepared a written notice setting out the terms of the draft recommendation. We have also prepared a draft spectrum re-allocation recommendation consultation paper. These are available in the key documents section.

Have your say

We welcome comments from potentially-affected apparatus licensees and other interested stakeholders on the proposed terms set out in the notice and on any other matters raised in the consultation paper.

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