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Planning options for the 3700–4200 MHz band - consultation 22/2020

This consultation looked at the different planning issues for services interested in using the 3700–4200 MHz band and examined sharing and coexistence issues.

The closing date was extended from COB 2 September to COB 16 September 2020.  

We have now released an outcomes paper for this consultation.

Submissions now public
Consultation number
IFC 22/2020
Days remaining 0 of 57 days
  • 1

    Open for comment

    22 Jul 2020
  • 2

    Consultation closed

    16 Sep 2020
  • 3

    Submissions published

    13 Oct 2020
  • 4

    Outcomes published

    15 Jan 2021

Key documents

Outcomes for this consultation

Outcomes of the review of the band are outlined in the Replanning the 3700–4200 MHz band: Outcomes paper (see ‘Key documents’ box). This paper also signals the progression of the 3700–4200 MHz band to the ’implementation’ phase under our spectrum planning process. Outcomes of the planning process include:

  • introducing arrangements for wide area wireless broadband (WA WBB) in 3700–3800 MHz in metropolitan and regional areas on an exclusive basis
  • introducing arrangements for local area wireless broadband (LA WBB) in 3700–3800 MHz in remote areas, and in 3800–4000 MHz Australia-wide on a shared basis with existing fixed satellite service (FSS) and fixed point-to-point (PTP) service types
  • maintaining apparatus licensing in 4000–4200 MHz for PTP and FSS only
  • removing arrangements for new PTP in 3700–3800 MHz Australia-wide and grandfathering existing services for a minimum of 5 years
  • removing arrangements for new FSS in the 3700–3800 MHz range in metropolitan and regional areas and grandfathering existing services for a minimum of 5 years.
  • maintaining existing arrangements for the licensed radiolocation services and devices operating under class licenses
  • maintaining existing Earth Station Protection Zones (ESPZs) and associated protection arrangements under RALI MS44.
  • Changing arrangements for scientific unassigned services so they cannot be operated in areas/segments for exclusive WA WBB use. The timing of this change would take into account the timeframe and method of allocation of licences for WA WBB use.

Relationship to ACMA work on the 3.4 GHz band

In reaching this view on the 3700–4200 MHz band, we considered the outcomes of the 3400–3575 MHz optimisation process, as well as existing arrangements in the 3575–3700 MHz band. This has allowed a more holistic assessment of the spectrum needs of the services and applications seeking access to the bands than if they were considered in isolation.

During the implementation of the outcomes of the 3700–4200 MHz band, we will consider technical, regulatory and timing synergies to promote holistic treatment across the 3400–4200 MHz range.

Next steps

We will begin work on the next implementation steps, which may include consultation on:

  • spectrum licensing arrangements to support WA WBB use in the 3700–4200 MHz band
  • apparatus licensing arrangements to support LA WBB use in the 3700–4200 MHz band. This may include investigating use of the proposed new area-wide apparatus licences and different arrangements in areas of differing demand.

Technical Liaison Groups (TLGs) will also be created to support this work, including changes to the PTP arrangements in the 3700–4200 MHz band.

Original consultation

The issue

Spectrum in the 3700–4200 MHz band generates much interest. It is suitable for a range of applications, including fixed satellite and 5G (wireless broadband or WBB).

As the current framework does not support WBB use, a case exists for reviewing, and potentially changing, the band’s spectrum management framework.

The attached papers are the next step in the review of the 3700–4200 MHz band. They follow the Planning of the 3700–4200 MHz band discussion paper.

The options paper identifies desirable planning outcomes for the 3700–4200 MHz band, and proposes three options. The spectrum planning paper analyses how wireless broadband and radio altimeter services can exist together in adjacent frequency bands. It supports the options paper.

Publication of submissions

Read about the ACMA’s policy regarding the publication of submissions

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