This section provides a brief overview of the issues the ACMA considers to be significant in developing the appropriate regulatory and licensing arrangements for the 1800 MHz band. The ACMA will specifically seek input on these issues through the consultation process described in section 1.3. The ACMA is also interested to hear the views of stakeholders on other issues they consider to be important about this band.
3.1 Apparatus licensing arrangements
To maximise spectrum utilisation in the band and allow industry, consumers and citizens to benefit from the deployment of emerging technologies, the ACMA proposes to amend Embargo 62 to release 1800 MHz spectrum in regional and remote areas. As the majority of demand for the band is from stakeholders interested in deploying GSM-R or LTE services, it is desirable to release the band for PTS.
The ACMA supports facilitating access to the band in the short term to allow the band to be in use while the arrangements for a longer-term strategy are being developed. The access arrangements would be restrictive to minimise future issues that may arise when implementing the long term arrangements.
3.1.1 Review of pricing in 1800 MHz
Before releasing the band, the ACMA considers it timely to review and amend the annual tax that applies to PTS licences in the 1800 MHz band, which was set more than a decade ago. A reasonable approach would be to base the calculation of the tax on the price set in the minister's spectrum access charge direction for spectrum licences in this band2. The direction sets the minister's value of the expiring spectrum licences in this band and, as such, provides a potential opportunity cost value for the band. An equivalent one-year apparatus licence tax requires that the net present value of apparatus licence fees equals the value included in the minister's direction.
|Q3. The ACMA invites feedback on the proposed method of calculation of price for apparatus licences in the 1800 MHz band.
|Q4. Would prospective licensees support a pricing methodology that incorporates the price outlined in the minister's spectrum access charges direction?
2 The minister's direction to the ACMA under subsection 294(2) of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 is available at www.dbcde.gov.au.