Thursday 20 July 2017
Speech by Richard Bean
Acting Chairman, ACMA
Today I want to talk about some of the important spectrum planning issues in telecommunications and wireless broadband in Australia; the way the ACMA’s broadband strategy—fixed and mobile—will drive a forward work program of spectrum allocation, including further auctions; and give you a short update on the steps we are taking to implement the proposed new spectrum legislation that has resulted from the government’s review of spectrum management.
I will focus particularly on planning for 5G.
But first, a few words about 5G and the hype that surrounds it.
Everyone expects that 5G will supplement, and over time, probably replace existing mobile standards such as 4G, using LTE technology. But also, pretty much everyone accepts that standardisation and spectrum harmonisation is still at the formative stage; that 5G is expected to deliver what is essentially a super-fast version of today’s mobile broadband networks, massive scale machine-to-machine communications necessary to support the Internet of Things, and ultra-reliable and low latency communications to support things like remote control of industrial or medical processes.
There are many, though, who will argue that, for cost or other reasons, 5G will not have a monopoly on IOT-related matters in particular.
It remains difficult to say with any certainty exactly when 5G will truly arrive, but formal standards will probably be in place for the first phase of 5G in mid to late-2018, with deployments to start perhaps a year to two after that.
There is also much talk about ‘pre-standard’ deployments happening earlier and we’ll be hearing the view from technology vendors after lunch.
Download the full speech (Word 318 kB).