Future approach to the 3.6 GHz band | ACMA

Future approach to the 3.6 GHz band

Consultation closes: 11 August 2017

IFC: 9/2017


The ACMA has finished reviewing submissions to this consultation process. A summary and response to these submissions, as well as the outcomes of the review, are contained in the Future use of the 3.6 GHz band—Decisions and preliminary views paper (available in the Downloads table below). The main outcome of the review is that the ACMA plans to commence the process to re-allocate the 3.6 GHz band for the issue of spectrum licences in metropolitan and regional Australia. The first step of this process, consulting on a recommendation to the Minister for Communications, is currently underway.

Completing the review of the 3.6 GHz band has been a priority for the ACMA, given the urgent need to provide clarity on a way forward to all stakeholders in the band. In making any decisions, the ACMA recognises the potential impact on incumbent licensees. In response, the ACMA has decided on a range of mitigations, in some cases unprecedented, to assist incumbents with the transition. This includes proposing extended re-allocation periods, a commitment to review alternative options in the 5.6 GHz and 28 GHz bands, as well as encouraging commercial negotiations, where possible, to support ongoing access to spectrum. In addition to this, the ACMA is committed to working with industry to identify up to two Earth station protection zones on the east coast of Australia.

The ACMA received 35 submissions to this consultation—these can be accessed from the right hand side index box.

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Decision documents Word 
Future use of the 3.6 GHz band: Decisions and preliminary views  4.5 MB 
Web page: Spectrum re-planning for 4G and 5G technologies  

Consultation documents


Discussion paper: Future use of the 3.6 GHz band—Options paper

8.5 MB

Future use of the 3.6 GHz band—Highest value use assessment: Quantitative analysis

696 KB

Future use of the 1.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands—Summary of and response to 3.6 GHz submissions 

385 KB
Submissions 17 MB (.zip)


This consultation package represents the next steps in the ACMA’s consideration of the future use of the 3575–3700 MHz band (the 3.6 GHz band) in Australia. It follows on from the discussion paper Future use of the 1.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands (October 2016 discussion paper), released in October 2016, and from consideration of responses to that paper.

The ACMA has decided to progress both the 1.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands from the initial investigation to the preliminary replanning stage of its process for considering additional spectrum for mobile broadband services, as outlined in its mobile broadband strategy. However, given international developments and strong domestic interest, the ACMA has also decided that consideration of the 3.6 GHz band should be prioritised over the 1.5 GHz band. A more timely resolution of what, if any, replanning would occur in the 3.6 GHz band will also provide certainty to incumbent services about long-term arrangements in the band and any alternative options available to them (if applicable).

The consultation package consists of three documents, which:

  • outline the outcomes of the October 2016 discussion paper
  • contain a quantitative assessment of the highest value use for the 3.6 GHz band
  • identify options, along with an ACMA preferred option, on next steps for the 3.6 GHz band.

The ACMA seeks feedback from stakeholders on the consultation package. Following this feedback, the ACMA will be in a position later in 2017 to form a final view on the optimal future of the 3.6 GHz band.

Spectrum tune-up

A spectrum tune-up for the 3.6 GHz band was held on Wednesday 12 July 2017 via videoconference from our Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne offices. It included presentations from both industry and the ACMA. Further information is available on the 3.6 GHz band spectrum tune-up page on the ACMA website.

Issues for comment

Opportunity to provide feedback

The ACMA welcomes comments from stakeholders on the range of possible replanning options, as set out in the consultation paper, to facilitate the spectrum moving to its expected highest value use.