28/31 GHz bands arrangements | ACMA

28/31 GHz bands arrangements

Issue for comment 3/2013

The ACMA has decided that the 28 and 31 GHz bands should cease to be subject to spectrum licensing when current spectrum licences expire on 31 January 2014.

This follows consideration of the 10 submissions received in response to the consultation paper Possible changes to future arrangements in the 28/31 GHz bands, which broadly supported a change in arrangements for these bands.

To implement the changes, there are a number of steps that the ACMA must undertake in each band.

The 28 GHz band

On 26 June 2013, following consideration of a recommendation from the ACMA, the then Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy revoked the instrument which designated the 28 GHz band to be allocated by issuing spectrum licences. The effect of this instrument is that when current spectrum licences in the band expire on 31 January 2014, current restrictions on issuing apparatus licences in the band will cease.

The ACMA is finalising processes to implement apparatus licensing arrangements in the band.

The 31 GHz band

The ACMA will allow the spectrum licences in the 31 GHz bands to expire and will not take any action to reallocate the licences before they expire. As a result, spectrum in the 31 GHz band will no longer be subject to spectrum licensing after the licences lapse. As there is no evidence of immediate demand for access to this band, the ACMA is not developing band arrangements at this time.

Further information on the next steps for the 28 and 31 GHz band project is available here. The 10 submissions received in the consultation are available below.

Submissions received

The ACMA received 10 submissions in response to the consultation paper Possible changes to future arrangements in the 28/31 GHz bands. The submissions are available below.


Spectrum licences in the 28 and 31 GHz bands (27.5-28.35 GHz and 31-31.3 GHz) will expire on 31 January 2014. The lead up to the licences expring provides an opportunity to review licensing arrangements in the bands so that future arrangements will maximise the overall public benefit from use of the spectrum and give certainty to incumbent licensees.

The ACMA developed a consultation paper on possible future arrangements affecting the 28 GHz band. The paper outlined the reason why the ACMA considered reverting to apparatus licensing arrangements might be best able to accommodate the range of technologies that are emerging as high-value uses of the bands.

The consultation paper outlines the information that has led the ACMA to form this view and invites submissions from interested parties on the possible future arrangements in the 28/31 GHz bands.

Information about expiring spectrum licences is available on the ACMA website.

The discussion paper (Word [.docx 2 mb] or PDF 1.3 mb]) is available.

Effective consultation

The ACMA is working to enhance the effectiveness of its stakeholder consultation processes, which are an important source of evidence for its regulatory development activities. To assist stakeholders in formulating submissions to its formal written consultation processes, it has developed Effective consultation: A guide to making a submission. This guide provides information about the ACMA's formal written public consultation processes and practical guidance on how to make a submission.

Publication of submissions

In general, the ACMA publishes all submissions it receives. The ACMA prefers to receive submissions that are not confidential. However, the ACMA accepts that a submitter may sometimes wish to provide information in confidence. In these circumstances, submitters are asked to identify the material over which confidentiality is claimed and provide a written explanation for the claim.

The ACMA will consider each confidentiality claim on a case-by-case basis. If the ACMA accepts a claim, it will not publish the confidential information unless authorised or required by law to do so.

Release of submissions where authorised or required by law

Any submissions provided to the ACMA may be released under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (unless an exemption applies) or shared with other Commonwealth Government agencies or certain other entities under Part 7A of the Australian Communications and Media Authority Act 2005. The ACMA may also be required to release submissions for other reasons including for the purpose of parliamentary processes or where otherwise required by law (for example, under a court subpoena). While the ACMA seeks to consult submitters of confidential information before that information is provided to another party, the ACMA cannot guarantee that confidential information will not be released through these or other legal means.

Last updated: 04 October 2016