Planning options for the 28 GHz band | ACMA

Planning options for the 28 GHz band

Consultation closes: 17 May 2019

IFC: 9/2019

Consultation closed

The ACMA received 25 submissions to this consultation. These can be accessed from the right hand side index box under 'Other submissions received'. 

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Options paper:
Replanning of the 28 GHz band

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The 28 GHz band (27.5–29.5 GHz) is the subject of domestic and international interest for a range of applications including satellite broadband and is one of the bands at the forefront of global interest in the use of millimetre wave (mmWave) frequencies for terrestrial 5G wireless broadband.

This paper represents the next step in planning for the 28 GHz band. It follows on from the 28 GHz spectrum planning discussion paper released in September 2018 and takes into account feedback provided on the relevant services and applications potentially accessing the band, international trends and the outcomes from the 26 GHz replanning process. A series of planning options in the band are identified in the paper along with currently preferred options of the ACMA.

The ACMA has identified interest in the 28 GHz band from the following applications/services:

  • wide-area wireless broadband services, which are traditionally deployed by large mobile network operators and some fixed telecommunication carriers
  • fixed wireless access services which cater for smaller, local area subscriber services such as those provided by wireless internet service providers or other dedicated (for example, miners, local government) wireless (generally fixed) broadband networks
  • fixed satellite service which uses gateway earth stations and ubiquitous earth stations (fixed earth stations at unknown locations and earth stations in motion, typically authorised to operate under a class licence)
  • fixed point-to-point services which are used by many different services and operators to backhaul data
  • high altitude platform stations which operate at altitudes of 20–50 kilometres and are proposed for the provision of broadband services.

This paper analyses the different planning issues for each of the services interested in using the 28 GHz band as well as any sharing and coexistence issues. From this analysis four broad planning options for the band have been identified.

Relationship to ACMA work on 26 GHz

In assessing the identified options, the ACMA considered the outcomes of the 26 GHz planning process. These planning outcomes provide substantial arrangements for wide-area terrestrial wireless broadband (for 5G) and some fixed wireless access use. Due to the substitutability between the bands, the planning decisions and preliminary views made for the 26 GHz band provide relevant context for the options (and ACMA preferences) identified for the 28 GHz band.

The outcomes of the 26 GHz process have been released in parallel to this discussion paper and are detailed in the paper Future use of the 26 GHz band: Planning decisions and preliminary views.

Issue for comment

The ACMA invites comments on the issues set out in this paper.

Specific questions are featured in the paper and collated below:

  1. Do stakeholders have comments or further views on the services and planning issues discussed for the 28 GHz band?
  2. If a decision was made to remove 28 GHz PTP arrangements, what is the minimum appropriate length of time to grandfather existing PTP licences?
  3. Are there any other conditions that should be considered for PTP grandfathering?
  4. Are there any other technical issues the ACMA should consider regarding the ability for WWB, FWA, PTP and FSS to share or coexist in the 28 GHz band?
  5. Do stakeholders have comments on any of the options proposed in this section or other options to propose?
  6. Is the definition of ‘large population centres’ (as described in Appendix A), suitable for application in Options 1a, 1b, 2 and 3?
  7. Do stakeholders have any comments on the assessment of each option against the Spectrum Management Principles?
  8. Is there any relevant evidence that provides an indication of the value the WWB sector places on additional spectrum in the 28GHz band?
  9. Is there any relevant evidence that provides an indication of the value the FWA sector places on additional spectrum in this band?
  10. What value do PTP operators place on having access to 112 MHz channels? If similar arrangements could be implemented in the 38 GHz band, would they be a suitable replacement for the 28 GHz band?
  11. Is there any evidence that provides an indication of the value the PTP sector places on maintaining access to this band?
  12. Is there any evidence that provides an indication of the value the FSS sector places on access to this band?
  13. The ACMA invites comment on its currently preferred options. Should other options be considered?