ACMA outlines five-year spectrum licence outlook

Television digital switchover afoot, mobile spectrums reviewed

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has published a new report aimed at helping the Government's plan for the digital television switchover and reviewing major elements of Australia's wireless spectrum.

The report, Outlook 2011-2015, also includes service planning for smart infrastructure and mobile broadband services as well as the progression of review outcomes for the 2.5GHz and 400MHz mobile bands.

ACMA has proposed a replacement for the 400MHz emergency services land mobile bands to alleviate spectrum shortages experienced by these services in capital cities.

The report is an outcome of the organisation’s ongoing work with stakeholders about spectrum needs.

ACMA chairman, Chris Chapman, said in a statement that the breadth of the work plan devised by the authority reflects the reality that managing the high demand for spectrum and the supporting regulatory framework required is a complex challenge.

The announcement follows a report this week that the Federal Government is moving forward with its plan to sell off Australia’s 700MHz spectrum, with the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) signalling its intention to source an auction system to allocate spectrum licences[new.

However, Optus has already jumped the gun, announcing in July that it acquired the 2100MHz spectrum to deploy 3G mobile services at 972 sites across regional and remote Australia.

At the time, Optus products and delivery managing director, Andrew Buay, said the release of the regional spectrum, in advance of expected new spectrum allocations in the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands in the coming years, would help the telco increase competition in the regional communications market.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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