Australia’s telecoms regulator opened a consultation on details of 5G licences to be offered in the 3.6GHz band, the draft auction rules and the technical framework which will underpin the new licences.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which plans to auction spectrum in the 3.6GHz band later this year, released its draft spectrum licensing rules for the band.
ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said consultation will ensure the rules are fit-for-purpose for the auction process.
“We are making spectrum available as early as possible so that all Australians can benefit from these new technologies. But we recognise the 3.6GHz auction will require incumbent operators in the band to make some changes,” she said.
The ACMA is seeking comment on the introduction of planning arrangements to support frequency coordination and licensing of point-to-multipoint systems in the 5.6GHz band. This is one of several previously announced strategies to support the transition of existing services in the 3.6GHz band. The regulator is also seeking comment on proposed measures to protect existing Bureau of Meteorology radar services and make provision for additional radar services in future.
“We will be working closely with wireless internet service providers, satellite operators and the Bureau of Meteorology up to and well beyond the auction process to address their concerns,” O’Loughlin said.
As part of its 5G spectrum plan outlined in a five-year spectrum outlook covering 2018 to 2022, ACMA called for a “a range of mitigation measures” for incumbent users in the 3.6GHz band, including “a commitment to developing arrangements for site-based wireless broadband services in the 5.6GHz” band.
After consultations with the industry, ACMA announced in October 2017 it would start to reallocate spectrum in the 3.6GHz band and move to more efficient arrangements in the 900MHz band to prepare for 5G broadband services.
The government said in February it plans to introduce legislation this year to modernise its spectrum management and move towards a government goal of implementing a single licensing framework.