Australian Radio Amateurs May Lose the 2300 – 2302 MHz Band
The ACMA has informed the WIA of proposed changes to spectrum usage in the 2300 – 2302 MHz band, which will result in Advanced Licensees losing access to that spectrum.
Phil Wait - VK2ASD
The ACMA proposes to acquire the spectrum for LTE radio purposes. LTE, or long-term evolution, (marketed as 4G LTE), is a wireless standard for high-speed data over mobile phones and data terminals.
The change will give LTE services the full 100MHz segment from 2300 – 2400MHz, or twenty 5MHz LTE channels, and naturally the government revenue from any resulting spectrum auction would be very significant.
Losing any spectrum is always a great concern to radio amateurs, and this secondary allocation spectrum is the only viable option for Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) contacts to Region II (where the EME activity is on 2304 MHz) or Region I (which uses 2320 MHz). Australian radio amateur EME activity would then be confined to 2400 MHz and above, where ISM and Wi-Fi equipment is likely to cause interference to local EME stations.
The ACMA plans to recommend the change to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, and make the changes under section 153B of the Radiocommunications Act 1992. If the Minister approves the change radio amateurs will probably lose access to the spectrum in 2015.
Before making such a recommendation to the Minister the ACMA is required to undertake extensive consultation with stakeholders, and has prepared the consultation paper (see below) with the draft recommendation at Attachment A. The ACMA will also be writing to all Advanced Amateur Radio Operators (who are affected by this proposal) to provide them with a copy of the notice and inviting their comments.
Radio amateurs are encouraged to forward their comments to the ACMA by Wednesday 27th March 2013, to the address in the paper.
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