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2007 News Releases




WIA applies for Medium Frequency band allocation

Date : 14 / 02 / 2007
Author : Michael Owen - VK3KI

Amateur radio operators in the United States, Sweden and Germany have recently been granted experimental access to frequencies just above 500 kHz. Applications for access to this band have also been lodged by the NZART and the RSGB.

"We conducted a poll last year of Australian radio amateurs to ascertain if there was an interest in a similar allocation in Australia". WIA Director, Glenn Dunstan VK4DU said. "We received numerous enthusiastic responses".

The WIA submission requests a temporary/experimental MF amateur allocation be made for the frequency range 505-515 kHz.

"This proposed allocation places us above the guard band around the distress and safety channel at 500 kHz, and lines up with the current amateur MF allocations in Europe and the US", Glenn said.

The WIA recognises that the former marine distress and calling frequency of 500 kHz remains so designated in the International Radio Regulations (guard band 495-505 kHz), and that this status will not be changed until WRC-11 at
the earliest.

"The WIA requested a temporary amateur allocation, rather than an experimental (non-amateur) licence, as it is our view that this represents the most suitable access mechanism", Glenn said.

"Many administrations forbid communications between amateur and non-amateur stations, and an Australian non-amateur experimental licence would thus preclude many weak signal propagation opportunities with overseas stations."

The limited spectrum available precludes the use of wide band telephony type modes. The WIA submission proposes a maximum necessary bandwidth of 200 Hz, to limit operation to CW and slow speed robust data modes, such as PSK31. This is the practice adopted in the current experimental MF amateur band in Europe and the US.

The WIA also proposed that because of the technical challenges involved, the MF band be only made available to Advanced class amateur stations.

It is also proposed that normal amateur output power limits be used.


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