WIA responds to future plans for use of 3.6 GHz band
The WIA has lodged a submission responding to the ACMA's Options paper on the "Future approach to the 3.6 GHz band", published in June, which would see another 25 MHz carved out of the 9 cm amateur band if plans proceed.
Spectrum Strategy Committee
The ACMA’s Options paper identifies a range of possible replanning options to facilitate moving licensing of the 3.575-3.7 GHz band (dubbed the “3.6 GHz band”) to its highest value use. The ACMA’s preferred option “. . is to establish arrangements optimised for wide-area broadband deployments (be they mobile or fixed) over the entire 125 MHz of the 3.6 GHz band available in metro and regional areas. The expected licensing regime under this approach would be spectrum licences allocated via auction.”
The current amateur allocation is listed in the Australian Radiofrequency Spectrum Plan (ARSP) as 3300-3600 MHz, known to us as the 9 cm band. Amateurs are a secondary service in this band, which Advanced licensees are permitted to use, with substantial geographic restrictions set out in the current licence conditions affecting 3400-3575 MHz. Outside the restricted areas, amateurs are still able to use that 175 MHz. Currently, the Fixed, Mobile and Radiolocation services have primary access between 3400 and 3600 MHz.
From 2015, the segment 3400-3575 MHz (designated by the ACMA as the “3.4 GHz band”), became restricted for amateur access across substantial geographical areas around state and territory capital cities (except for the Northern Territory), along with major regional cities in the four eastern states, arising from Apparatus licensing of fixed wireless access systems for the NBN, as primary users (co-primary with Radiolocation and Mobile). The amateur allocation throughout the most-populated areas of Australia contracted to 3300-3400 MHz and 3575-3600 MHz.
The WIA expressed concern that spectrum licensing will effectively embargo secondary users, in particular the Amateur Service, from access to 3575-3600 MHz across the most populous metropolitan and regional areas, where radio amateurs predominantly live and conduct their activities.
In keeping with established policy, the WIA seeks retention of amateur access to 3575-3600 MHz outside the specific geographic areas where future licensed services are deployed. This is in line with current conditions applying to 3400-3575 MHz.
The submission was prepared by the WIA Spectrum Strategy Committee. It can be downloaded from the link below.
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