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ACMA issues second paper on 803-960 MHz band

Regulator seeks to balance incumbent interests with the need for mobile broadband.

Seeking to maximise the value of 800 MHz spectrum for mobile broadband, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) today released a second discussion paper about how to replan the 803-960 MHz band.

“The 800 MHz band is potentially the last piece of new spectrum available for mobile broadband services in the all-important, below 1 GHz range,” ACMA Chairman Chris Chapman said today at Radiocomms Connect 2012.

“But there are a number of other services currently operating in the 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands that need to be considered,” he said. “Namely, single frequency and two frequency fixed services and trunked land mobile services ... will be impacted by change in the arrangements.”

“There are a number of competing potential uses of the 800 and 900 MHz bands,” Chapman said.

“While we are relentless in seeking out maximum economic benefit, we are not ruthless. We recognise that incumbents need time to consider alternatives and through our consultative approach we will seek to balance the needs of all users.”

The ACMA is taking comments on the discussion paper until 25 January.

In September, the ACMA proposed prioritising more spectrum for mobile broadband in an updated Australian radiofrequency spectrum plan.

The ACMA will auction 700 MHz and 2.5 GHz spectrum this April in the Digital Dividend auction.

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