The Federal Government has welcomed the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA) announcement on its proposed pathway to reconfigure and auction two spectrum bands which are pivotal to the delivery of mobile services across Australia.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, expressed his support for ACMA’s approach, which is designed to make more spectrum available for carriers in the 850 MHz expansion band, and improve the use of spectrum in the 900 MHz band.
“Spectrum is a highly valued and critical resource which underpins essential telecommunications services relied upon by just about every Australian. ACMA’s approach will deliver greater capacity for mobile services and support carriers to deploy 4G and 5G mobile broadband services for the benefit of all Australians,” Minister Fletcher said.
The Government will consult with stakeholders, including incumbents and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, on the potential use of allocation limits to achieve the Government’s objectives.
“It is important that we have spectrum allocation processes which support the introduction of vitally important new services such as 5G mobile. But it is also important that our spectrum policy settings do not trigger a disruption in service to existing 3G customers. In my view both of these considerations have been given appropriate weight in the approach ACMA proposes.
“I will work with industry to promote continuity of services in the band and seek to minimise any potential impact to consumers as a result of changes to spectrum holdings,” Minister Fletcher said.
ACMA will separately consult with industry, including incumbents, on the re-allocation recommendation. It is proposing an auction occur in late 2021.