The Australian Government through the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications (DITRDC) has commenced the process to re-allocate essential spectrum in the 850 and 900 MHz bands to support carriers to deploy more efficient 4G (and later 5G) mobile services across Australia.
These bands are not currently well-optimised and a re-allocation will allow ACMA (Australian Communications and Media Authority) to reconfigure the bands for 4G and 5G mobile services. The 900 MHz band is used to provide mobile broadband services to Australia. Reallocating spectrum in the 850/900 MHz band will support new services such as the 5G mobile network. With government and industry support for reform, the ACMA is consulting on future allocation of the band.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP, this week issued a spectrum re-allocation declaration for the 850/900 MHz band to enable the ACMA to make more spectrum available in the 850 MHz expansion band, and improve the use of spectrum in the 900 MHz band.
The Radiocommunications (Spectrum Re-allocation—850/900 MHz Band) Declaration 2020 allows ACMA to allocate the bands for spectrum licensing, and follows advice from ACMA which was informed by extensive industry consultation.
The declaration allows for the re-allocation of 20 MHz of new spectrum for mobile broadband services in the 850 MHz expansion band, as well as 50 MHz in the 900 MHz band, a band that carriers currently use for 3G and 4G services.
The spectrum is slated to be sold at auction in late 2021.
Related article on why the spectrum is needed: Australians love streaming, mobile phones and IoT devices