ACMA Probes Feasibility of 5G Mobile Broadband Network
An investigation over the possibility of launching 5G networks aims to upgrade satellite telecommunication in Australia.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority seeks to refarm the 1.5GHz and 3.6GHz spectrum bands to enable 5G mobile broadband networks in the future. The agency has launched a preliminary investigation on the matter, following those spectrum bands growing consideration on an international scale, according to ACMA acting chairman Richard Bean.
The ACMA released a discussion paper that analysed each band in comparison to how other countries use them. For the 3.6GHz spectrum, Australia’s fixed-line and satellite services currently use this band, while the Department of Defence and other fixed-line services in remote areas use the 1.5GHz spectrum.
Bean said that the increasing momentum on the idea of refarming these bands serves as a good time for Australia to mull over the concept. Several groups such as the International Telecommunication Union-Radiocommunication Sector and the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity have looked into the matter as well.
The ACMA will accept submissions of interest until Nov. 25 and will decide on January 2017 if it will continue an initial replanning for the proposal. The agency is expected to start refarming the bands in the fourth quarter of next year in case it decides to do so.
Regional areas in Australia have struggled with Internet problems, including going over data limit quickly. This posed a real concern for small businesses and families who require stable connections. To resolve this, some telecommunications companies have deployed fixed wireless networks and Internet plans with unlimited data for rural residents.
The ACMA’s refarming plan takes place at a time when rural parts of Australia are resolving a so-called data drought by pursuing a grassroots movement on Internet activism. The deployment of 5G mobile networks could help in solving rural Australians’ concerns on limited and expensive data.