Spectrum drawing.png

Flexibility in Network Deployment Regulations

Ray McKenzie
Manager, Mobile Carriers Forum - AMTA


Mobile Carriers call for more flexibility in mobile network deployment regulations

The Department of Communications and the Arts has just completed its public consultation on a suite of amendments to the regulatory framework governing carriers’ deployment of mobile network infrastructure.

AMTA joined Communications Alliance in welcoming the opportunity to provide comment on the DoCA consultation paper “Possible amendments to telecommunications carrier powers and immunities – Consultation paper”, June 2017.

The Associations noted that the amendments proposed in the consultation paper to the Low Impact Facilities Determination, the Telecommunications Code of Practice and Schedule 3 of the Telecommunications Act address many of the issues raised in previous submissions to the Department, particularly in regard to increasing flexibility in the types of infrastructure permitted as Low Impact and the planning zones in which such infrastructure is permitted. 

The amendments reflect the changes in technology and deployment practices in mobile and fixed wireless network infrastructure that have occurred over the very long period of time since these regulations were first introduced.

The joint submission reinforced the very significant benefits of the amendments to community, government and industry by way of reduced regulatory burden and the earlier provision of better, more advanced mobile and fixed wireless services to communities across Australia. 

If adopted, the net economic benefit flowing to community, government and the industry is 100s of millions of dollars annually, while the additional benefits in social connectivity, personal security and disaster management are incalculable.

The Associations therefor strongly supported the suite of amendments proposed in the consultation paper, noting they will provide the increased flexibility in network deployment practices and certainty in timelines, processes and outcomes necessary for industry to make the very significant investments required to meet the ever-increasing demand for advanced communications services from Australian businesses and communities.

The Associations also noted that the amendments will be important for not only meeting the immediate demands placed on industry to provide advanced communications services but will be vital in facilitating the imminent evolution to the new 5G networks in the very near future. 

With the quantum leap in expansion of speed and range of services which such networks will supply to communities and businesses, the potential gains from these amendments will only increase

The submission was part of AMTA’s comprehensive package of activities to assist the industry in aligning with government to facilitate the implementation of the next evolution of mobility for Australia, reminding regulators that continued flexibility in network deployment regulation must remain the goal of governments and industry alike if the promise of the 5G future is to be fully realised.

3 August 2017



AMTA welcomes deployment regulation amendments

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the announcement today from the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, regarding the progression of 10 reforms to the regulations governing the deployment of wireless and mobile networks in Australia; as well as further consultation on 11 other proposed reforms. In welcoming the announcement, AMTA Chief Executive, Chris Althaus noted the Government’s reform package will go some way towards enabling the deployment of the next generation 5G mobile networks which are expected to bring significant improvements in speed, quality and capacity for Australia’s data hungry consumers.  But he also noted there was still more to do. “This is a welcome and very important first step - in what we hope will be an ongoing engagement with government and stakeholders to develop a dynamic regulatory framework to meet the deployment challenges of next generation networks.


Final NTP results cannot confirm mobile phone cause cancer in humans

The long awaited final results of the decade-spanning US National Toxicology Program on radiofrequency energy exposure has found no consistent effects in male and female mice and rats exposed to mobile phone signals for their whole life (2 years). However, in a sub-section of the study, researchers found that at the highest doses for the longest periods of time, cellphone radiation might cause a rare cancer in male rats. “High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumours in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP),” said a press release from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where the program is headquartered.

Annual Report 2.jpg

AMTA Annual Report 2017

In 2017, the strong demand for mobile services continues to have an impact on our economy and society as the industry shifts its focus in preparation for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. AMTA’s latest Annual Report includes the following highlights: As industry prepares for 5G the need for regulatory reform in spectrum management and network infrastructure deployment is increasingly urgent. 5G Mobile – Enabling Businesses and Economic Growth Report by Deloitte Access Economics found that 5G is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy. It will add to the already significant (and growing) $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile; and annual network spend from mobile providers is expected to reach $5.7 billion in FY2017-18. The MCF has focused on an agenda of legislative reform to support the efficient and flexible deployment of network infrastructure.


How will 5G improve network performance

While the technical standards for 5G are still being developed, experts agree that 5G will offer: Latency of less than 1ms; Ability to deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps and beyond; Energy efficiency in running 1000s of devices; and Improved network capacity by enabling millions of low bandwidth devices to connect simultaneously. Where 4G focussed on providing improved speed and capacity for individual mobile phone users, 5G will enable more industrial applications, and could be a major technological driver in industrial digitalisation. For more information about 5G read our latest report from Deloitte Access Economics. Download the complete report.