AMTA supports ACMA spectrum strategy update and notes ongoing need for new spectrum opportunities

10 September 2015

AMTA supports ACMA spectrum strategy update and notes ongoing need for new spectrum opportunities

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the latest Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) update of its strategy paper on spectrum management to meet demand for mobile broadband services.

AMTA Chief Executive Officer Chris Althaus said the ACMA had reaffirmed the increasingly influential role of mobile broadband in providing economic and social benefits as a key enabling technology driving productivity and connectivity throughout the economy and society.

The ACMA’s report also identifies the need for co-ordinated short, medium and long-term strategies to identify and plan for the allocation of additional spectrum resources to support latest generation mobile telecommunication services.

AMTA notes that the future demand trend line for mobile broadband is a strong indicator of future spectrum needs and underlines the need to maintain a sense of urgency in seeking new spectrum bands – particularly given the long lead times involved both domestically and internationally.

Mr Althaus said: “The ACMA is flagging the need to stay on the case and industry strongly supports this call to action. We cannot relax when the future of mobile broadband has so much to offer.

“We must take every opportunity to meet demand with the upcoming WRC-15 a case in point – where the ACMA can take a leadership role in promoting new spectrum band opportunities for mobile broadband such as the 1.5GHz band – while also taking active an active interest in longer-term options such as 2700 – 2900MHz.”

AMTA believes that in its international engagement, the ACMA should seek to maximise flexibility for future use of spectrum because this provides the most likely path towards maximising the overall public benefit from spectrum allocation.”

AMTA notes the ACMA’s decision to move away from identifying a specific spectrum allocation target in favour of a more holistic approach.

“This is a pragmatic approach that reflects the increasing complexity of estimating future demand for services and translating that to an amount of spectrum,” Mr Althaus said.

“However, as identified in the recent Spectrum Review, the way forward for efficient and effective spectrum planning must balance flexibility with certainty for all spectrum users to support innovation and the investment needed to meet market demand and expectations.

Industry invests heavily in spectrum assets and infrastructure to maximise the efficient use of spectrum – however as reflected in the Spectrum Review and as suggested by the ACMA - efficiency of spectrum planning and management processes is also essential.

 “The industry will now assess the detail and looks forward to ongoing active engagement with the ACMA to ensure the full potential of mobile broadband is reached and not constrained by a lack of spectrum availability.”

 

For more information contact Randal Markey, AMTA Comms, (02) 6239 6555 or 0421 240 550