Mobile telecommunications industry welcomes today’s 2.5GHz band replan announcement

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes today’s announcement of the replan for part of the 2.5GHZ band as a key step in providing critical spectrum infrastructure to meet demand for next generation mobile telecommunications services.


AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said the industry welcomed the Australian Communication and Media Authority’s (ACMA) release of its decision to give access to the 2.5GHz band, which is vital to the industry’s ability to manage high volume data traffic on mobile networks, particularly the increasing size and complexity of mobile broadband applications.


“The announcement is in line with the mobile telecommunication industry’s submission to the ACMA, which recommended at least 140MHz of the 2.5GHz band potentially be made available for advanced mobile services, such as mobile broadband,” he said.


“The industry needs timely access to 140MHz of spectrum in the 2.5GHz band plus access to the 126MHz of Digital Dividend identified in the 700MHz band, and the retention of existing mobile spectrum assets, if operators are to meet future demand for mobile telecommunications and mobile broadband services.”


Mr Althaus said although the industry welcomed today’s announcement there is an urgent need for the Government to lock in a timetable for the delivery of spectrum resources to give industry the certainty and confidence to go ahead and make critical investment decisions.


“AMTA is concerned that the timetable does not state when the band can be used to deliver future mobile broadband services,” he said.


Mr Althaus said the allocation of some of the 2.5GHz band for mobile telecommunications in Australia would keep us aligned with agreed international trends, given the decision by the World Radiocommunications Conference 2000 to recommend this band as globally-harmonised mobile spectrum.


“It is forecast that the number of mobile broadband subscriptions will pass 50% of the population in 2012. There is no question with current growth in mobile broadband and mobile data traffic volumes - global mobile data traffic is expected to grow by a factor of 25 between 2010-2015 - that without new spectrum resources there could be potential capacity constraints on the networks and Australia will risk falling behind,” he said.


A recent AMTA study found that gross productivity benefits for mobile broadband in Australia from 2013 to 2020 to be $143 billion. From this total benefit, the estimated cumulative productivity benefit for Long Term Evolution is $62 billion over the same period, assuming the commercial launch of LTE over 2.5GHz occurs in 2013, with LTE over 700MHz available a year later.


The 2.5GHz band is instrumental in providing capacity and will open up the mass market uptake of mobile high-speed broadband associated with LTE.


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