Group calls for satellite and mobile spectrum sharing

Laments spectrum scarcity for satellite services

A discussion paper issued by the Communications Alliance’s Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) has called for a debate on sharing spectrum between satellite and mobile services.

The paper issued by the group urges the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) “to take a more holistic view of spectrum management and look to the needs of the whole communications community”, not just the needs of mobile network operators.

Mobile services “have been allocated a very large amount of spectrum over the past two decades” — usually spectrum previously used to deliver satellite services, the paper states.

The discussion paper suggests that the 26GHz band is one where mobile services and fixed satellite services may be able to share spectrum. The ACMA has detailed plans to release 26GHz spectrum for use with 5G mobile services.

The potential for spectrum sharing has been reduced through “simplistic ‘single service’ spectrum licensing when the band is ‘re-farmed’ (an ACMA term) for Mobile Services,” the paper argues.

“The ACMA should give greater consideration to the potential for shared use where feasible, as spectrum becomes an increasingly scarce commodity that is sought after by various services and applications.”

The federal government recently detailed its intention to boost Australia’s space industry.

3.6GHz spectrum

The ACMA last week released draft spectrum licensing instruments for the 3.6GHz spectrum.

Spectrum in the 3.6GHz band will play a key role in telcos’ rollout of 5G services in Australia.

“The ACMA is consulting on the details of the spectrum licences to be offered in the 3.6 GHz band, the draft rules of the auction and the technical framework that will underpin the new licences,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said in a statement.

“Consultation will ensure that these are fit-for-purpose for the auction process.”

The regulator has also released its draft 2018–22 Five Year Spectrum Outlook.

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Tags TelecommunicationssatellitespaceCommunications Alliancespectrum

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