Telstra pressures ACMA to speed up clearance of 700MHz spectrum

Telco tells the regulator the 700MHz allocation process cannot afford anymore delays despite public safety organisation wanting a piece of that spectrum.

Telstra has called for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to expedite the process of auctioning off the 700MHz spectrum so high demands for mobile data capacity can be met.

Speaking at ACMA’s RadComms 2011 event in Sydney, Telstra spectrum policy regulatory affairs group manager, Brian Miller, noted several ways to close the gap between mobile data volume supply and demand.

They include creating more capacity through splitting cell sites, offering incentives for users to use services at off-peak times and employing smarter applications.

But he stressed those solutions can only provide incremental improvements to the situation.

“These incremental improvements won’t be enough,” Miller said.

The fastest and most effective way to tackle the supply and demand issue is to get more spectrums for mobile broadband use, according to Telstra.

“Australia is slipping behind in spectrum allocation,” Miller said. “... From our perspective, it is essential for the ACMA to get on with the clearance and allocation of the 700MHz band and also the 2.5GHz band to meet the medium term demand for mobile broadband capacity.

“We can’t afford to have any more slippages of the timetable.”

Telco operators and public safety organisations are currently locking horns over the 700MHz spectrum. Public safety groups want a piece of that spectrum band be saved for an emergency services wireless broadband network while telcos argue that would be “incredibly disruptive” to the industry.

Telco providers want to use the 700MHz band to rollout new 4G LTE wireless networks for commercial use.

The Federal Government is looking at suggestions to save the 800MHz band for emergency services broadband but public safety organisations claim that would be extremely costly and could delay plans of a dedicated network by up to 10 years.

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Tags 700Mhz800MHzspectrum policywireless broadbandTelcoAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)TelecommunicationsTelstrabroadband

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