• Have your say: Public Safety Mobile Broadband

    Posted on: 4th May, 2019

    ARCIA has maintained an interest in the mobile broadband technology sector, and helps facilitate the input of international opinions, alongside the distribution of information into local discussions. We aim to ensure that both our members and the first responder networks are given information that is relative to this future communications platform.

    There is no doubt that LTE, whether 4G or 5G will be the next major communications platform for public safety around the world. At present, the Australian Communications & Media Authority (ACMA) have a discussion available on the configuration of the 900MHz band.

    Why is this important? Within the planning for the 800-900MHz bands, there is a space reserved for the future use of a public safety mobile broadband network. There is a block with 2 x 5MHz spectrum reserved for a possible network; one as an uplink and the other as a downlink.

    The concern is that this will unlikely be enough spectrum. The estimate received was gained from public safety agencies in 2012, during a period when few people could envisage what it might be used for. In 2019, the benefits of mobile broadband are well understood for commercial use, however, little is known about the extent of its benefits for public safety.

    ARCIA will be responding to the discussion paper and recommending that the ACMA be aware of the potential demand for additional spectrum, and that prospective plans should foresee the need for additional capacity. It is important and may be beneficial to ask questions to your management and bring attention to the issue so public safety agencies can respond.

    To have your say, upload your submission at: https://www.acma.gov.au/theACMA/reconfiguring-the-900-mhz-band

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