ARCIA Responds

ARCIA responds to ‘Invitations for Response’ issued by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in areas where ARCIA believe that the interests of the general Radio Communications Industry should be protected or represented.

Response to Five Year Spectrum Outlook (FYSO) 2017-21 Work Program Document

Late in 2017, the ACMA released an updated version of FYSO and sought comment on the proposed format and contents of the document. ARCIA’s Spectrum and Technical sub-committee reviewed the document and then circulated a draft response to the full committee for further input. The final version of our response was submitted to ACMA on 22 January 2018. The response can be viewed and represents quite a significant amount of work in the development of the requirements for the LMR industry. Read ARCIA's response.  

Response to Department of Communications and Arts - Radiocommunications Bill 2016 - April 2016

During late 2015 and early 2016 the Minister for Communications requested his Department to do a review of spectrum management with a view to reducing the amount of red tape and improving efficiency of the spectrum management role with better access to spectrum as it is a valuable resource. The guidelines and invitation to respond are available here. ARCIA had meetings with Department officials and responded to the Legislative Proposals Paper. This is an ongoing review and ARCIA will continue to be involved to represent the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) industry. Read ARCIA's response. 

Response to Productivity Commission – Public Safety Mobile Broadband - May 2015

In early 2015 the Australian Treasurer tasked the Productivity Commission with enquiring into the best way to provide Mobile Broadband facilities to Australian Public Safety Agencies (PSA’s). The requirements for Public Safety Mobile Broadband (PSMB) have previously been determined by the various jurisdictions and include the requirement that the service be available over as wide an area as possible, have high security levels and be operated as a common platform for all jurisdictions and agencies. In response to an ‘issues paper’ (available from the Productivity Commission web site) ARCIA presented the attached submission. If you have any thoughts or queries regarding this submission please contact ARCIA through the usual channels. Click here to read the full report.

Report on ACMA Radcomms Conference – Sydney, October 2013

The conference was held over two days at the Australian Maritime Museum in Sydney, despite the published agenda not seeming to have much of interest for the Land Mobile Radio (LMR) industry, it turned out to be one of the more informative events of recent years. In addition, the opportunities arose for questions to be asked that made the event of interest for the LMR industry. Ian Miller and Noel Higgins from ARCIA and some industry representatives attended, however, there is little interest from other members of our industry in attending and this is a shame as it means we don't get much recognition, this was evident in the fact that although the ACMA claimed that all stakeholders were represented in the discussions, the LMR industry was not. Click here to read the full report.

803-960MHz band review

In May 2013, ARCIA addressed Senator Stephen Conroy, the Minister for Broadband, Communications & the Digital Economy, the Australian Communications and Media Authority section handling the review of the 803-960 MHz spectrum, as well as the Shadow Minister, Hon Malcolm Turnbull, with concern over the recent Digital Dividend Spectrum Auction.

The fact that the entire available 700 MHz spectrum was not taken up leads to concern regarding the current ACMA review of the 803-960 MHz band. In the recent discussion paper 'The 803-960 MHz Band – exploring options for future change' part of the proposals outlined by the ACMA was for more spectrum at 800 MHz to be made available for the public carriers. In light of this week's auction results, we believe that this position should now be reviewed.

ARCIA stated that it seeks intervention from these offiicials in regards to spectrum allocations in the 800MHz band to ensure the ongoing viability of the Land Mobile Radio industry and to make sure that valuable spectrum is not just made available for the use of the public carriers.

400MHz band review

Consultation on the review of the 400 MHz Spectrum suggested that consideration be given to implementing a ‘Band Plan’ based on 12.5 kHz channel spacing and a 403 to 430MHz Government band. ARCIA in its initial submission, pressed for adoption of a 6.25 kHz raster recognising that newer technologies would be developed with this in mind. Throughout the consultation phases, ARCIA engaged with the ACMA, ultimately achieving a mutually acceptable outcome for all with “harmonised government spectrum” spread over the frequency range 403 to 470MHz, whilst protecting existing 12.5kHz commercial trunked systems, retaining fixed link spectrum as a shared resource and achieving “Tetra friendly” band splits in the 450 to 470MHz band. ARCIA then assisted the ACMA in the “400MHz road shows” informing stakeholders of the final outcomes.

RCC representation

ARCIA is now a member of the ACMA Radio Consultative Council (RCC) recognition of its role as a peak body for the radiocommunications industry in Australia.


Past activities

February 2013

As notified in other newsletters and on our LinkedIn site, the ACMA have released the second discussion paper on this section of the spectrum. Although many in the industry may not see direct relevance of this sector of the spectrum, it has sections allocated to Trunked radio allocations and many of the latest Tetra systems in major developments for the resources sector are located there, as well as the fixed links that operate many of the VHF and 400MHz systems in remote areas of most states. ARCIA will be presenting an 'Industry based' response and we seek your thoughts and input for this important response. Closing date for comments to ARCIA is 12th February 2013 with the ACMA response required by 22nd February 2013.

May 2012

The ACMA have released 'IFC 9/2012: Adoption of opportunity cost pricing for apparatus licences in the 400 MHz band' for public comment. It is specifically aimed at the 400MHz band and is primarily involving the high density areas. The closing date for submissions is 5.00 pm 22 May 2012. ARCIA will also be submitting a response and those that would like to contribute can contact Ian Miller before 11 May 2012.

More details can be found at

June 2011

ARCIA responded to the 'Consultation on Future Arrangement for the 900MHz Band' Discussion paper on behalf of our members and in the general interest of the Radio Communications Industry.

Download a copy of the response.

May 2011

Last month, ARCIA also participated in the ACMA’s fifth conference on spectrum management RadComms2011 in Sydney. The conference gave an outline to Industry on the state of the spectrum and future trends. ARCIA was represented at this important seminar by our NSW Representatives, Hamish Duff and Martin McLeod, as well as Noel Higgins representing ARCIA's Spectrum & Technical Committee. A full summary of the event outcomes is available to download.

December 2010

Since the release of the Association's annual report, three work items for the ACMA "5 year spectrum outlook plan" have been submitted.

November 2010

ARCIA attended and participated in RadioComms Connect 2010 on 17-18 November. ARCIA President, Chris Kelly, presented Spectrum changes and the impact on commercial enterprises - opportunity or threat. Download a copy of the presentation.

August 2010

ARCIA has submitted 'Subject: Item proposed for Five Year Spectrum Outlook Plan – Managing deployment of Bi-Directional Amplifiers' to the ACMA as part of its ongoing Spectrum Outlook process. Download a copy of the response.

July 2010

As a result of the review of the 400 MHz band plan for UHF frequencies, the ACMA have sent out a letter to licencees with details of their ‘Road Show Seminars’ and explaining the changes that will be coming up. ARCIA have been involved in this discussion process and have presented much information to ensure that the review of the band plan and the changes mooted are a balanced outcome and offer long term outcomes for everybody. As part of this process, ARCIA have developed an explanatory letter that can either be used as background information, or for those in the Industry who may wish to take the contents and distribute the information to clients and other licencees of the 400 MHz band.

Download a copy of the letter.

June 2010

ARCIA responds to the ACMA discussions on Ultra Wide Band (UWB) technology. Download a copy of the response.

June 2010

ARCIA responds to the ACMA's final decision paper on future use of the 400Mhz band. Download a copy of the response.

May 2010

ACMA has released its final decision paper on future use of the 400Mhz band. Upon review, it appears ACMA seem to have accepted the majority of recommendations presented in ARCIA's response papers. The decisions are detailed in the public discussions paper, The Way Ahead - Decisions and Implementation Options for 400 Mhz Band. The paper invites comment on implementation options. The period for comment closes on 6 June 2010. ARCIA is seeking input from its members so that a consensus response can be made on behalf of ARCIA.

February 2010

ARCIA responds to the Green Paper on the Digital Dividend. Download a copy of ARCIA's Digital Dividend response.

November 2009

ARCIA response to ACMA alternative approach options paper for 400 MHz band review. View a copy of the response to ACMA, Comment on proposed options for 403 to 420 MHz spectrum in UHF band re-plan.

November 2009

In light of stakeholder feedback to the Spectrum Proposals: 403-520 MHz discussion paper (the Proposals Paper) released in April 2009, the ACMA has been refining its proposal for government spectrum. The ACMA has identified an alternative approach to address the long-term needs of government in the 400 MHz band from the contiguous 403-430 MHz solution originally proposed in the Proposals Paper. The split band was also made possible by the withdrawal of interest from IMT stakeholders in using the band for that purpose. View a copy of the Consideration of an alternative approach to address Government spectrum requirements in the 400 MHz band sent to the RCC Working Group.

September 2009

ARCIA Responds to ACMA regarding 900Mhz Spectrum. Download a copy of the response.

June 2009

ARCIA Responds to the Opportunity Cost Pricing of Spectrum discussion paper. Download a copy of the response.

May 2009

ARCIA Responds to ACMA Discussion Paper on Spectrum Proposals: 403-520 MHz. Download a copy of the response.

July 2008

ARCIA Responds to ACMA Spectrum Options 403-520Mhz. Download a copy of the response.