AAPT loses bid for 28 GHz carve-out

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AAPT loses bid for 28 GHz carve-out
NBN Co will provide fixed satellite services in the 28 GHz band.

Comms regulator sticks with judgment.

AAPT will not get its way on future licensing of the 28 GHz band with the Australian Communications Media Authority revealing today it will change license conditions from February next year.

The band is currently managed with spectrum licenses that are held by AAPT and NBN Co. The latter plans to use 28 GHz spectrum to deliver fixed satellite services under its National Broadband Network remit.

The ACMA has been consulting with industry this year on whether spectrum to apparatus licenses are the most appropriate way to maximise usage of 28 GHz and 31 GHz assets.

NBN Co's senior regulatory advisor Duncan Giles agreed in March to the proposed shift to apparatus licensing in the 28 GHz band, as long as existing spectrum owners were given priority in the allocation process. (pdf)

AAPT, meanwhile, had sought only a "partial introduction of apparatus licensing in the 28 GHz band, while retaining spectrum licensing in only a portion of the band in metro areas".

It claimed to have "made well-advanced plans" for its 28 GHz holdings, and did not believe that keeping them under spectrum licensing would "actually hinder the use of fixed services and fixed satellite services in that band".

All references to the proposed "high-value services" that AAPT is targeting for 28 GHz were kept firmly under wraps, blanked out of public-facing submissions for commercial in-confidence reasons. (.doc)

The ACMA is effectively sticking with its preliminary recommendation on future licensing of the 28 GHz band, which it laid out in a discussion paper in January this year. (pdf)

"The ACMA believes that apparatus licensing arrangements will provide more flexibility in meeting the changing demand for use of the 28/31 GHz bands in the future," chairman Chris Chapman said.

The ACMA said it was working on transition arrangements with AAPT and NBN Co in 28 GHz.

Although apparatus licensing would also apply to the 31 GHz band, the ACMA said it had "found no evidence of demand for licences in the band in the short term."

'We will review planning arrangements for this band in the future when a clearer picture of demand in the band emerges,' Chapman said.

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