Australian Amateurs May Lose 2300 – 2302 MHz


The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has proposed changes to spectrum usage in the 2300 to 2302 MHz band that will make it off limits to Australian amateurs. The ACMA wants to re-allocate the spectrum to LTE (Long-Term Evolution) wireless data systems, the kind popularly used for mobile broadband applications. The proposed change would give LTE services 100 MHz between 2300 and 2400 MHz.

According to the Wireless Institute of Australia, this secondary Amateur Radio allocation is the only viable option for Earth-Moon-Earth (EME) contacts between Australia and Region II (where the EME activity is on 2304 MHz) or Region I (which uses 2320 MHz). Australian EME activity would then be confined to 2400 MHz and above, where ISM and Wi-Fi equipment is likely to cause interference.

Responding to news of the ACMA proposal, ARRL Chief Executive Officer David Sumner, K1ZZ, said, “Amateurs in the United States are in no immediate danger of losing 2300-2305 MHz because the use of the 2300-2400 MHz band by various radio services in this country is quite different from most of the world. Unfortunately, our colleagues in many other countries are facing the same challenge as in Australia as the pressure grows for commercial mobile broadband services."

If the Australian Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy approves the proposal, amateurs would lose access to the spectrum in 2015.

--Our thanks to Phil Wait, VK2ASD, and the Wireless Institute of Australia for this story