CALL FOR SATELLITE AND MOBILE SERVICES TO SHARE SCARCE SPECTRUM

Sydney, 21 May 2018 - More flexible and innovative approaches are needed in Australia to allow 5G mobile services and satellite-based services to co-exist, according to the nation’s communications satellite sector.

The Satellite Services Working Group (SSWG) of Communications Alliance, in a Discussion Paper released today, calls for debate between Government, Regulators, Industry and other stakeholders on the future of satellite services in today’s increasingly spectrum-scarce environment.

Already some satellite systems and space operation facilities are unable to effectively operate in Australia due to the nature of licensing conditions here, the group warns.

The SSWG is a group of 20 companies active in the Australian satellite market, including satellite operators, service providers and ground-segment specialists (membership list attached).

Australia’s commercial space operations account for approximately 75% of the nation’s space market – worth almost $4 billion in 2015-16 - according to estimates published by the Federal Government’s recent review of Australia’s Space Industry Capability.

The Discussion Paper examines the approaches being taken in the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and some regulatory regimes around the world to enable terrestrial mobile services and satellite services to share the spectrum in specified frequency bands where this is technically feasible.

It contrasts this with the “single service” spectrum licensing often used in Australia, which normally precludes the co-existence of other types of services and cites examples of recent local spectrum decisions that have disadvantaged the satellite sector.

While recognising the importance of making spectrum available for mobile services, the paper sets out recommendations for the ACMA in the 40 to 42 GHz, 48.2 to 50.2GHz and 2GHz frequency bands and urges the regulator to take a “more holistic” view of spectrum management, to maximise the spectrum available for all classes of services, including mobile.

The paper does not purport to represent the views of all Members of Communications Alliance, including those from Telstra as a member of the SSWG.

ABOUT COMMUNICATIONS ALLIANCE
Communications Alliance is the primary telecommunications industry body  in Australia. Its membership is drawn from a wide cross-section of the  communications industry, including carriers, carriage and internet  service providers, content providers, search engines, equipment vendors, IT companies, consultants and business groups.

Its vision is to  provide a unified voice for the telecommunications industry and to lead  it into the next generation of converging networks, technologies and  services. The prime mission of Communications Alliance is to promote the growth of the Australian communications industry and the protection of  consumer interests by fostering the highest standards of business ethics and behaviour through industry self-governance. For more details about  Communications Alliance, see www.commsalliance.com.au.

Media information contact:
Sefiani
Kurt Graham kgraham@sefiani.com.au
0431 478 558 

SATELLITE SERVICES WORKING GROUP MEMBERSHIP

Australian Private Networks (APN)
Coutts Communications
Foxtel
FreeTV
Inmarsat
Intelsat
Ipstar
nbn
Omnispace
OneWeb
Optus
Orion Satellite Systems
Pivotel Satellite
SES
Skybridge
Space Systems/Loral
Speedcast
Step Electronics
Telstra
ViaSat