The ACMA has begun the process to allocate spectrum in the frequency range 1725–1785 MHz and 1820–1880 MHz for spectrum licensing. This range is known as "the regional 1800 MHz band". The reallocation process should be completed around mid-2017, with an auction scheduled in November 2015.

However, earlier access to the regional 1800 MHz band is under consideration. The ACMA has released a discussion paperInterim access for the 1800 MHz band - Regional areas of Australia on ways to facilitate interim access to the band prior to the reallocation. This is so that vacant parts of the regional 1800 MHz band could be utilised by mobile services using LTE technology before the reallocation.

The discussion paper includes:

  • issues associated with interim access;
  • a model that could be used to authorise interim access; and
  • invitation for comment from interested parties on issues raised in the discussion paper.

The media release and discussion paper can be found here. Submissions are due by COB Friday 20 March 2015