ACMA release FYSO for 2020-24

30 September 2020

ACMA releases FYSO 2020–24

The ACMA has published the Five-year spectrum outlook 2020–24 (FYSO 2020–24), outlining our current and future spectrum management priorities.…/five-year-spectrum-outlook…

The FYSO provides an overview of the technology, market and policy drivers likely to shape the demand for spectrum over the next five years, and includes our plans for addressing the expected rise in demand for 5G wireless broadband spectrum.

It also sets out the ACMA’s annual work plan for band planning and optimisation, spectrum allocations, and ongoing improvements to spectrum management.

The ACMA continues to adopt a five-year planning horizon to track new or changed spectrum uses under consideration and development around the world.In April this year, we released a draft FYSO for your feedback.

All input was considered, and our responses to submissions can be found in the Addendum to FYSO 2020–24.…/five-year-spectrum-outlook…


The following are the amateur radio related items discussed in the latest FYSO:

5 MHz

WRC-15 introduced a secondary allocation for the amateur service in the frequency band 5351.5–5366.5 kHz with a maximum radiated power of 15 W (EIRP).[1] While the spectrum allocation is included in the ARSP, the technical feasibility and associated technical conditions that could support operation in Australia are yet to be considered.

In Australia, the band is currently used by some emergency service and law enforcement organisations for mobile operations. The Department of Defence also uses these frequencies in support of key capabilities. We consulted with local stakeholders on this potential allocation in the lead-up to WRC-15. Stakeholder views were varied, with opposition to the allocation from the Department of Defence, due to the potential for interference to its systems.

Earlier this year, we published a discussion paper seeking views on the feasibility and associated implementation issues of the potential allocation, including appropriate technical conditions and in which part of the band the amateur service could be supported.

Responses are being reviewed and a decision on further action, if any, will be communicated in Q4 2020.

Syllabus review panel

A Syllabus Review Panel (the Panel) was established in Q4 2019 under a Deed of Agreement between the ACMA and the University of Tasmania through its institute, the Australian Maritime College (AMC).

Due to the inability of the Panel to reach a consensus on minor changes required to align the syllabus with the Radiocommunications Licence Conditions (Amateur Licence) Determination 2015 (LCD), the Panel was disbanded. In Q3 2020, the ACMA will amend the Deed with the AMC to remove the requirement for changes to the syllabus to be approved by the Panel. Changes to the syllabus will now be managed directly through the ACMA’s usual consultation processes with the amateur community.

In Q4 2020, we will use the recent public consultation process for changes to the foundation syllabus to advise the AMC on amendments to the syllabus. This will align the foundation syllabus with the amendments to the LCD, so that prospective foundation licensees are able to take advantage of the amended LCD.

We will undertake a broader consultation process in 2021 on more substantive changes to the syllabus.

Review of amateur licencing

We are considering the best licensing mechanisms and conditions for non-assigned amateur and outpost licences. Non-assigned licences are apparatus licences that authorise the operations of a radiocommunications device, but instead of including a specific frequency, authorise operation within a general part of the spectrum identified for similar activities as specified in the relevant licence condition determination. Non-assigned licences are currently issued as part of the amateur, maritime, scientific and outpost licence types.

We are keen to ensure that any transaction costs faced by licensees and the ACMA are minimal, and that opportunities for appropriate self-regulation are realised, while recognising the continuing need for callsigns and—in the case of amateur licensees—appropriate qualifications. The review is also considering feedback received from stakeholders during consultation on proposed changes to amateur licence conditions in 2019.

We expect to consult on potential changes to the non-assigned amateur and outpost licence frameworks in Q4 2020.