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ACMA prepares for 5.9GHz band ITS usage in Australia

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has issued a discussion paper proposing the release of spectrum in the 5.9GHz band to permit the introduction of ITS for road users in Australia. ITS technologies use dedicated short range communications (DSRC) to transfer real-time information over short distances between in-vehicle mobile radio units and roadside units, and can be used for a wide range of applications.

ACMA is a government agency whose main roles are to regulate broadcasting, radio and telecommunications, and to represent Australian interests in international communications matters. It also has a role in regulating internet content standards. The authority is proposing that the spectrum would be allocated on a shared basis with incumbent services, such as the fixed service and the fixed satellite services, and ITS with the imposition of some conditions. Its discussion paper, ‘Planning for intelligent transport systems’, has been released in the lead up to the ACMA’s Transport Spectrum Tune-Up, a one day seminar on spectrum issues in the transport sector, to be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on November 18.


ACMA says that Australian alignment with internationally harmonized arrangements for ITS in the 5.9GHz band is desirable for two main reasons. “Firstly, it would allow Australia to benefit from the economies of scale that develop in larger markets. Secondly, a large proportion of the vehicles in Australia are manufactured overseas and imported. ITS modules are expected to be installed in motor vehicles during manufacture, so harmonized arrangements would ensure that these modules could be used in Australia.” Chris Cheah, acting chair of ACMA, says, “The deployment of ITS could reduce road crashes, including those that result in fatalities. It could also decrease congestion, which would result not only in savings arising from time lost to delay and vehicle operating costs; but reduce costs associated with air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.”
 

October 29, 2009

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