NBN Co completes 4G spectrum spend
While ACMA is yet to resolve TV interference issues
NBN Co has secured spots of regional spectrum in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, South Australia, outback Queensland and far west New South Wales for AU$1.3m. The spectrum will bolster its high-speed wireless broadband services rollout.
NBN Co secured it at the Australian Communications and Media Authority spectrum auction.
The auction purchase augments the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz spectrum licences NBN Co purchased earlier in the year from Austar for Au$120m.
NBN Co will use the spectrum to deliver fixed wireless services to around 5 per cent of customers out of reach of its planned fibre network, with the remainder to be served by satellite.
The company said its wireless network was now on track for full rollout by 2015.
Last month, NBN Co announced it would be proceeding with a $1.1bn project to design, build and operate a 4G fixed-wireless network, supplied by vendor Ericsson to serve those Australians who can't access other NBN high-speed broadband services. "We are pleased with the outcome of today's auction as it means we can provide high-speed wireless services to some of the most poorly served areas as a priority. We are on target to provide wireless broadband services up to five years earlier than some areas earmarked for fibre," said NBN Co CEO Mike Quigley.
However prepared NBN Co is for the LTE deployment, ACMA has yet to allay industry fears over potential interference issues between LTE handsets and regional TV broadcasting transmission.
According to broadcasting engineers, free-to-air broadcasters are becoming concerned at the risk that remote and regional viewers will suffer, particularly where multiple LTE devices are in use. An engineering spokesperson from the Australian Communications and Media Authority told The Register last month that the issue is now under investigation. ®
The industry fears the article mentions in relation to LTE interfering with regional TV reception is to do with the proximity of the 700MHz band to the last channel slot in band V of the UHF band. This has nothing to do with the spectrum that NBNCo has licensed for their wireless services, which are in the 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands.
Yes they are using LTE, but then again Telstra is rolling it out right now only it's in the 1.8GHz band. My point is that the frequency band has nothing to do with the technology that will run on that frequency. Vivid wireless has a bunch of 2.3 and 3.4GHz spectrum, and they're running both WiMAX and their old proprietary pre-WiMAX protocol over it, not LTE like NBNCo will be running.
In any case, the article mentions that the concern is over handsets. The NBN will be using fixed wireless, not mobile handsets. The handsets they refer to are the 700MHz LTE handset that Telstra, Optus and Vodafone will likely use once the digital TV transition is complete. By this happens at the end of 2013, NBNCo should already have customers on their wireless network, and the telcos will probably still be arguing with the broadcasters about interference.
What a pain
If it is found that handsets interfere with TV signals. Given the remoteness of the properties that can't be fibre connected, I assume that any interference is going to be from within the same premises. If that is so, I would guess that a number of ways exist to reduce or eradicate the interference.
First would be a filter on the back of the tv, back in my Ham days I found that to be very effective in most cases.
Second, I assume that the handsets in question are telephones, now if the telephone is a fixed phone as distinct from a mobile phone. A yagi antenna pointed at the TX/RX tower should keep most of the signal away from the TV antenna which is probably a dish pointing upwards.
If the telephone's of of a mobile configuration, then the only answer in the event of interference problems is to keep the calls short or turn the tv off. Or move away from the tv or tv antenna, inverse square law and all that guff.