Government announced the creation of a 5G working group which will include officials and industry players

The government of Australia has developed a paper outlining a 5G policy for the country, including the establishment of a working group to drive the deployment of 5G mobile technology in Australia.

The government said this working group will support the timely rollout of 5G technology in the country with the primary goal of fostering the growth of the digital economy.

The commercial rollout of next generation mobile networks is expected to start in 2020. The government highlighted that it will support 5G deployments by making spectrum available in a timely manner, actively engaging in international standardization processes and streamlining planning arrangements to allow mobile operators to deploy infrastructure more quickly and at lower cost.

“5G will be a key enabler for a range of government priorities, including the digital economy strategy, policy development for autonomous vehicles, and the smart cities plan,” according to the paper. The Department of Communications plans to establish a working group that will bring together representatives from across government and industry. The government said that this working group will provide a platform for an ongoing strategic dialogue on 5G, and will work to ensure that sectoral regulatory frameworks are updated to take advantage of this technology.

“The government considers that 5G is more than an incremental change for mobile communications. Instead, it provides the underlying architecture that will enable the next wave of productivity and innovation across different sectors of the Australian economy. Efficient rollout of 5G and uptake of the services it supports has the potential to produce far-reaching economic and social benefits and support growth of Australia’s digital economy,” the government said in a statement.

“5G trials have already commenced in Australia, with each of the main carriers working with mobile equipment suppliers in testing the application and limits of the technology. These trials will continue and will inform the communications sector on how 5G can be effectively deployed for the Australian environment.”

The government also said  Australian telecoms regulator ACMA will continue to work on making spectrum available for 5G. The regulator has been investigating the use of 1.5 GHz and 3.6 GHz bands as well as high frequency mmWave bands in for mobile broadband services. The regulator has decided to prioritize re-farming of the 3.6 GHz band over the 1.5 GHz band

Mobile operators in Australia are Vodafone, Telstra and Optus.

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