article The Australian government is seeking to make changes to how it manages the use of audio frequency spectrum for the transmission of voice and data, the country’s national broadcasting regulator has announced.
The Communications Minister, Brendan Nelson, said on Monday that the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s office would investigate complaints about “harmful interference” to the sound of voice calls and data communications.
In a statement, the regulator said it would seek information from mobile phone operators, broadcasters and consumers and make recommendations to the Federal Government.
The regulator said the “unacceptable” interference was caused by mobile phone towers and mobile phones that were not designed to receive voice or data signals.
The proposed changes to the system, announced last year, include allowing mobile phone networks to “opt-out” of some of the frequencies being used in the telecommunications network.
The Telecommunications Industry Council of Australia said the proposed changes were not needed because mobile phone companies already “have the technology and capability” to manage their own frequencies.
“In order to protect the quality of voice, video and data services, the Federal Parliament must pass the Telecommunications (Broadband) Act 2017 to give the Telecommunications Authority of Australia the power to establish a range of acceptable radio frequency frequency (RF) use standards, and set up appropriate regulatory mechanisms to ensure that these use standards are maintained,” the council said in a statement.
“These standards would apply to mobile phones, as well as to other radio frequency technologies such as mobile wireless broadband, which would allow for a more balanced and transparent allocation of frequencies in the mobile network.”
A similar proposal was rejected by the National Broadband Network (NBN) board last year.
Mr Nelson said the government was working with the industry on a proposed system for managing mobile phone use in the national communications network.
“The Minister has said that the NBN is a great success and the National High-Speed Broadband Networks have delivered outstanding speeds,” he said.
“He has also made it clear that he is committed to ensuring that the use by mobile carriers of their mobile phone frequencies does not interfere with the use from their mobile broadband services.”