TPG licences hint at LTE fixed wireless trial in Bendigo

New 3.6GHz “point to multipoint” licence at existing Vodafone tower suggests trial LTE deployment

Australia’s second largest telco, TPG, was granted a number of apparatus radio licence covering parts of the Bendigo area in Victoria.

These new licences, issued on 21 March 2017 by the ACMA, are in addition to the spectrum licences owned by TPG to operate in the 1800 MHz and 2.5 GHz bands.

Whilst apparatus licence are typically issued for one year, the TPG licences are only valid until late October this year — hinting at a short-term trial.

Diagram showing viewshed and beam direction of TPG antennas at Bendigo site [Source: ACMA]
A total of four transmitting and receiving assignment pairs in the 3.6 GHz band were allocated to an existing Vodafone mobile tower.

The radios will use Alpha Wireless AW3023 antennas, advertised as an LTE antenna for bands between 3300-3800MHz. Each antenna has a beam width of 68 degrees.

TPG has indicated in the past that they intended to enter the wireless broadband market.  Its fixed-line FTTB network is facing the potential threat of a regional broadband levy to help fund the NBN fixed wireless and satellite networks.

NBN is also expanding its Fixed Wireless network to service outer metro areas by using the neighbouring 3.5 GHz spectrum allocated in 2014.  Its existing network uses the 2.3 GHz spectrum band, offering speeds of up to 50/20 Mbps to homes and businesses in the fringes of metropolitan areas.

In response to growing global interest in the 3.6 GHz spectrum bands for LTE and early 5G deployments, the ACMA sought community consultation its future late last year.

List of licenses

9838043/2 Fixed Point to Multipoint 22/Oct/2017 Granted
9838042/2 Fixed Point to Multipoint 22/Oct/2017 Granted
9838041/2 Fixed Point to Multipoint 22/Oct/2017 Granted
9838040/2 Fixed Point to Multipoint 22/Oct/2017 Granted

Source: ACMA RRL

Kenneth Tsang

I'm the author of jxeeno™ blog and co-founder of I'm a bit of an #NBN and public transport geek. You can normally find me juggling work and my studies at UNSW where I'm currently completing a degree in Geospatial Engineering.