UHF CB Australia 80 Channel Update From the ACMA
Owners of UHF CB radios will now have access to more channels in the 400MHz band, following a comprehensive three-year ACMA (Australian Communications & Media Authority) review, and subsequent release of its time frames and plans to restructure the band.
Despite some incorrect media reports that users will have less radio frequency spectrum as a result of the changes to the band, the ACMA's extensive consultation means the UHF CB band has been restructured into 80 individual 12.5 kHz wide channels. This has changed from the existing 40 25 kHz wide channels.
This restructure means the following changes to channeling arrangements in the UHF citizen band.
- the UHF Citizen Band Radio Service will be extended upwards by 6.25 kHz to accommodate an additional 12.5 kHz channel
- all voice channels will transition to 12.5 kHz bandwidth
- existing repeater channels will transition to 12.5 kHz bandwidth, with new repeater channels created in the space between the existing channels.
There is a planned phase-in period for the new arrangements. Retailers will be able to supply 25 kHz equipment for approximately 18 months to clear existing stock while radio owners will be able to keep using their current 25 kHz radios for six years
The previous technical standard, which specified the technical performance limits and test methods for 25 kHz equipment, has now been revised to accommodate the new channel arrangements. Standard AS/NZS 4365:2011 was published in January 2011
Before new devices can be supplied to the market, the revised standard must be incorporated into the ACMA's equipment regulations, and the Radiocommunications (Citizen Band Radio Stations) Class Licence 2002 must be updated to reflect the new channel arrangement
The consultation process on the changes to the class licence closed on 4 March 2011. After submissions have been reviewed, the revision of the class licence will be submitted to the ACMA for consideration. This is expected to occur before June 2011.
The ACMA has no plans to return to a system of individual CB operating licences, as clamed in some reports