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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has approved a number of trials of GPS repeating within road tunnels in Sydney and Melbourne.

ACMA said on Monday it was initially working with emergency services on the trials, which could result in a licensing arrangement for the devices.

Currently, the retransmission of a radionavigation-satellite service, which includes GPS, is currently forbidden by the Radiocommunications Act 1992 since it could interfere with signals. ACMA is in the midst of conducting a review of the ban.

“Should the trials be successful and the devices licenced for long-term use, the transport sector and general community would also benefit from enhanced in-tunnel navigation capability — including more accurate estimated times of arrival, and earlier warnings about in-tunnel congestion and lane changes,” ACMA said.

“The ACMA is also willing to consider applications from other transport authorities that are interested in trialling GPS repeaters in road tunnels.”

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