Monday, 06 September 2021 12:14

ACMA opens applications for low band 5G spectrum auction

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ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has opened applications for the upcoming 2021 auction of 5G spectrum in the 850/900 MHz band.

Low band spectrum forms the backbone of 5G connectivity in Australia.

Spectrum in the sub‑1 GHz bands can carry signals across longer distances and is essential to provide a blanket coverage for 5G in the cities and regional areas. The mid-band and mmWave 5G spectrum has much more bandwidth available and will be key to providing capacity in higher demand areas.

The starting prices for the auction have already been set as reported here.

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ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the allocation of 5G-optimised spectrum in the 850/900 MHz band will support new and existing operators to better deliver services across regional, rural and remote areas of Australia, as well as to major population centres.

“The spectrum available in this auction will facilitate a wide range of new services that will benefit businesses and consumers across Australia,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

The ACMA will auction 70 MHz of paired spectrum in the 850/900 MHz band across all of Australia.

The application period runs from 1 September 2021 to 21 September 2021 with the spectrum auction scheduled to commence in late November/early December 2021.

“We encourage all interested parties to apply during this window so they can participate in the auction in late 2021,” Ms O’Loughlin said.

The spectrum auction is an opportunity for interested parties to bid for spectrum that will accommodate the deployment of 5G services in Australia.

The ACMA has prepared an applicant information package (AIP) for interested parties, which provides a detailed auction guide, information on the spectrum available and starting prices.

The auction forms part of the Australian Government’s plan to make 2021 the Year of 5G. The ACMA auctioned high-band, mmWave, spectrum in the 26 GHz band in April this year for a total revenue of $647 million, as reported here.

This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 1 September 2021.

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