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Australia kicks off spectrum auction to boost mobile broadband capacity

NBN is claiming more coverage in the bush

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced it will auction spectrum in bands that remained unallocated after its 2015 auction in an effort to boost mobile capacity.

The remaining spectrum in the 1.8GHz band, along with airwaves in the 2GHz, 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands will all be up for grabs, mainly located in areas outside of the major cities. The auction which will run in three stages. The second and third stages are unscheduled for the moment, by that will be corrected once this stage has been completed.

“We anticipate the spectrum will be used for mobile or fixed wireless broadband services with the majority of lots available being in regional areas,” said ACMA Chair, Nerida O’Loughlin. “But we have also built flexibility into the technical frameworks for each band, allowing for other uses as well.”

The ACMA anticipate the spectrum will be used as follows:

  • 1800 MHz: Mobile broadband services using LTE technology
  • 2 GHz: 4G LTE or potentially 5G technologies
  • 3 GHz: Wireless broadband services
  • 4 GHz: Time Division Duplex mobile broadband services

The ACMA will use Simple Clock Auction methodology to run the land grab for the following spectrum; five lots in 1800 MHz, nine lots in 2 GHz, eleven lots in 2.3 GHz and fourteen lots in 3.4 GHz. The purchased licences will be valid until; 1800 MHz band: 17 June 2028; 2 GHz band: 11 October 2032; 2.3 GHz band: 24 July 2030; 3.4 GHz band: 13 December 2030.

The ACMA has also put out the disclaimer it may ‘decide to allocate spectrum licences in relation to the lots for a predetermined price in certain circumstances’. Essentially, starting bids will vary quite considerably. For example, the 1745–1750/1840–1845 MHz bands in Maryborough (a town in Queensland with a population of roughly 28,000) will be available for AUS$4,302,000, while bidding for the 2302–2400 MHz band in Telfer Mine (a mine in the Great Sandy Desert of Western Australia) will start at AUS$1,000.

If you would like to know the rest of the starting bids, as well as the rest of the bands available, you can follow this link – scroll down to page 33. We’ve also copied a couple of maps detailing the locations in the slideshow below:

  • 2020 Vision Executive Summit

  • LTE Advanced Pro and Gigabit LTE: The Path to 5G

  • TechXLR8

  • The BIG Communications Event

  • 5G North America

  • 5G World


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