5G spectrum auction moves a step closer

Wednesday, 11 July, 2018

5G spectrum auction moves a step closer

The federal government has announced competition limits for telcos seeking to bid for 5G spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band.

The ACMA is preparing to auction 125 MHz of available spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band later this year.

“The next generation of mobile services, 5G, will deliver significantly faster mobile data speeds and allow for millions of new devices to connect,” said the Minister for Communications, Mitch Fifield.

“The 3.6 GHz band is recognised internationally as a key band for telcos to roll out new 5G networks.”

The Minister has directed the ACMA to impose allocation limits of 60 MHz in metropolitan areas and 80 MHz in regional areas.

The limits account for existing spectrum holdings in the broader 3400–3700 MHz band, meaning that carriers which already have significant holdings in this band would be limited in the amount of new spectrum they could bid for, or may not be able to participate in the auction.

The limits will allow for a competitive auction process while preventing any one bidder from acquiring an amount of spectrum which could preclude other telcos from rolling out 5G networks.

The limits were set following careful consideration of advice from the ACCC, which consulted with relevant parties.

“Australians have a voracious appetite for mobile data, and our competitive telecommunications market means that Australians already enjoy some of the fastest mobile broadband speeds in the world,” he added.

“These auction limits promote competition in the telecommunications industry while ensuring this scarce spectrum is put to its highest-value use.”

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/R. Roth

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