Canberra sets limits for 5G spectrum auction
The federal government has announced allocation limits of 1 GHz for the next 5G spectrum auction, scheduled to occur in March 2021.
The 26 GHz spectrum will enable extremely high‑speed, short-range broadband services, and will complement the 3.6 GHz spectrum that Australia’s telcos are already using for 5G services.
The auction will mark the first time that high-band 5G spectrum will have been made available in Australia.
“Australia has been among the world leaders in rolling out 5G networks. To maintain our position we need to make the necessary spectrum available as quickly as possible,” said the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher.
“I have directed the Australian Communications and Media Authority to set allocation limits of 1 GHz. This decision was informed by advice and analysis from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and aligns with the government’s communications policy objectives.”
5G is seen as being a critical enabler for such applications as robotics, automated vehicles, advanced manufacturing and the remote operation of heavy vehicles and equipment. It will also be employed in IoT applications such as soil moisture monitors on farms.
“Success in the mobile market ultimately depends on access to spectrum. Applying allocation limits means that the 26 GHz spectrum cannot be monopolised by any one operator,” the Minister said.
The ACMA has developed apparatus and class licensing frameworks across the 26 and 28 GHz bands that will support a range of uses, including in fixed wireless and enterprise services.
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