Discussion paper released ahead of ACMA spectrum sale

Monday, 14 August, 2017

Discussion paper released ahead of ACMA spectrum sale

ACMA will sell spectrum for mobile broadband, LTE and possibly 5G technologies later in 2017.

A newly released discussion paper is seeking comments on ACMA’s preparations for the auction.

The remaining spectrum in the 1800 MHz, 2 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands will be up for sale. It is expected that the interested parties will include mobile broadband and LTE service providers.

The discussion paper seeks stakeholder views on the way the ACMA proposes to configure the spectrum for auction in a series of draft marketing plans. It also sets out auction rules and methodology, and invites comments on the ACMA’s proposal to use a simple clock auction (SCA) format to allocate the lots over three stages, with each stage offering multiple lots simultaneously. The SCA was used to sell remaining 700 MHz spectrum in April 2017.

The auction includes spectrum lots that remain unallocated after the recent spectrum auction in the 1800 MHz band, and spectrum that was either not allocated in earlier auctions or has become available following spectrum licence reissue processes in the 2 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands.

Also included is some recently designated 2 GHz spectrum in the ACT.

These lots are collectively referred to by the ACMA as the ‘multiband residual lots’, and the auction process the ACMA proposes to use to allocate the multiband residual lots is referred to as the ‘multiband residual lots auction’.

In order to conduct an efficient and effective auction of the multiband residual lots, ACMA is required to make a number of legislative instruments, including marketing plans for the 1800 MHz, 2 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands, variation marketing plan instruments for the 1800 MHz and 2.3 GHz bands, as well as an allocation determination. These legislative instruments are collectively referred to in this consultation as the draft allocation instruments.

A marketing plan essentially sets out the product offering and may specify matters including, but not limited to:

  • the procedures to be followed for issuing spectrum licences;
  • how the spectrum is to be apportioned among the spectrum licences to be issued;
  • the conditions, or types of conditions, that may be included in spectrum licences to be issued.

An allocation determination essentially sets out the ‘auction rules’ and may deal with matters including:

  • the auction methodology;
  • how the auction will be advertised;
  • methods of payments for licences.

Submissions to the consultation will close on 25 August 2017.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/klerik78

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