DBCDE confirms digital dividend spectrum to go on sale late-2012

25 Jun 2010

The Australian government has confirmed it intends to sell off 126MHz of spectrum of ultra-high frequency (UHF) spectrum to be used for wireless communications services as part of the digital dividend, according to Computerworld. Having called for submissions from interested parties as to how best to utilise the freed-up spectrum earlier this year, the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy (DBCDE) has released details of the government’s plans based on that feedback. Communications Minister Stephen Conroy said that the state expects to raise around AUD1 billion (USD869 million) from the sale, revealing that the spectrum would be released as a contiguous block in the upper UHF band comprising the 694MHz to 820MHz range, with an auction due to take place in late 2012. Such spectrum is widely expected to be used for 4G technologies, including Long Term Evolution (LTE). The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) meanwhile has said it intends to release a public discussion paper in the third quarter of 2010 which will ‘set out planning and allocation issues and options for new spectrum licences’.