ACCC seeking feedback on competition issues ahead of next 5G spectrum auction

26 Feb 2020

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has issued a call for feedback on ‘any competition issues associated with an upcoming spectrum allocation which will impact rollout of 5G services across the Australian economy’. In a press release the regulator revealed that it has been asked to advise the country’s communications minister on whether limits should be imposed on an upcoming auction of spectrum in the 26GHz band and, if so, how such limits should be applied.

With the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) scheduled to conduct the sale process in early 2021, the ACCC is seeking views on: the likely demand for 26GHz spectrum licences; the potential uses for these frequencies; the markets where the spectrum will be used; and any competition issues associated with how this spectrum is allocated. In addition, it is also seeking feedback on potential competition issues associated with the allocation of licences for spectrum in the wider 26GHz-28GHz band.

According to the ACCC, in developing its advice to the minister, it will consider the government’s ‘Communications Policy Objectives for the Allocation of the 26GHz band’, published in October 2019, and will work closely with the ACMA. Submissions from interested parties are being accepted until 27 March 2020, with the minister reported to have requested the ACCC’s advice by mid-May 2020.