ACMA opens applications for ‘high band’ 5G spectrum auction

14 Dec 2020

Applications to take part in the auction of ‘high band’ 5G spectrum being conducted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) are now being accepted, in what the regulator termed ‘a step that will pave the way for ultra-fast internet access and new digital technology in Australia’.

As per the ACMA’s plans, it will auction 2.4GHz of spectrum in the 26GHz band in 27 geographic regions across Australia, and it has suggested that the spectrum auction is an opportunity for interested parties to bid for high band spectrum that will accommodate future 5G services. A total of 360 lots of spectrum are being made available, while allocation limits set by the country’s communications minister mean that during the auction, individual participants cannot acquire more than 1GHz of the 26GHz band in each geographic region. The application period runs from 14 December 2020 to 21 January 2021, while the spectrum auction itself is scheduled to commence in April 2021.

With the ACMA stating that the high band spectrum forms part of the government’s plan to make 2021 the ‘Year of 5G’, it noted a second auction is planned for late 2021, with this being for low band 5G spectrum.