ACMA announces results of 26GHz spectrum auction

23 Apr 2021

Five companies have secured spectrum in the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s (ACMA’s) auction of frequencies in the 26GHz band, which the regulator noted have been identified as optimal for the delivery of 5G wireless broadband services.

Of the 360 lots available in the auction, the ACMA confirmed that 358 were sold, realising a total revenue of AUD648 million (USD501 million). In terms of the winning bidders, Telstra emerged as both the biggest spender and recipient of the greatest number of lots, having offered AUD277 million for 150 lots. Meanwhile, rival operator Optus bid AUD226 million for a total of 116 lots, while TPG Telecom Limited (via Mobile JV Pty Limited) secured 86 lots for AUD108 million. Rounding out the winners of new spectrum, Dense Air Australia bagged two lots for AUD29 million and Pentanet Limited won four lots with a bid of AUD8 million. Licences won at the auction will reportedly come into force ‘later this year’, for a 15-year term ending in 2036.

Commenting on the matter, ACMA chairperson Nerida O’Loughlin was cited as saying: ‘This outcome represents another significant milestone for 5G in Australia. The successful allocation of this spectrum will support high speed communications services in metropolitan cities and major regional centres throughout Australia … This auction is one among a suite of licensing approaches that the ACMA has introduced in the 26GHz and 28GHz bands to encourage a wide range of innovative communications uses.’