Applications are now being accepted by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) for its upcoming auction of 5G-suitable spectrum in the 850MHz/900MHz band. In a press release regarding the development, the regulator chairperson Nerida O’Loughlin said the allocation of 5G-optimised spectrum is expected to support new and existing operators to better deliver services across regional, rural and remote areas of the country, as well as in major population centres. With the ACMA planning to auction off a total of 70MHz of paired spectrum in the 850MHz/900MHz band, the application period will run until 21 September, with the sale itself scheduled to begin in late November.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, earlier this month the communications minister Paul Fletcher confirmed that allocation limits will apply to the amount of low-band spectrum that mobile network operators (MNOs) can acquire in the upcoming frequency auction. Bidders will be restricted to holding no more than 82MHz of licensed sub-1GHz spectrum in ‘the most populous areas of Australia’, while to encourage investment in the more sparsely populated regional areas, a slightly higher limit of 92MHz of sub-1GHz spectrum has been set.