The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced it will hold three sequential auctions in late November to sell spectrum across the 1.8 GHz, 2 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands, reports Mobile World Live. According to a 78-page guide for the multiband residual lots auction, ACMA will sell a total of 39 lots of spectrum.
All lots in the 1.8 GHz band and three 2×10 MHz lots in the 2 GHz band will be sold in the first stage, while six 2×5 MHz lots in the 2 GHz band will be offered in the second. The third stage will sell all the lots in the 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands. There is a 25 MHz spectrum limit for the 1.8 GHz band.
Spectrum unallocated after previous allotments will be put up for sale, while a batch of spectrum in the 2 GHz band in the Canberra region, which was recently designated for spectrum licensing for the first time, will also be sold.
Interested parties must submit applications by October 27. Mock auctions will be held in early November, after which the regulator will notify the bidders of the start date and time of the first and second rounds of the online auction. The ACMA set a tentative auction start date of November 28.
Spectrum allocations are available in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Tasmania and Western Australia. No spectrum is being sold for South Australia or the Northern Territory.
Four Australian operators spent AUD543.5 million (US $385 million based on exchange rates at the time) in an auction for 1.8 GHz spectrum in 12 regions in February 2016. Singtel-owned Optus spent AUD196 million while market leader Telstra invested AUD191 million in airwaves in all regions. TPG Internet paid AUD88 million for its spectrum, and Vodafone Hutchison spent AUD68 million.