The auction of spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band is expected to commence in November 2018 the Australian Communications and media Authority (ACMA) announced.
In March, it was revealed that the Federal Government would put 125 MHz of mobile spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band up for auction, effectively opening up for the door for new 5G services in metropolitan and regional Australia.
A $10,000 non-refundable application fee is required for those participating, with the ACMA informing that there will be 350 lots on offer across 14 regions of Australia.
“As a key enabler of the digital economy, the 3.6 GHz spectrum will ensure Australia is well-placed to realise the benefits of 5G,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said.
“Timely release of 5G-compatible spectrum will facilitate the early delivery of next generation 5G services to the Australian public and industry.
“The ACMA has designed an auction process—including starting prices—that aims to maximise efficiency, competitive outcomes and the full utility of this spectrum for 5G.”
A starting reserve price of $0.08/MHz/pop was established for metro areas except for Perth lower lots which will start at $0.053/MHz/pop – the start reserve price for regional areas was set at $0.03/MHz/pop.
A single bidder can acquire a maximum of 60 MHz in urban markets and 80MHz in regional areas, as previously established by The Minister for Communications, Senator the Hon Mitch Fifield.
As previously reported by ARN, these limits account for existing spectrum holdings in the broader 3400-3700 MHz band (which is all suitable for 5G), meaning that carriers which already have significant holdings in this band would be limited in the amount of new spectrum they could bid for, or may not be able to participate in the auction. – ARN