Govt to hold two 5G spectrum auctions next year

Govt to hold two 5G spectrum auctions next year

High and low bands up for grabs

Credit: Dreamstime

The federal government is to hold two 5G spectrum auctions in 2021 for the upper and lower bands, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced. 

The first auction will take place in April for the high band 5G spectrum, which will span the 26 GHz band. 

Later in the year, the second auction will take place for the low band 5G spectrum, in the 850/900 MHz band, which will cover a broader geographical area. 

In an announcement, Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said the next auctions would complement mid-band 5G spectrum that has already been auctioned. 

“We are making the low, mid and high bands available so that the telcos can provide better, faster and stronger 5G in Australia,” he said. 

The next auctions will come more than two years after ACMA auctioned off the mid-market lots, or 3.6 GHz band. 

The results of the last auction saw Telstra pay $386 million for 143 lots, giving it 60 MHz of 5G spectrum in Australia’s major cities and between 50-80 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in regional areas. 

Meanwhile, Mobile JV, a TPG-Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) joint venture before the pair’s merger, scored the second-largest chunk, footing $263 million for 131 lots. 

Optus came next with 47 lots for $185 million and Dense Air won 29 lots for $18.5 million. In total, ACMA gained $853 million from the auction, totalling around $0.29/MHz/pop.

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