Australia - Mobile Communications - Spectrum Auctions

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Last updated: 3 May 2018 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 26

Analyst: Phil Harpur


Radio spectrum for mobile phone services in Australia was first auctioned in 1997. Subsequently, spectrum was divided and traded between players to support new mobile services, most notably high speed mobile data services using HSPA or LTE technologies. Following a dormant period between 2007 and 2011, a number of significant auctions were since held, particularly in the 2.3GHz and 2GHz bands for regional and rural areas.

In February 2016 the ACMA concluded the second-tranche auction of spectrum in the 1800MHz band, with the three MNOs together with TPG emerging as winners. The 11-year licences for regional Australia can be used from June 2017.

In April 2017 TPG paid $1.26 billion for 2 X 10 MHz of 700MHz spectrum in ACMA’s spectrum auction.

In December 2017 ACMA held its residual spectrum auction and in March 2018 the Federal government announced its intentions to auction 5G spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band from late 2018.

Key developments:

Digital Dividend spectrum reallocation; spectrum auctions; includes results on 700MHz, 1800MHz and 2.5GHz auctions; operator strategies for new concessions.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Optus, AAPT, Vodafone, Telstra, Hutchinson, AUSTAR, Walker Wireless, ActewAGL, nbn.

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