Australia - Mobile Communications - Spectrum Auctions

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Australia - Mobile Communications - Spectrum Auctions

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.

The auction of digital dividend' spectrum in the 700MHz band, primarily for mobile broadband use, held in April 2013 has enabled the licensees (chiefly Optus and Telstra, but also TPG), to make use of their 700MHz concessions since these became available in January 2015. Spectrum in the 2.5GHz band was also auctioned.

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.

The ACMA in late 2016 published a report with proposals on releasing additional spectrum for future 5G use, including spectrum currently used for broadcasting.

Key developments:

Regulator to auction remaining 2x15MHz in the 700MHz band; in the ACMA completes 1800MHz auction; Police Federation continues to lobby for use of 20MHz in the 700MHz band; 3G HSPA; UMTS 850; Personal Communication System; Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA); Time Division Multiple Access (TDMA); DCS-1800; DAMPS; Fixed Radio Access (FRA); LTE; Local Multipoint Distribution Systems (LMDS); Digital Dividend spectrum reallocation; spectrum auctions; includes results on 700MHz, 1800MHz and 2.5GHz auctions; operator strategies for new concessions, Ericsson trials Asia-Pacific Telecommunity 700MHz (APT700) spectrum with Telstra; recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

1. Synopsis
2. Mobile spectrum auctions
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Digital dividend auction 2013
2.2.1 700MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum
2.2.2 Competition limits
2.2.3 Price of spectrum
2.2.4 Combinatorial Clock Auction (CCA) of 700MHz and 2.5GHz band
2.2.5 CCA auction in 2013 with spectrum to use in 2015
2.2.6 Auction Results
2.3 500MHz frequency
2.4 800MHz and 1.8GHz frequencies
2.4.1 15-year spectrum licences up for renewal in 2013
2.4.2 Auction of 1998
2.4.3 Additional auction September 1998
2.4.4 Additional 800MHz auction May 1999
2.4.5 Final 800MHz auction 2001
2.4.6 1800MHz auction of 2000
2.4.7 1800MHz auction - 2016
2.5 1880-1920MHz (1.9GHz) frequency
2.5.1 1900-1920MHz band auctions 2007
2.6 2010-2025MHz frequencies
2.7 2.3GHz band
2.8 Unused 2GHz spectrum
2.9 3.4GHz frequencies
2.9.1 Trials
2.9.2 Auction announcement
2.9.3 Spectrum sales - 2002, 2004, 2005
2.9.4 ACMA reduces spectrum prices
2.10 3G Auctions
2.10.1 Overview
2.10.2 Auction process 2001
2.10.3 Auction price
2.10.4 Auction results 2001
3. Spectrum overview (separate report)
4. Related reports
Table 1 The 500MHz spectrum licences 1997
Table 2 Spectrum charges for spectrum bandwidth licenses
Exhibit 1 An overview of the digital dividend auction timeline 2010 - 2015
Exhibit 2 700MHz and 2.5GHz auction results 2013
Exhibit 3 Companies initially showing interest in the 800/1800MHz auctions
Exhibit 4 Auction results
Exhibit 5 1.8GHz spectrum auction results - 2000
Exhibit 6 1.8GHz spectrum auction results - 2016
Exhibit 7 The 1900-1920MHzGHz spectrum auction results
Exhibit 8 The 2.3GHz spectrum auction results 2011
Exhibit 9 3.4GHz initial bidders August 2000
Exhibit 10 Final 3.4GHz October 2000
Exhibit 11 3G auction results per bidder 2001

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