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Australia - Mobile Communications - Spectrum Auctions

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.

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.


1. Synopsis
2. Mobile spectrum auctions
2.1 Introduction
2.2 Residual Spectrum Auction 2017
2.3 Proposed 5G spectrum auction
2.4 Digital dividend auction
2.4.1 700MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum
2.4.2 Competition limits
2.4.3 Spectrum Auction 2017
2.4.4 Price of spectrum
2.4.5 Combinatorial Clock Auction (CCA) of 700MHz and 2.5GHz band
2.4.6 CCA auction in 2013 with spectrum to use in 2015
2.4.7 Auction Results - 2013
2.5 500MHz frequency
2.6 800MHz and 1.8GHz frequencies
2.6.1 15-year spectrum licences up for renewal in 2013
2.6.2 Auction of 1998
2.6.3 Additional auction September 1998
2.6.4 Additional 800MHz auction May 1999
2.6.5 Final 800MHz auction 2001
2.6.6 1800MHz auction of 2000
2.6.7 1800MHz auction - 2016
2.7 1880-1920MHz (1.9GHz) frequency
2.7.1 1900-1920MHz band auctions 2007
2.8 2010-2025MHz frequencies
2.9 2.3GHz band
2.10 Unused 2GHz spectrum
2.11 3.4GHz frequencies
2.11.1 Trials
2.11.2 Auction announcement
2.11.3 Spectrum sales - 2002, 2004, 2005
2.11.4 ACMA reduces spectrum prices
2.12 3G Auctions
2.12.1 Overview
2.12.2 Auction process 2001
2.12.3 Auction price
2.12.4 Auction results 2001
3. Spectrum overview (separate report)
4. Related reports
Table 1 700MHz and 2.5GHz auction results 2013
Table 2 The 500MHz spectrum licences 1997
Table 3 Spectrum charges for spectrum bandwidth licenses
Table 4 Auction results
Table 5 1.8GHz spectrum auction results - 2000
Table 6 1.8GHz spectrum auction results - 2016
Table 7 The 1900-1920MHzGHz spectrum auction results
Table 8 The 2.3GHz spectrum auction results 2011
Table 9 Final 3.4GHz October 2000
Table 10 3G auction results per bidder 2001
Exhibit 1 An overview of the digital dividend auction timeline 2010 - 2015
Exhibit 2 Companies initially showing interest in the 800/1800MHz auctions
Exhibit 3 3.4GHz initial bidders August 2000

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