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.
Discussion about the Digital Dividend' started to direct policy decisions which will see spectrum currently used for analogue broadcasting being made available for mobile (broadband) services. This spectrum re-usage has resulted in further auctions. The 700MHz and 2.5GHzbands were auctioned in April 2013 using a CCA (Combinatorial Clock Auction). This auction had been deferred by the government from November 2012. The additional spectrum is useable from 2015.
There were bandwidth limits imposed on the digital dividend spectrum to stop monopolisation. A review of existing licenses issued in the 1990s is also under way before their renewal later in 2013.
In this report we review the major spectrum auctions in Australia in recent years. Coverage includes auctions across the late 1990s early to mid-2000s with prices dropping for the 2006 allotments through to the latest auctions in 2011 and 2013, as well as proposed auction conditions for the remaining 700MHz allocations.
Optus, AAPT, Vodafone, Telstra, Hutchinson, AUSTAR, Walker Wireless, ActewAGL, NBN Co.
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 the 2013 700MHz and 2.5GHz auction; operator strategies for new concessions, Ericsson trials Asia-Pacific Telecommunity 700MHz (APT700) spectrum with Telstra; market developments to January 2014.
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