Mobile Communications - Spectrum Overview - Australia

Mobile Communications - Spectrum Overview - Australia

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 held in 2013 is enabling mobile operators, chiefly Optus and Telstra, to make use of their 700MHz and 2500MHz concessions, with trial licences awarded in mid-2014 allowing them to provide LTE service in Perth, Darwin and a number of other cities.

This report reviews the major spectrum auctions in Australia since the late 1990s. It also considers the options for the auction of remaining 700MHz allocations. BuddeComm covers other auctions and developments in a range of separate reports at

Companies mentioned:

Optus, AAPT, Vodafone, Telstra, Hutchinson, AUSTAR, Walker Wireless, ActewAGL, NBN Co.

Key developments:

Telstra and Optus make use of trial 700MHz licences; 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 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 mid-2014.

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
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 The 1.8GHz auction of 2000
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 The trials of 1996
2.9.2 Auction announcement
2.9.3 More for sale in 2002, 2004 and 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
4. Related reports
Table 1 The 500MHz spectrum licences 1997
Table 2 Spectrum charges for spectrum bandwidth licenses expiring in 2013
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 Catapult
Exhibit 5 Auction results
Exhibit 6 Final 1.8GHz spectrum auction results
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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