Australia opens applications for 850/900 MHz auction

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The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has opened applications for the upcoming auction of 5G spectrum in the 850/900 MHz band.

Due to take place in late November or early December, the auction will cover spectrum in the sub‑1 GHz bands, which can carry signals across longer distances. It is essential to the deployment of wide-area networks, such as mobile services and fixed wireless internet.

ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin said: “The spectrum available in this auction will facilitate a wide range of new services that will benefit businesses and consumers across Australia. We encourage all interested parties to apply during this window so they can participate in the auction in late 2021.”

The ACMA will auction 70 MHz of paired spectrum in the 850/900 MHz band across all of Australia. Applications close on 21 September.

2021 has been dubbed Australia's "year of 5G", with the first auction concluding in April. ACMA auctioned 2.4 GHz of spectrum in the 26 GHz band in 27 geographic regions across Australia. Five bidders secured licences in the auction, raising a total of AU$647.64 million, with Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom all taking significant allocations of spectrum across all geographic areas.

From 12-21 April, of the 360 lots available in the auction, 358 were sold.