Australian Government approves auction process for 5G spectrum

The Australian Government has yesterday announced the auction process for 5G spectrum. The government has said that 125 MHz of spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band will be sold at competitive auction. This is likely to pave the way for new 5G services in metropolitan and regional Australia.

3.6 GHz spectrum band is highly valuable, being recognised internationally as a key band for the rollout of 5G services. In Australia, this band is currently used for fixed satellite service earth stations, point-to-point links and site-based wireless broadband services.

In October 2017, Mitch Fifield, the Minister for Communications Senator, released a 5G directions paper and announced the formation of a 5G working group to ensure Australia has the right regulatory settings to allow 5G applications to flourish.

Fifield has now issued re-allocation declarations for the 3.6 GHz band consistent with a recommendation from the independent spectrum regulator, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA). The ACMA’s recommendation was informed by an extensive public consultation process which commenced in October 2016.

“I have carefully considered the implications for regional Australians in making this decision, and the declaration provides protections for incumbent users in the band while ensuring Australia is well-positioned to take advantage of 5G technology in years to come,” Fifield said.

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