ACMA all set for mobile spectrum auction

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has released documents detailing the final terms and pricing for the auction of the 700MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum bands.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is ready to sell off the coveted mobile data spectrum bands, releasing papers that set the final terms and reserve prices for the auction.

The ACMA is auctioning off the 700MHz and 2.5GHz bands together because they can be used in complementary ways. They will be sold in smaller units, dubbed “lots”.

The reserve price for the 2.5GHz band is set at AU$0.03 per MHz per head of population. Meanwhile, the much sought after 700MHz band has a reserve price of AU$1.36, which has ignited furore from telcos that think the price is too high. Vodafone has already pulled out of the auction.

Telcos want a piece of the 700MHz spectrum to aid in their rollout of their 4G LTE networks.

There are nine lots of 2x5 MHz up for grabs nationwide in the 700MHz band. In the 2.5GHz band, there are 14 generic lots of 2x5 HMz available. Length of the spectrum licenses for both bands is set at a maximum of 15 years.

Should the reserve price be met, the Federal government is slated to make a minimum of AU$311 million per lot for the 700MHz band and AU$7 million for the 2.5GHz band.

Telcos that are interested in participating in the auction will need to pay a non-refundable AU$25,000 application fee

The auction will take place in April this year.

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