The Australian Federal government has commenced the process to auction spectrum in the 26 GHz band to support the next stage of 5G coverage improvement across Australia.
The spectrum will be sold at a competitive auction in early 2021. This follows the successful sale of Australia’s first 5G spectrum in the 3.6 GHz band by the federal government in December 2018.
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher announced that
“The Government is allocating this spectrum to support a number of important communications policy objectives, including the rapid deployment of 5G technologies, the promotion of competitive market outcomes, and encouraging investment in infrastructure across both metropolitan and regional Australia”.
“Making this spectrum available means that the Australian telecommunications industry can do what it does best – provide world-class telecommunications services for consumers, small businesses and enterprises. 5G will deliver speeds significantly faster than 4G and at much lower latency.”
5G spectrum will support a range of current and future use cases, including streaming ultra-high definition video, teleworking from regional centres, and autonomous vehicles.
The Radiocommunications (Spectrum Re-allocation—26 GHz Band) Declaration 2019, allows ACMA to re-allocate spectrum across 29 cities and regional centres in Australia in order to accommodate new wireless broadband services, including 5G, under spectrum licensing arrangements.
Minister Fletcher has written to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) seeking advice on allocation limits for the auction process.
Hopefully Vodafone participates and buys 5G spectrum across Australia, otherwise individuals and businesses who use 5G devices will only be able to choose between Optus and Telstra.