Monday, 30 August 2021 14:20

ACMA 850/900MHz spectrum auction starting prices Featured

Rate this item
(0 votes)

The ACMA has released details of the starting prices for the spectrum to be auctioned in late November or early December.

The ACMA has set the starting price in terms of $/MHz/pop, and in these terms the price for spectrum is uniform between regional and major population areas. The lots are divided into generic pairs, with each pair representing 2 X 5MHz of spectrum. The spectrum is Frequency Division Duplux (FDD) spectrum where transmit and receive are in different frequency bands, hence the paired nature of the spectrum offered. The different ACMA spectrum products in which the lots will occupy is as per the following table.

The prices are as indicated in the following table, $1.15/MHz pop for 850MHz expansion and upper 900MHz bands, and $0.75 for the lower 900MHz band.

Both TPG and Optus were successful in their applications for some set-aside spectrum, they both have the opportunity to purchase 2 X 5MHz of spectrum in the upper 900MHz band at a set price of $1.44/MHz pop, a 25% premium over the auction starting price.

The ACMA says, "A set-aside applicant must elect to take up both, or neither, of those set-aside lots. If it takes up the set-aside lots, those lots are allocated to it immediately before the start of the pre-bidding phase, although specific frequencies for the set aside lots will not be assigned until the assignment stage in the auction." Optus and TPG will have to purchase both a regional and major population lot, they cannot just choose to purchase the regional, or major lot.

An early decision, that both TPG and Optus must make; does $1.44/MHz pop represent good value and should they take-up the set-aside spectrum? If we consider the last time this spectrum came up for purchase, $1.44/MHz pop seems to represent good value. When the 850MHz was last renewed it was at the price of $1.30/MHz pop, if this was real estate the market would value it at upwards of $2.60/MHz pop. The similar performing 700MHz digital dividend spectrum was sold a short time later for $1.36/MHz pop.

While attention has been focused on 5G and mmWave spectrum, the low band spectrum is particularly valuable. It cannot provide the capacity due to the quantity, or bandwidth of spectrum available compared to the mid-band and mmWave bands, but it's better propagation means it is ideal for:

  • The blanket coverage in cities and penetrating inside buildings.
  • Providing good affordable coverage in regional and rural areas.

The recent Telstra Ericsson longest 5G call of 113km was done in 850Mhz spectrum.

In past high value spectrum auctions, many of the Telcos have engaged experts ranging from economists that specialise in auctions and consultants on auction strategies. Getting what they desire within their capital budgets is strategically important in the long term.

In the past some of the spectrum auctions have gone a little crazy, with egos rather than business sense playing out. The most prevalent I recall was a 1800MHz auction in around 2000. Two new entrant CEO's, with big egos, were wanting to win at any cost and contesting over 2 X 5MHz of spectrum; their ego's cost both organisations around $200M in additional capital; 12 months later one of them failed going into liquidation. This sort of behaviour is unlikely to occur in this auction, as the operators will have hard capital budgets set, and will bid in a rational manner.


The much awaited iTWire Shop is now open to our readers.

Visit the iTWire Shop, a leading destination for stylish accessories, gear & gadgets, lifestyle products and everyday portable office essentials, drones, zoom lenses for smartphones, software and online training.

PLUS Big Brands include: Apple, Lenovo, LG, Samsung, Sennheiser and many more.

Products available for any country.

We hope you enjoy and find value in the much anticipated iTWire Shop.



iTWire TV offers a unique value to the Tech Sector by providing a range of video interviews, news, views and reviews, and also provides the opportunity for vendors to promote your company and your marketing messages.

We work with you to develop the message and conduct the interview or product review in a safe and collaborative way. Unlike other Tech YouTube channels, we create a story around your message and post that on the homepage of ITWire, linking to your message.

In addition, your interview post message can be displayed in up to 7 different post displays on our the site to drive traffic and readers to your video content and downloads. This can be a significant Lead Generation opportunity for your business.

We also provide 3 videos in one recording/sitting if you require so that you have a series of videos to promote to your customers. Your sales team can add your emails to sales collateral and to the footer of their sales and marketing emails.

See the latest in Tech News, Views, Interviews, Reviews, Product Promos and Events. Plus funny videos from our readers and customers.


Related items

  • Telstra launches two hour delivery service in selected Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne stores

    A series of participating Telstra stores in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne are letting customers take advantage of Telstra's new two hour delivery service to coincide "with the latest handset launches," but Canberrans, who are also in lockdown, miss out.

    Telstra today announced the launch of its new "2 hour delivery service" from participating Telstra Stores to coincide with the latest handset launches.

    We're told the service is being offered in partnership with Zoom2u and will begin with "a limited offer for Telstra customers: free 2 hour delivery of Apple and Samsung handsets to customer’s homes in select areas of Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. The service is available today."

    Zoom2u does operate in Canberra, so no idea yet as to why Canberrans are missing out on this useful service. Perhaps someday, same day will come to Canberra, but until then, Canberra same day deliveries have been canned. It's clearly not "Yes we Canberra", or at least, not yet, and perhaps ACT Government restrictions prohibit it, with JB HiFi, Officeworks, Telstra and other stores closed due to the virus.

    {loadposition alex08}

    Whingeing aside, the service is up and running in Australia's three largest cities, with Michael Ackland, Telstra's Consumer & Small Business Executive noted that changes to retail brought about by COVID had inspired Telstra to invest in new customer experiences across a range of channels.

    Ackland added: “During COVID, our Call & Collect options have taken off. Customers are looking for more ways to shop; more offers and more immediacy and that is why we have introduced Telstra Day, and now we are introducing superfast delivery to give our customers more of what they want”.

    So, how does it work?

    Check your eligibility
    Currently, you need to be an existing Telstra customer, have had an active post-paid service for at least 6 months and be living within the delivery zones of one of our twenty five participating stores. (Details of participating stores can be found below or at

    Place your order
    Call your participating Telstra store and order an Apple or Samsung smartphone with a plan. You may also bundle selected accessories with your delivery but your order must be placed at least 2 hours before doors close.

    2 hour delivery is currently only available for telephone orders at participating stores but will soon be available on select online and call centre purchases.

    Track your order in real time
    As soon as the driver has collected your order you will receive a real time tracking link via SMS so that you can watch your purchase in real time all the way to your front door!

    Secure delivery
    To ensure your purchase is kept safe, the driver will only deliver to the account owner who placed the order, at the billing address on the account and will use a pre-agreed 4 digit pin to confirm identity. Please ensure you are home to collect the delivery with your photo ID, otherwise your order will be returned to the store for collection.

    Full details can be found at

    Participating stores:


    Chatswood Chase: 1800 724 303; CBD (400 George Street): 1800 721 425; Warringah Mall: 1800 724 297; Bondi Junction: 1800 723 917; Eastgardens: 1800 723 741; Parramatta: 1800 723 137


    Carindale Ground Floor: 1800 725 701; Mt. Gravatt: 1800 726 247; CBD (136 Queen Street): 1800 725 914; Indooroopilly: 1800 726 583; Browns Plains: 1800 725 793; Chermside: 1800 726 147; Loganholme: 1800 726 171


    Doncaster: 1800 728 351; Northland Shopping Centre: 1800 728 409; The Glen: 1800 728 207; Eastland: 1800 728 069; Knox: 1800 726 751; Plenty Valley: 1800 870 576; Southland: 1800 728 410; Greensborough: 1800 728 907; Highpoint: 1800 728 406; Bourke Street: 1800 726 917; Craigieburn: 1800 926 324; Fountain Gate: 1800 728 904

    Michael Ackland added: “Our digital user base is one of the largest in Australia and we have invested heavily in our online experiences over recent years. Coupled with our store buybacks and the return of our call centres to Australian shores, we believe that we are well placed to service our customers, however they choose to engage with us”.

  • Ivory moves to Atturra as GM

    Atturra has appointed Estelle Ivory to the role of general manager, business applications within its Microsoft cloud and applications business unit.

    "Estelle Ivory is the ideal person to help lead Atturra's microsoft cloud and applications business unit as it moves from strength to strength, delivering a full spectrum of end-to-end IT services and a new standard of excellence to clients," said Atturra Microsoft cloud and applications business unit executive general manager Greg Mace.

    "As part of her role, Estelle Ivory will be primarily focused on building the Atturra Microsoft cloud and applications team, capabilities, knowledge, and go-to-market offerings in both the Dynamics 365 and Power Platform space. With her extensive expertise leading and working with diverse and high-performing teams, and strong relationships with Microsoft, we're excited to see what Estelle will achieve in this new role and are thrilled to have her join the team."

    Ivory joins the company from Optus where she worked as a client delivery director after spending more than 10 years at Microsoft, most recently as consulting practice lead.

    {loadposition stephen08}

    She previously worked for Volante as client executive relationship manager, and as a branch manager at Manpower.

    "This is an exciting time for Atturra as it continues to grow in the Australian market, and I am pleased to join such a strong and passionate team," said Ivory.

    "Atturra is a highly successful organisation with an experienced team of professionals focused on delivering specialism at scale to its clients. I'm thrilled at the opportunity to join Atturra to help further establish it as the leading local advisory technology specialist."

    Ivory will also will be a part of Atturra's partnerships with Women in ITC (WIC), Women Rising, and Code like a Girl.

    Atturra's key clients include the Department of Agriculture, Water, and the Environment; the Department of Defence; and the Department of Health.

    Until very recently the company was known as FTS Group.

  • Cygnett ring light remote recalled

    The remote control for a range of ring lights marketed by Cygnett has been recalled for safety reasons.

    With videoconferences now an everyday occurrence for many workers, ring lights have become a common tool to help present your best face to the world.

    But the remote control provided with various ring lights marketed by Cygnett has been recalled because its battery compartment is not adequately secured, with a consequent risk of choking or injury to young children.

    The affected ring lights are the V-Glamour, V-Pro, V-Pro Travel, V-Tuber Pro, and V-Dual Classic.

    {loadposition stephen08}

    They were sold between 1 November 2020 and 30 June 2021 by Big W, Bing Lee, Catch of the Day,, Harvey Norman, Leading Edge, Myer, Officeworks, Target, Telstra, and The Good Guys.

    Owners are advised to immediately stop using the remote and store it out of the reach of children.

    They may request a replacement remote (with a screw to secure the battery compartment) here. Cygnett will also provide a return envelope for the old remote.

  • NCS hires Key to lead sales and marketing

    Technology services firm NCS Australia, has appointed Nicole Key to the role of director of sales and marketing.

    "We are excited to have Nicole joining NCS and are looking forward to her bringing both experience and energy to our team that will propel us forward – especially during the high growth phase NCS is currently experiencing following the launch of our local NCS Next Cloud Centre of Excellence and recent acquisitions in Australia," said NCS Next Solutions head Andre Conti.

    Key joins the company from Optus, where she worked as as executive business development lead.

    She previously ran her own consultancy, served as telco and utilities segment director at illion, had a previous stint at Optus as Victorian enterprise sales manager, and worked at Telstra as head of its global centre of excellence capability.

    {loadposition stephen08}

    "It's an exciting time to be joining NCS, as we build the future of a business designed to bring real innovation and customer-led digital transformation," said Key.

    "I am passionate about what we can achieve together with our clients, so stay tuned for many exciting announcements and proud moments that we have coming your way soon, especially around our acquisitions, commitment to sustainability and bringing digital jobs to the Australian market".

    NCS recently announced its acquisition of Australian cloud-based solutions consultancy along with companies in Singapore and Hong Kong.

  • Moreton Bay Regional Council installs Optus’ innovative IoT satellite sensors for smart water monitoring

    Optus Enterprise and Myriota have partnered with Queensland’s Moreton Bay Regional Council to deploy ground-breaking Internet of Things (IoT) satellite water tank sensors that will monitor the level of water in outdoor water tanks, eliminating the need to send staff to remote locations for manual checks. The inefficient solution required one staff member per day per week to monitor waters levels.

    Moreton Bay Regional Council is the first council in Australia to deploy this unique method of remote monitoring, which provides near real time data of actual water levels via low earth orbit satellites, enabling the Council to make informed decisions about water usage, solve problems caused by unexpected water shortages and optimise operations and resources.

    Optus said The council rarely found that the water tanks were already empty in their physical monitoring yet still had to physically send someone to check. The adoption of the smart water tank solution has now supported Council to remotely monitor water levels daily, save on operational budgets and capture baseline data that will be useful for further analysis.

    The council estimates that the roll out of remote monitoring will reduce costs by around $20,000 per annum, a drop in operational and maintenance costs of nearly 200%.

    {loadposition chris08}

    Optus Enterprise managing director Chris Mitchell said that collaboration between Optus and Myriota was central to developing the game changing IoT solution.

    “Myriota are global leaders in nanosatellite IoT and by partnering with them and leveraging our amazing network, we were able to unlock new opportunities of IoT by delivering connectivity solutions to industries and regional areas previously constrained by coverage and cost,” said Mitchell.

    The deployment builds on Myriota and Optus’ Australian-first Partnership which brought together Optus' IoT networks and digital platforms with Myriota's direct-to-orbit technology and allowing for massive scale deployment of IoT devices across Australia.

    The solution uses Myriota’s low-cost, long-battery life secure satellite connectivity and utilises sensors attached to water tanks made by Australian industrial automation company, Ellenex.

    CEO and co-founder of Myriota, Dr Alex Grant, said: “This strategic initiative provides the next generation of smart connectivity that captures the potential of IoT. The deployment will have a very real impact, reducing operational costs for Moreton Bay Regional Council and ultimately putting rate payers’ dollars to better use.

    “Moreton Bay Regional Council has been visionary in its drive to implement innovative IoT applications that reduce operational costs while creating environmental benefits. There is nothing to stop councils across Australia from adopting satellite IoT technology to drive efficiencies in remote asset management.”

    Moreton Bay Regional Council Mayor Peter Flannery said this exciting project further cemented our position as a smart region with a focus on innovative collaboration.
    “As a Council we have made great strides in implementing smart technologies, from our AI road scanning system on garbage trucks to pathway defect detection e-bikes, just to name a few,” he said.

    “And the deployment of these innovative IoT satellite sensors for water monitoring is just another step we take to embrace technological solutions for the benefit of our community.
    “These water tanks are critical in supplying water for toilets and other amenities at our region’s remote areas, which are used by many locals and tourists each year.

    “I’m thrilled at the result of the initial deployment, which has optimised our water management, reduced operation costs and saved ratepayers’ money.

    “Innovative collaboration like this is important to Council, as it helps us to plan for the future more effectively and deliver more efficient infrastructure for the Moreton Bay Region community.

    This first appeared in the subscription newsletter CommsWire on 9 September 2021.




Guest Opinion

Guest Reviews

Guest Research

Guest Research & Case Studies

Channel News