Home Telecoms & NBN Applications open for unsold 700 MHz spectrum auction
Applications open for unsold 700 MHz spectrum auction Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The Australian Communications and Media Authority has opened applications for the 2017 auction of unsold spectrum licences in the 700 MHz band.

The lots on offer remained unsold following the 2013 digital dividend auction and prospective applicants will bid for spectrum at the auction in April.

ACMA acting chairman Richard Bean says the 700 MHz spectrum band — made available after Australia switched from analog to digital TV — is “highly valued for mobile broadband, in particular 4G services”.

“We expect that the spectrum will be used to provide high-speed mobile voice and data coverage to regional and metropolitan Australia,” Bean says.

On Monday, the ACMA released the applicant information package providing information on the spectrum products on offer, the auction rules and how interested parties can participate in the auction.

Key auction dates published by the ACMA on Monday include:

•    13 February: application deadline, when  applicants must submit completed auction forms and pay the application fee.

•    16 March: preference deadline. Auction applicants must submit completed lot preference nomination forms and make the substantial deposit.

•    To be announced – mock auction and notification of start date.

•    4 April – estimated auction commencement.

Bean said last October that the 700 MHz band spectrum unsold lots were available under spectrum licences which would be “attractive to any participant interested in offering nationwide mobile broadband services”.

The eventual sale of unsold spectrum was set in motion on 1 November 2011, when the then Communications Minister Senator Stephen Conroy, after considering recommendations made by the ACMA, made the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Re-allocation) Declaration No.1 of 2011 (the reallocation declaration).

The reallocation declaration provided that 2 x 45 MHz of spectrum (703–748 and 758–803 MHz (the declared spectrum)) in the 700 MHz band was to be subject to re-allocation by issuing spectrum licences.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).


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