Auction summary—3.4 GHz fixed wireless access—2000 | ACMA

Auction summary—3.4 GHz fixed wireless access—2000

Overview

Status

Complete with residuals

Auction Date - Main Auction 

3 - 24 October 2000

Auction Date - Residual Auctions

Quarterly from 2004

Amount Raised - Main Auction

$112.5 m

Amount Raised - Residual Auctions

See table below

Licence end date

13 December 2015

In October 2000, the 3.4 GHz auction closed at round 54 and 460 lots were sold for a total of $112.472 million ($112,171,901 in high bids and $300,287 in bid withdrawal penalties). A total of 22 lots were passed in. The passed-in lots were subsequently re-offered for sale by the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) on 15 July 2002 and Unwired Australia Pty Ltd (Unwired) was the only applicant.The ACA offered the 22 lots to Unwired at a predetermined price based on an estimate of their likely market value. The offer was declined and the lots were withdrawn from allocation. Applications for the residual 22 lots were subsequently invited on a quarterly basis from March 2004.

On this page

  • Overview
  • Spectrum Details
  • Auction Details
  • Bidders
  • Allocation of residual spectrum
  • Background

 

On other pages

Related documents

Media Releases

Spectrum details

Band details

3425-3442.5/3475-3492.5 MHz
(2x17.5 MHz suitable for pairing at a 50 MHz split but sold unpaired in 12 metropolitan areas)
3442.5-3475/3542.5-3575 MHz
(2x32.5 MHz suitable for pairing at a 100 MHz split but sold unpaired in metropolitan and regional areas)

Licence types

Spectrum licences

Previous use

Apparatus licensed for wireless local loop purposes

Licence period

15 years ending on 13 December 2015 no matter when sold

Auction details

Type of allocation

Price based allocation of spectrum licences under s60 following declaration of encumbered spectrum for reallocation by spectrum licensing under s153B(1).

Method of sale

Simultaneous multiple round (SMR) over 54 rounds

Competition limits

Telstra Corporation Limited or its associates were not permitted to bid for any spectrum in the defined major cities and towns, and to bid to a limit of no more that 22 MHz in each of the 32.5 MHz blocks being offered in the five regional areas. All other bidders were subject to a general limit of 67.5 MHz for the bandwidth on offer (100 MHz) in major towns and cities.

Legal instruments

Bidders

Bidders

Bidder Number

Initial Eligibility* 

Winning Bid Amounts

AAPT Spectrum (ACT) Pty Ltd

2911

4340

no winning bids

AKAL Pty Limited (Unwired)

2912

5868

$95,283,211

Austar United Licence co Pty

2913

5868

$14,074,690

Spectrum Access Pty Ltd

2914

550

no winning bids

Telstra Corporation Limited

2915

264

no winning bids

Vertical Telecoms Pty Ltd

2916

243

no winning bids

Vytel Spectrum Pty Limited

2917

4626

no winning bids

Walker Wireless Limited

2918

402

$2,814,000

High bid withdrawn penalties

   

$301,287

Total

   

$112,171,901

* Maximum eligibility allowed by the competition limits was 5868 for bidders other than Telstra and 264 for Telstra

Allocation of residual spectrum

In July 2002, the former ACA invited applications to take part in an auction to allocate the remaining 22 spectrum lots in the 3.4 GHz bands. Unwired was the only applicant to register for the auction. On 15 August 2002, the ACA offered the 22 lots to Unwired at a predetermined price. Unwired declined the offer, whereupon the lots were withdrawn from allocation. On 29 October 2002, the ACA invited continuous applications on a quarterly basis from interested parties for the allocation of the 22 residual lots. These quarterly auctions ceased at the end of 2008.

Lots available: 22 lots available post 3.4 GHz auction in 2000.

Lot locations: Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra, Hobart, Rockhampton, Toowoomba and Launceston

Round

Close

Applications

Lots Sold

Total Price

01

18/03/2004

1

1 (2x3.5 MHz) - Canberra - ActewAGL Distribution

$34,278

02

17/06/2004

0

0 - no applications received

0

03

16/09/2004

2

1 (2x3.5 MHz) - Toowoomba - HaleNET Pty Ltd - $10,638
1 (1x3,5 MHz) - Adelaide - Amcom - $86,877

$97,515

04

23/12/2004 

1

1 (2x3.5 MHz) - Rockhampton - Freecor International Pty Ltd

$8,274

05

16/03/2005

0

0 - no applications received

0

06

15/06/2005

0

0 - no applications received

0

07

14/09/2005

0

0 - no applications received

0

08

14/12/2005

0

0 - no applications received

0

09

15/03/2006

0

0 - no applications received

0

10

14/06/2006

0

0 - no applications received

0

11

13/09/2006 

1

5 (4x3.5 MHz paired lots & 1x3.5 MHz unpaired lot) - Brisbane - Radiocorp Pty Ltd Radiocorp Pty Ltd

$957,600

12

13/12/2006

0

0 - no applications received

0

13

14/03/2007

0

0 - no applications received

0

14

13/06/2007

0

0 - no applications received

0

15

12/9/2007

0

0 - no applications received

0

16

16/12/2007

0

0 - no applications received

0

17*

16/03/2008

0

0 - no applications received

0

* The remaining residual lots were withdrawn from allocation after this round.

Background

Prior to 1996, the 3.41–3.6 GHz band was allocated on a primary basis for Defence radiolocation systems, with a number of other users of fixed and amateur services operating on a secondary basis.

In 1996, at the request of Telstra, the Spectrum Management Agency (SMA) allocated a 2x17 MHz segment (3.425–3.442/3.475–3.492 GHz) of the band for use by wireless local loop (WLL) systems. The 3.4 GHz band had been already allocated in a number of other countries for WLL services, which were seen as a cost-effective alternative to wireline as a means of delivering telephony and data services in regional areas. The services were apparatus licensed ‘over the counter’ on a first-come first-served basis.

After deregulation of the Australian telecommunications industry on 1 July 1997, the rate of applications increased substantially to the point where demand for the spectrum out-stripped supply. This lead the Australian Communications Authority (ACA) to propose, in June 1998, that a larger segment of the band be made available through the auctioning of spectrum licences.

In September 1999, the Minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts signed a declaration directing the ACA to re-allocate 2x50 MHz of the 3.4 GHz band by spectrum licensing. All of the 2x50 MHz was to be available for re-allocation in 14 major cities and towns and 2x32.5 MHz in 5 regional areas.

To facilitate competition in providing new wireless telecommunications services, the Minister set bidding limits. These prevented Telstra and its associates from acquiring any of the spectrum offered in the major cities and towns and limited them to acquiring to a maximum of 2x22 MHz in the regional areas. Additionally, all other parties were limited to a maximum of 2x33.75 MHz in the major cities and towns.

The spectrum was allocated encumbered, with existing licensed services able to continue to operate in the spectrum during the re-allocation period. The Radiocommunications Act 1992 (the Act) guaranteed continuity for the incumbent services until the end of this period, which was set by the Minister to end on 5 May 2002.

In October 2000, the 3.4 GHz auction closed at round 54 and 460 lots were sold for a total of $112.472 million ($112,171,901 in high bids and $301,287 in bid withdrawal penalties). AKAL Pty Limited (Unwired) and Austar United Licence co Pty were the successful bidders. A total of 22 lots were passed in.

Unwired Australia Pty Ltd was the only applicant when the passed-in lots were re-offered for sale by the ACA on 15 July 2002. On 14 August 2002 the ACA offered the 22 lots to Unwired at a predetermined price based on an estimate of their likely market value. The offer was declined and the lots were withdrawn from allocation. Applications for the residual spectrum, packaged as 9 paired and 4 unpaired 3.5 MHz lots, were subsequently invited on a quarterly basis from March 2004.

In July 2005, Unwired and Austar engaged in a spectrum swap. Austar traded the portions of its 2.3 GHz spectrum holding covering capital cities to Unwired; while Unwired traded the portions of its 3.4 GHz spectrum, held via its subsidiary BKAL, covering Austar’s regional subscription-television areas to Austar. The trade required the subdivision of original spectrum licence coverage areas and the creation of new spectrum licences.

After the sale of eight residual lots since 2004, the remaining unsold spectrum was again withdrawn from allocation at the end of 2008.

Last updated: 28 June 2017