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Allocation summary – 3.4/3.7 GHz bands (2023)

Quick summary

Spectrum in the 3.4/3.7 GHz bands can support wireless broadband (WBB) services across Australia. It will allow winning bidders to run 4G and 5G networks.

The 3.4/3.7 GHz bands allocation process consisted of:

  • a direct allocation
  • an auction of 3.7 GHz band spectrum
  • an auction of 3.4 GHz band spectrum. 

The 3.7 GHz auction commenced on 24 October 2023, and the 3.4 GHz auction finished on 21 November 2023.

The allocation realised total revenue of $721,766,300.

All leftover lots were directly allocated immediately after the eligibility deadline (2 pm on 12 September 2023), for $481,400, except for 2 leftover lots adjacent to the Rural WA Lower and Middle products. These were allocated during the assignment stage of the 3.4 GHz auction.

In the 3.7 GHz band auction, 253 of 260 lots were sold. The total revenue of the 3.7 GHz band auction was $695,910,000. This was equivalent to $0.2887/MHz/pop (excluding unsold lots). 

In the 3.4 GHz band auction, 293 of 300 lots were sold. The total revenue of the 3.4 GHz band auction, excluding the direct allocation of leftover lots, was $25,374,900. This was equivalent to $0.0673/MHz/pop (excluding unsold lots).

Find out more from the media release.

Results

Four winning bidders acquired spectrum in the ACMA’s 3.4/3.7 GHz bands allocation process. The winning prices were as follows:

Winning bidder Winning price
Mobile JV $128,194,100
NBN Co $14,384,600
Optus $33,539,600
Telstra $545,648,000

The winning prices include the price for the direct allocation of leftover lots.

Access the full auction results below.

Spectrum details

Frequency ranges and geographic areas

3.4 GHz band, comprising:

  • 3400–3425 MHz in Albury, Cairns, Hobart, Launceston, Quirindi west, Rockhampton, Rural Australia, Townsville
  • 3425–3442.5 MHz in Quirindi west, Rural Australia
  • 3475–3492.5 MHz in Quirindi east, Quirindi west, Regional New South Wales north, Regional New South Wales south, Regional Queensland, Regional South Australia, Regional Victoria, Regional Western Australia central, Regional Western Australia south, Rural Australia
  • 3492.5–3510 MHz in Albury, Cairns, Hobart, Launceston, Quirindi east, Quirindi west, Regional New South Wales north, Regional New South Wales south, Regional Queensland, Regional South Australia, Regional Victoria, Regional Western Australia central, Regional Western Australia south, Rockhampton, Rural Australia, Townsville
  • 3510–3542.5 MHz in Albury, Cairns, Hobart, Launceston, Quirindi west, Regional Western Australia central, Rockhampton, Rural Australia, Townsville
  • 3542.5–3575 MHz in Regional Western Australia central.

3.7 GHz band, comprising:

  • 3700–3750 MHz in all metropolitan areas (Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney), Albury, Ballarat and Bendigo, Cairns, Launceston, Regional New South Wales north, Regional New South Wales south, Regional Queensland, Regional South Australia, Regional Victoria, Regional Western Australia central, Regional Western Australia south, Rockhampton, Rural Australia, Toowoomba and Townsville
  • 3750–3800 MHz in all metropolitan areas, Ballarat and Bendigo, Regional New South Wales south, Regional Queensland, Regional South Australia, Regional Victoria, Regional Western Australia central, Regional Western Australia south and Toowoomba. 

Licence type

Spectrum licences

Previous use

Spectrum in the 3.4 GHz to 3.8 GHz frequency band was subject to a mix of apparatus and spectrum licensing arrangements authorising a variety of services, including WBB, fixed satellite, radiolocation and amateur services. 

Licence period

3.4 GHz licences: approximately 7 years, to align with the 13 December 2030 expiry date of existing spectrum licences the 3.4 GHz band.

3.7 GHz licences: approximately 20 years, ending in January 2044.

Allocation details

Type of allocation

Price-based allocation under section 60 of the Radiocommunications Act. This follows a re-allocation declaration made by the ACMA pursuant to subsection 153B(1) of the Act. 

Method of sale

A 2-stage generic lots clock auction format, with an English open outcry (EOO) format for a secondary stage (as required). Leftover lots were directly allocated.

Allocation limits

No group of persons (consisting of a person and all the person’s associates) may, in the 3.4–3.8 GHz frequency range, use more than:

  • 140 MHz of spectrum in metropolitan areas
  • 160 MHz in regional areas. 

Allocation information

Legislative instruments:

Related information:

Technical information

Technical instruments:

Consultation updates

FAQs

All questions received were published (without attribution), along with our responses.

Read the FAQs.

Background

Globally, spectrum in the 3400–4200 MHz frequency range is of great interest. It is suitable for many applications, including fixed satellite and wireless broadband services such as 5G. 

On 14 July 2022, we, made the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Re-allocation – 3.4 GHz and 3.7 GHz Bands) Declaration 2022. It declared spectrum in the frequency ranges 3400–3575 MHz and 3700–3800 MHz (the 3.4/3.7 GHz bands) would be re-allocated by issuing spectrum licences across Australia. 

This followed consultations on planning arrangements for the 3400–3575 MHz frequency range, the 3700–4200 MHz frequency range, and urban excise areas in the 3400–3475 MHz frequency range.

In February 2023, we consulted on draft instruments to describe the allocation procedures and products to be made available at auction. Considering stakeholder views, the ACMA:

Applications to participate in the allocation process opened in July 2023. For more information, please see our arrangements for allocating the 3.4–4.0 GHz band.

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