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Auction summary – 26 GHz band (2021)

Quick summary

The ACMA conducted the 26 GHz band spectrum auction in April 2021, starting on 12 April 2021 and ending on 21 April 2021.

The 26 GHz band is a pioneer millimetre Wave (mmWave) spectrum band, optimised for the delivery of 5G services. Of the 360 lots available in the auction, 358 were sold, raising a total revenue of  $647,642,100.

Read the media release.

Results

There were 5 winning bidders in the auction.

Winning bidder

Number of lots won

Winning price

Dense Air Australia Pty Ltd

2

$28,689,900

Mobile JV Pty Limited

86

$108,186,700

Optus Mobile Pty Ltd

116

$226,203,100

Pentanet Limited

4

$7,986,200

Telstra Corporation Limited

150

$276,576,200

See the full auction results.

Spectrum details

Frequency range

25.1–27.5 GHz

Licence type

Spectrum licences

Previous use

Apparatus licensed and class licensed body scanning devices.

Class licensed Low Interference Potential Devices (LIPD).

Scientific licences for trialling mobile broadband technology.

Fixed Point to Multipoint (PMP) services.

Licence period

15 years, 15 July 2021 to 14 July 2036

Allocation details

Type of allocation

Price based allocation of spectrum licences under s60 of the Radiocommunications Act 1992 following declaration of encumbered spectrum for reallocation by spectrum licensing under s153B(1).

Method of sale

Enhanced simultaneous multi-round ascending auction (ESMRA)

Competition limits

No bidder could acquire more than 1000 MHz in each geographic area.

Allocation information

Legislative instruments:

Other info:

Technical information

Technical instruments:

 

 

 

Draft spectrum reallocation recommendation for the 26 GHz band - consultation (May 2019)

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ACMA Recommendation to the Minister (424.6 KB)

 

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Consultation paper: Draft spectrum reallocation recommendation for the 26 GHz band (4.67 MB)

 

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Notice under section 153G of the Radiocommunications Act 1992—Proposed re-allocation of the 26GHz frequency band (222.32 KB)

Notice: Radiocommunications (Spectrum Re-allocation—26 GHz Band) Declaration 2019 

FAQs

FAQs

We welcome questions from stakeholders about the 26 GHz band auction. We will publish questions received (without attribution) and our responses, so they are available to all stakeholders.

Please notify us if you consider the response to your enquiry should not be published – claims will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Questions about the auction can be emailed to SpectrumAllocations@acma.gov.au.

Read the FAQs

Background

The frequency range 24.5–27.5 GHz (the wider 26 GHz band) is a millimetre wave (mmWave) band. In November 2019, the World Radio Conference (WRC-19) identified the 26 GHz band for international mobile telecommunications (IMT) to facilitate the development of fifth generation (5G) mobile networks.

The ACMA recognised the wider 26 GHz band was at the forefront of the delivery of mmWave 5G wireless broadband services globally. In September 2018, we released an options paper on the band. In April 2019, we released our decisions and preliminary views paper on the future use of the band. The outcomes included:

  • The proposed introduction of wireless broadband services in the band. This included proposed coexistence conditions necessary to ensure the ongoing, protected use of the band by various incumbent fixed-satellite, space-research and passive-earth exploration satellite services.
  • The identification of a suite of possible spectrum, apparatus and class-licensing measures to facilitate a broad range of wireless broadband use cases.

The ACMA formed the view that this combination of measures would best maximise the overall public benefit derived from the use of the band and aid the introduction of new technologies in mmWave spectrum for services such as 5G. The diagram below shows the proposed licensing arrangements adopted in the wider 26 GHz band including spectrum licensing in certain geographic areas within the 25.1–27.5 GHz frequency range.  

25.1–27.5 GHz

  1. Class licensing for indoor use (Australia-wide).
  2. Class licensing for indoor and outdoor use (Australia-wide).
  3. Spectrum licensing defined areas. Includes additional conditions to protect space research service (SRS) earth stations.
  4. Spectrum licensing with additional fixed satellite service (FSS) coexistence conditions within certain areas.
  5. Apparatus licensing (Australia-wide).
  6. Apparatus licensing (Australia-wide, except defined areas). Includes additional conditions to protect SRS earth stations.
  7. Apparatus licensing with additional conditions to protect FSS uplinks (Australia-wide except defined areas). New FSS earth stations will also be permitted, on a first-in-time coordinated basis with apparatus-licensed wireless broadband services.

In May 2019, the ACMA released for consultation a draft spectrum reallocation recommendation that the Minister for Communications (the minister) declare that spectrum in the frequency range 25.1–27.5 GHz (the 26 GHz band) be subject to reallocation by issuing spectrum licenses.

On 18 October 2019, following consideration of the ACMA’s recommendation, the minister made the spectrum reallocation declaration under section 153B of the Radiocommunications Act 1992. The ACMA then commenced preparing for and consulting on the allocation matters.

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