Communications Minister, Senator Stephen Conroy today announced that anxious carriers waiting to bid for their chunk of repurposed wireless spectrum would get their chance as of April next year.
Spectrum in the 700Mhz and 2.5Ghz bands will go on the auction block next April which telcos hope to use for expanded 4G networks.
The spectrum auction comes at a time when the country will still be gradually switching over to digital TV, scheduled to finish at the end of next year, meaning successful bidders will have to wait before they can use the spectrum. Conroy, however, says that April is the right time for the auction.
“The ACMA has advised that an April 2013 auction would maximise product certainty for bidders prior to the auction and provide new licensees with adequate lead time to plan and deploy networks before their licenses commence,” Conroy said in a statement today.
Conroy said that his department will work with ACMA to restack some digital TV services, which will involve moving some of the services over to new channels before auction winners can use the services on the 700Mhz band.