The Turnbull Government today announced it will sell off two lots of 15 MHz of unallocated 700 MHz digital dividend spectrum by auction.
Useful for 4G LTE mobile broadband services since it can maintain data signals reliably over long distances, the demand for the spectrum has been so great a "competitive process" was deemed the best way to sell it off.
Following the digital dividend auction in 2013, two 15 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum remained unsold and is available for allocation under national spectrum licences.
In May 2016, the Department of Communications and the Arts consulted on a proposal from Vodafone to buy two 10 MHz of the unsold 700 MHz "digital dividend" spectrum. The Department received seven submission to the consultation process.
"This consultation indicated strong market interest from other industry players," a spokesperson for the Minister of Communications said in a statement, "The Government has determined that the competing interests would best be resolved through a competitive process".
Vodafone's Chief Strategy Officer Dan Lloyd said of the announcement "We have today been advised of the government’s decision to proceed with an auction and we are currently considering our options".
The Australian Communications and Media Authority will conduct the auction on behalf of the Government, which will set the reserve price, allocation limits and "other relevant matters". The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission will be consulted about appropriate allocation limits for the auction.