Government To Auction Australia's First mmWave 5G Spectrum

26GHZ mmwave 5g australiaImage: Getty

The Australian government has announced its intentions to auction off 2.4GHz of spectrum in the 26GHz band to telcos in early 2021.

This will be the first time that Aussies will have access to mmWave spectrum, which is significantly faster than the current 3.6GHz band.

The Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher, made a declaration for spectrum re-allocation under the Radiocommunications Act last week.

The Radiocommunications (Spectrum Re-allocation—26 GHz Band) Declaration 2019, will allow the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to re-allocate spectrum across 29 cities and regional centres.

This will allow for new broadband services and 5G to use the spectrum

"The Government is allocating this spectrum to support a number of important communications policy objectives, including the rapid deployment of 5G technologies, the promotion of competitive market outcomes, and encouraging investment in infrastructure across both metropolitan and regional Australia," said Fletcher in a media release.

The minister went onto detail some of the benefits of faster 5G, including autonomous driving and ultra-high definition video.

"5G will deliver speeds significantly faster than 4G and at much lower latency."

Fletcher has also sought advice from ACMA for advice regarding allocation limits.

The first dedicated 5G spectrum was 125mhz in the 3.6 GHz band, which was auctioned by the Morrison government in December 2018.

According to ZDNet, Telstra paid $386,008,400 for 143 lots, with TPG-Vodafone paying $262,283,800 in a joint venture, and Optus paying Optus paid AU$185,069,100 for 47 lots.

Dense Air Australia paid AU$18,492,000 for 29 lots.

Both Telstra and Optus are already making use of this spectrum as part of their respective 5G rollouts.

[ZDNet]

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