Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates from the Australian Government

850/900 MHz Band

The Government is planning to reconfigure and auction low-band spectrum in the 850 MHz expansion band and 900 MHz band in late 2021. Spectrum in the 850 MHz and 900 MHz bands is currently used for 3G services, and optimised for 2G services. The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has proposed to release additional spectrum in the 850 MHz expansion band and replan the 900 MHz band. These changes will make the bands suitable for the deployment of 4G and 5G services.

The Minister for Communications, Urban Infrastructure, Cities and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher MP has set a limit for the auction so that no bidder will be able to hold more than 82 MHz of licensed sub-1 GHz spectrum in the most populated areas of Australia. To encourage investment in the more sparsely populated regional area to be auctioned, a slightly higher limit of 92 MHz of sub-1 GHz spectrum has been set. These limits have been set following consideration of advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and responses to a public consultation on an exposure draft of allocation limits. These limits will promote competition, support the efficient allocation of spectrum, and deliver on the Government’s policy objectives for this important spectrum allocation.

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