Ministers for the Department of Communications and the Arts

Re-allocation declaration and competition limits for regional 1800 MHz spectrum band

29 May 2015

The Government today announced that an additional 2 x 60 MHz of spectrum in regional Australia will be made available to support mobile broadband services.

A re-allocation declaration has been issued for the regional 1800 MHz band which will enable the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) to replan the spectrum to accommodate mobile broadband services under spectrum licensing arrangements. The declaration was issued following a recommendation from the ACMA.

The ACMA is planning to hold an auction for the spectrum in November 2015.

The Government has directed the ACMA to set competition limits on the upcoming auction. The maximum amount of spectrum in the regional 1800 MHz band that can be purchased by an auction participant will be 2 x 25 MHz. The decision to set competition limits follows advice from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Spectrum in the 1800 MHz band is highly desirable for mobile broadband use as it is harmonised internationally for Long Term Evolution (LTE), including 4G services. In metropolitan Australia the band is already used for mobile broadband services under spectrum licensing arrangements.

As part of the re-allocation process, current users will need to vacate the spectrum. It is expected that the majority of the spectrum will be vacated by June 2017. The ACMA expects to enable winning bidders to deploy services earlier than this in areas where the spectrum is already vacant or becomes vacant during the re-allocation period.

The ACMA acknowledges concerns from users that it may not be possible to relocate all affected services by June 2017, and will work with those users to identify services where relocation may be delayed. The ACMA has a legislative power to issue apparatus licences on a temporary basis if it is satisfied that special circumstances exist to warrant the issuing of such licences. The ACMA will provide information on these affected apparatus licences to prospective auction participants.

The Radiocommunications (Spectrum Re-allocation—Regional 1800 MHz Band) Declaration 2015 and the Radiocommunications (Spectrum Licence Limits—Regional 1800 MHz Band) Direction 2015 are available at: www.comlaw.gov.au

Further information on the ACMA's replanning and auction process is available at: www.acma.gov.au/1800MHz

Media contact: David Bold, Office of Malcolm Turnbull MP, 0427 784 451

Back to top