The Australian government has announced plans to auction 125 MHz of spectrum in the 3.5-GHz band for use in 5G rollouts across metropolitan and regional Australia.
The spectrum is expected to be auctioned in October. The terms for the planned auction will be set based on recommendations from telecoms regulator ACMA, which have themselves been developed in consultation with the public.
The spectrum band will be gradually repurposed for 5G from its current use in fixed-wireless services. The spectrum is currently allocated for fixed satellite service earth stations, point-to-point links and site-based wireless broadband services.
Incumbent users will have two years to vacate the band in most capital cities. But in regional Australia, ACMA's recommendations call for an unprecedented seven year re-allocation period, which would allow incumbent users of the spectrum to continue delivering services in the band until the mid-2020s.
The regulator also plans to work with the incumbent providers to establish alternative licensing arrangements in the 5.6-GHz and possibly other spectrum bands.
The government has meanwhile sought advice from competition regulator ACCC on competition limits for the planned auction process.