Successful applicants announced for 5G millimetre wave spectrum

Faster and more reliable internet for metropolitan and regional Australia and innovative new uses for digital technology are some of the expected outcomes of Australia’s first major allocation of 5G millimetre (mmWave) wave spectrum.

The ACMA today announced 15 applicant companies have all been offered a licence in the 26GHz and 28GHz bands. The successful applicants are MarchNet, Dreamtilt, Field Solutions Group, Opticomm, Nokia, NBN Co, Optus, Telstra, Vocus, Starlink (SpaceX), WorldVu (One Web), Inmarsat, Viasat, O3B/SES S.A, and New Skies Satellites/SES S.A.

A number of successful applicants intend to provide wireless broadband services across all states and territories and across urban, regional and rural areas. There was also considerable uptake from fixed satellite service providers across Australia, including from existing providers and new entrants to the Australian satellite market.

The mmWave spectrum has been allocated through area-wide apparatus licences, a new class of license that represents the first step in the series of 5G-ready allocations in these mmWave spectrum bands.

mmWave can enable the transfer of large amounts of data with minimal delay – allowing faster digital communication and new opportunities for connectivity and innovative uses supporting Australia’s digital transformation.

Using the new area-wide licences, applicants were able to identify the regions and amount of spectrum they would seek to use. Spectrum which was not allocated in this initial application round in the 26 GHz (24.7 – 25.1 GHz) and 28 GHz (27.5-29.5 GHz) bands will be made available for allocation in January 2021.

Earlier this week, the ACMA opened applications for an auction of spectrum licences in 26 GHz (25.1 – 27.5 GHz in major population centres) in April 2021.

A further allocation round for spectrum in the 26 GHz (25.1 – 27.5 GHz) band, covering regional and remote Australia, will then follow at the conclusion of this auction.

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