|Auction date||15 - 22 March 2001|
|Amount raised||$1.17 billion|
|Licence end date||11 October 2017|
The 2 GHz auction closed at round 19 on 22 March 2001. Of the 58 lots on offer in the auction, 48 were sold, culminating in a total sale price of $1,168,993,500. No bidders attracted withdrawal penalties.
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|Licence types||Spectrum licences|
|Previous use||Fixed links|
|Licence period||15 years|
|Bidders||Bidder Number||Initial Eligibility*||Winning Bid Amounts|
|AAPT (ACT) Pty Ltd||2943||2750||No winning bids|
|3G Investments (Australia) Pty Ltd||2942||2825||159,000,000|
|CKW Wireless Pty Ltd||2944||75||9,450,000|
|Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Ltd||2945||2500||196,100,000|
|Optus Mobile Pty Ltd||2946||2825||248,870,000|
|Telstra 3G Spectrum Holdings Pty Ltd||2947||2825||302,023,500|
|Vodafone Pacific Limited||2948||2825||253,550,000|
* Maximum eligibility permitted in compliance with the competition limits was 2825
Following agreement in 2000 on global specifications for third generation (3G) wireless communications systems, also termed International Mobile Telecommunications-2000 (IMT-2000), many countries commenced action to make spectrum available for these systems from internationally recommended bands. In Australia, the ACA invited applications for the auction of spectrum licences in the 2 GHz band on 6 December 2000.
The spectrum licences in the 2 GHz band were allocated by simultaneous ascending auction, in which all lots were offered for bidding at the same time through electronic bidding over the internet. While the spectrum licences allowed considerable flexibility on the technology employed and the purpose for which it was used, the 2 GHz band was expected to become the principal band for the delivery of 3G services to metropolitan Australia and some regional areas.
The 2 GHz band spectrum auctioned covered 95 per cent of the Australian population. In all state and territory capital cities except Canberra, 60 MHz of paired spectrum and 20 MHz of unpaired spectrum were auctioned. In Canberra, 45 MHz of paired spectrum and 20 MHz of unpaired spectrum were available. In regional Australia, 20 MHz of paired spectrum was auctioned. The unpaired spectrum (1900-1920 MHz) was made available in regional areas via apparatus licences in 2006.
Competition limits set for the auction meant that no bidder could acquire more than 25 per cent of the available spectrum in metropolitan areas except Canberra, where 33% was permitted; and no more than 50 per cent in regional Australia.
The spectrum was configured for auction in 58 lots in metropolitan and regional areas with two of the lots offering licences for spectrum nationally. Other auction lots were for licences that offer spectrum in the aggregated capital cities, and further lots were for individual cities or regions. This structure allowed a bidder to bid for a ‘national’ allocation, an ‘all-cities’ allocation or for spectrum in individual cities or areas with a single bid.
Seven bidders took part in the auction that commenced on 15 March 2001 and closed at round 19 on 22 March 2001. Six of the bidders were successful in acquiring spectrum. Of the 58 lots on offer in the auction, 48 were sold, culminating in a total sale price of $1,168,993,500. No bidders attracted withdrawal penalties.