The ACMA issues media releases indicating that licences within a particular band will be subject to sale by auction well in advance of an allocation. The process of nominating a spectrum band prior to auction may take years and involve consultations, requests for public responses to the planned allocation, and definition of the technical framework that guides the operation of radiofrequency devices within that band.
Once the ACMA decides that the band is suitable for auction, it prepares an applicant information package and issues media releases and place notices on the ACMA website advising the auction date and a closing date for receipt of applications for registered bidders.
To participate in an upcoming spectrum auction, you need to obtain the appropriate applicant information package for the upcoming auction and assess whether the spectrum band and licence conditions offered are suitable for your intended business purpose.
Applicant information packages can be downloaded from the ACMA website. They provide detailed information about the auction and indicate:
- the spectrum band that is on offer;
- the legal instruments that authorise the allocation process e.g. auction rules;
- the technical conditions under which the bandwidth is to be used;
- how applicants can register as bidders for spectrum;
- how the allocation process works;
- whether competition limits on the amount of spectrum that can be acquired have been set; and
- what happens where there is one applicant or no applicant for an available licence.
To find the correct applicant information pack:
- open the Radiofrequency Spectrum Auctions List
- open the Auction Summary page for the proposed auction; then
- open the associated applicant information package page.
Applications for upcoming auctions can be lodged at any time before the closing date.
In some cases, where spectrum is sold as residual lots following a main auction, say on a quarterly basis, applications received after the closing date for an allocation round will be processed in the following round. At the close of the allocation round, where there is only one applicant for a licence in an area, the ACMA will offer that applicant the opportunity to acquire the licence at its starting price. Where there is more than one applicant, the ACMA will generally conduct an open ascending-bid auction to allocate the licence.