Clash of Telcos: Australia gearing up for the Year of 5G

  • November 05, 2020 02:18 PM AEDT
  • Team Kalkine
Clash of Telcos: Australia gearing up for the Year of 5G


  • The Australian government will auction high and low band 5G spectrum; telecommunication giants to bid for the lots.
  • High and low bands, along with existing mid bands, will fasten the country's growth by increasing gross domestic product per person.
  • The speed and broader coverage will help essential fields such as robotics, automated vehicles, smart farming and telemedicine.
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The Federal Government is all set to reform the Australian telecommunication scenario, marking 2021 as the 'Year of 5G'. On Wednesday, the Morrison Government announced that it would hold not one but two auctions to allocate 5G spectrum next year. 5G in Australia is expected to speed up the country's growth in the decade after installation. 

The government has released its plans to allocate high band 5G spectrum in the 26 GHz band in April 2021. The high band will be sold off to allow speedy and high-capacity services to operate. In the second half of the year, the government will release low band 5G spectrum in the 850/900 MHz band. The low band will be auctioned as it is essential for a more extensive geographic range of 5G services.

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A step towards robust 5G network

The government had sold the mid-band spectrum in 2018. The Hon Paul Fletcher MP, who is currently serving as Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts expressed excitement as the low and high band 5G spectrum will integrate with the existing mid-band 5G range.

He stated that the low band 5G spectrum can carry the 5G mobile signals to longer distances. It is the best spectrum for a broader coverage for indoors as well as outdoors. At the same time, the existing mid-band spectrum is providing us with more considerable coverage along with the fastened speed. The high band will provide super-fast pace for the short distance coverages.

The decision is taken to auction high and low 5G spectrum because they, along with the mid 5G spectrum, will enable telecommunication companies to provide better, faster and stronger 5G services in the country.

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5G will fasten Australia's growth

5G is the next gen of wireless mobile broadband. It will fasten the speed at a much larger extent than 4G and with significantly lower latency. Faster and much efficient 5G coverage will eventually increase Australia's productivity.

A decade later, 5G execution is expected to increase AU$2,000 in gross domestic product per person.

Much better and faster

In 2018, the government sold 3.6 GHz mid-band 5G spectrum, raising total revenue of approximately AU$852.8 million. This band is primarily known internationally as the critical component for 5G services. All lots were sold to telecommunication companies such as Dense Air Australia, Mobile JV, Optus Mobile and Telstra.

The 26 GHz high band was a millimetre wave (mmWave) band. During the World Radiocommunications Conference in 2019, it was considered fit to use for International Mobile Telecommunications (IMT) allocation.

The decision was a milestone regarding bringing the international agreement on the band for 5G wireless broadband technologies. The frequency range 26 GHz (25.1 – 27.5 GHz) band will now be reallocated for spectrum licensing, particularly in 29 cities and regional centres.

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Who will win the auction?

Currently, telecommunications players such as Telstra, TPG and Vodafone, Optus are competing to seize the opportunity to buy over 40 per cent of the high band short coverage spectrum. In the last auction in 2018, Telstra had scored around AU$386 million for 143 lots. Mobile JV, a TPG-Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) joint venture before its merger, paid AU$263 million for 131 lots. Optus won 47 lots for AU$185 million, and Dense Air was able to grab 29 lots for AU$18.5 million.

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