Australia’s telecoms authority opened the application process for an auction of 5G spectrum in the 26GHz band it plans to conduct in April 2021.

In a statement, the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said applications for the mmWave spectrum will be accepted until 21 January 2021. It plans to auction 2.4GHz of the band across 27 geographic blocks.

The 26GHz auction is the first time high-band 5G spectrum will be made available in the country, complementing the 3.6GHz band which Telstra, Optus and TPG Telecom (previously Vodafone Australia) are using.

In a statement, ACMA member James Cameron said the mmWave spectrum will enable a wide range of new services which will benefit Australian businesses and consumers. “It is important for smart farming, robotics, telemedicine and other emerging technologies”.

A second auction of low-band 5G spectrum is planned for late 2021, ACMA said.

In August, the government announced it would restrict operators to bidding for a maximum of 1GHz of the 2.4GHz on offer in the mmWave process.