Australia kicked off a second 5G spectrum auction in 2021, calling for applications from bidders for 70MHz of airwaves in the 850MHz and 900MHz bands.

In a statement, Australian Communications and Media Authority chair Nerida O’Loughlin explained applications for the low-band auction can be submitted until 21 September, with the sale scheduled to start in late November or early December.

O’Loughlin stated the allocation of 5G-optimised spectrum will support new and existing operators in boosting services in rural and remote areas of Australia, along with major population centres.

The agency prepared a detailed auction guide with information on the spectrum available and starting prices for the 20-year licences. The allocation is divided into seven 2x5MHz lots.

In early August, the government set caps on the amount of low-band spectrum operators can acquire in the auction, limiting operators to holding 40 per cent of sub-1GHz spectrum in populated areas and 45 per cent in remote regions.

The country generated AUD647.6 million ($475.6 million)  from an auction of mmWave spectrum in the 26GHz band in April.