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ACCC seeks feedback on coming 5G spectrum auction

CANBERRA: The ACCC is seeking feedback on competition issues thrown up by the upcoming auction of 26GHz spectrum for 5G networks. It has been asked to advise Comms Minister Paul Fletcher on whether limits should be imposed in the auction, in order to protect and promote competition and, if so, how those limits should be applied.

The issues are quite different to those surrounding earlier spectrum auctions, thanks to a 5G technology known as network-slicing. This enables mobile network operators to dedicate a portion of their spectrum to a specific user or specific application.

In a submission to an ACCC inquiry in 2017, Macquarie Telecom said a portion of 5G spectrum should be reserved for use by MVNOs (mobile virtual network operators) and/or the entire 5G spectrum allocation could be made subject to new rules facilitating access.

MacTel said that “in a connected world, if certain OEMs such as car manufacturers or utilities must have 5G connectivity, then they may end up paying considerably more for such access from MNOs than their ‘slice‘ of network resources would suggest was warranted”.

The auction, to be undertaken by ACMA, is set to take place early in 2021. – Stuart Corner



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