Expiring Spectrum Licences Update May 2024

AMTA has formed an Expiring Spectrum Licence (ESL) Working Group to focus on the ACMA’s consideration of renewing ESLs.   

The following licenced spectrum bands are expiring between 2028 and 2032: 

Spectrum Band  Expiry Date 
700 MHz  31 December 2029 
850 MHz  17 June 2028 
1800 MHz  17 June 2028 
2 GHz  11 October 2032 
2.3 GHz  24 July 2030 
2.5 GHz  30 September 2029 
3.4 GHz  13 December 2030 

The ACMA is undergoing an extensive consultation and analysis process to determine if these spectrum licences should be renewed, partially renewed, or not renewed That process commenced last year and will continue through the next few years.  

AMTA also responded to the Department’s (DITRDCA) consultation on a draft Ministerial Policy Statement (MPS) on ESLs.   The MPS was authorised on 30 April, and is available here.  The MPS provides some considerations that the ACMA will have mind of in determining whether it renew, or not.   

The Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)have deployed significant amounts of infrastructure that utilise these ESLs to provide services to Australian consumers and businesses.  MNOs will need to invest further on the utilisation of this spectrum to continue to meet increasing demand for mobile data.  Early visibility on whether ESLs will be renewed, or not, is needed to ensure that investment horizons are clearly known so that network investment can continue with improved levels of certainty.