What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

Sale of radio frequency spectrum rights goes online

Sydney, Australia  March 14, 2001  In a sign that online marketplaces are moving far beyond the usual buying and selling of computers, steel and paper clips, Macquarie Bank Limited's eDivision has launched the world's first online exchange for radio frequency spectrum rights. Operating initially in the Australian market, Spectrum Desk has the potential to facilitate millions of dollars in trades globally.

Spectrum Desk creates a secondary market for radio spectrum rights, and the Spectrum Desk Web site is designed to accommodate both buyer and seller auctions between anonymous participants. The exchange is based on robust market rules and the transparent flow of information. Spectrum Desk will charge brokerage based on the value of completed transactions.

Spectrum Desk has already received registrations of interest from current holders of radio spectrum and from companies wishing to increase their spectrum holdings. It expects to announce its first auction within days.

Head of eDivision Rahn Wood said, "Owners of radio spectrum can more easily adjust their portfolios and benefit through increased liquidity, concentrated demand and greater market integrity. Spectrum Desk will facilitate the optimization of this limited resource and encourage new users into the market. Additionally, the development of a spectrum trading market is an important step toward reduced barriers to innovation in delivery of wireless communications. &  In time, market participation may come from outside traditional telecommunications companies and the existing users of radio spectrum."

With primary auctions for spectrum rights almost complete and favorable spectrum regulations, such as the Australian Communications Authority's division of spectrum into tradable parcels called Standard Trading Units (STUs), the secondary trading of spectrum is greatly facilitated. "The Spectrum Desk business model can be readily adapted to markets throughout the world. With spectrum allocation progressing in the United States, Europe and Asian countries, exciting possibilities exist to extend the operations internationally," said Wood.