Australian carriers have bid up almost $93 million for spectrum being auctioned off by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) which will be used for 5G implementations.

Optus, Telstra, TPG, NBN Co and Vodafone have all secured spectrum in the auction which netted almost $93 million. The spectrum was offered in locations across Australia with licenses for 1800 MHz, 2 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz spectrum on offer. The largest amount, $50 million, was paid for spectrum in the 3.4GHz band in Brisbane by Telstra.

Telstra was the largest buyer picking up 17 licenses and spending a total of $72.53 million. A Telstra spokesperson said

The additional spectrum we have secured will mean we can continue to deliver the best experience for our customers and meet the ever growing demand for data.

Optus picked up 5 licenses for their $6.513 million outlay with spectrum in both the 2300 MHz and 3500 MHz spectrum bands, with Optus Networks Managing Director Dennis Wong saying

This acquisition of new spectrum assets in the 2300 and 3500MHz bands ensures we are future proofing our network to meet our customers’ increasing data demands.

Vodafone spent $7.237 million to secure 3 licenses, while NBN Co. also picked up 5 licenses for a bargain $4.013 million. Finally, TPG nabbed 2 licenses for $2.33 million.

A further six lots remain unsold, but will be offered to the only bidder for the licenses for a pre-determined price.

Source: ACMA.
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Why are they fragmenting spectrum by regions?
They should only be selling spectrum for the entire nation.


Is that all?

UK had a 4G auction in 2013 which netted £2.3bn (AU$4.3bn), and that’s well down on previous auctions (£22bn).

At $93m they might as well have given it away with terms on how it must be used.


I agree, Fred. I am no expert in telecommunications, but I suspect rather strongly that this breaking up of spectrum across regions and multiple carriers just ends up costing consumers more in the end. As you say, the ACMA might have been better off saying all carriers will use these spectrums all across Australia. Might have reduced the prevalence of handsets not being sold in Australia because they do not support our myriad of frequencies as well.