+ Monday May 27th, 2019

We have had some minor 5G auctions in previous times but with 5G now very close to becoming a reality for consumers, the serious auctions have just recently taken place.

Telcos have forked out some impressive figures for their 5G portfolios in this final Auction with Telstra not surprisingly topping the list of big spenders.

The four players in the auction were Telstra, Optus, Mobile JV (a joint venture from TPG Telecom and Vodafone) and a relative new-comer, Dense Air Australia.

Winning bidderWinning Price
Dense Air Australia Pty Ltd$18,492,000
Mobile JV Pty Limited$263,283,800
Optus Mobile Pty Ltd$185,069,100
Telstra Corporation Limited$386,008,400

There are a few interesting results from the 5G spectrum auction including Optus not purchasing any further 5G frequencies in any of the major cities, instead spending their $185 million on regional locations throughout Australia. According to the AFR (thanks ILobo), Optus were not allowed to bid for any of the metropolitan spectrum due to their significant holdings in that area already after their purchase of VividWireless in 2012.

Telstra spent the most to obtain their new spectrum frequencies — $386 million. As you would expect Telstra spread out their purchases over both major cities and regional areas. Telstra’s CEO Andrew Penn was extremely pleased with the auction:

This is also a significant investment in the nation’s future connectivity, including large holding of regional spectrum, demonstrating our continued commitment to bring the latest technology to Australians in regional areas.

Mobile JV (TPG and Vodafone Hutchison Australia) spent big, purchasing a vast number of frequencies throughout the major cities and regional Australia. Their $263 million spent shows the seriousness of their push into the 5G space in the coming years. VHA CEO said that their investment will “deliver one of the key pieces in their 5G preparations”:

We have been preparing for the evolution to 5G for several years, and the acquisition of spectrum licences in metropolitan, outer metropolitan and regional areas brings 5G another step closer to reality.
The 60MHz holdings the JV has secured in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra give us a strong 5G spectrum capability in each of these major cities.

The fourth player in the auction was Dense Air. Although they only spent $18.5 million their coverage is based in the major cities. Dense Air are planning to use their spectrum for “IoT sensors, smart building automation systems, AR/VR, and real-time critical communications systems.” It will be interesting to see how their plan plays out in the coming years.

The licences won at the auction do not commence until March 2020 and extend until December 2030. Companies do have the ability to enable access to the bands earlier as long as there is no interference to existing licences.

We will start to see manufacturers begin releasing 5G devices next year but it will take a while for them to become widespread. Hopefully the Telcos begin to push manufacturers to make all of their phones 5G compatible so that we can take advantage of this new speedy spectrum.

Source: ACMA.

Scott Plowman   Editor

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Scott is our modding guru - he has his finger on the pulse of all things ‘moddable’, pointing us towards all the cutting edge mods hacks that are available. When he’s not gymming it up, or scanning the heck out of Nexus devices, you'll find him on the Ausdroid Podcast.

Outside of Ausdroid, Scott's a health care professional and lecturer at a well known Victorian university.

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Shannon
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Shannon

Wake up Australia! There is NO obligation for any of the telcos to provide 5g service. None. They will only implement it where it will pay! So, if you live where it takes more than 5 minutes to get a big mac, well your stuffed. Think about it!

chris
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chris

Wake up Shannon, you seem to think you are the expert on all things and everyone else is a sleeping dullard.

I think people know that 5g will start in CBD and high density areas first, we don’t need 5g 4g is plenty good enough, 5g will happen but there is no rush as it is needed where instant communications is required, high speed, instant LAN like response for interconnected systems, not people on their phones.

whitelunchbag
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whitelunchbag

Can’t wait to download apps 0.3 seconds faster!

Craig Mitchell
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I’m hoping with 5G having large data capacity, that will mean mobile data will become cheap, and I will be able to dump my slow home ADSL2 connection, and switch to a 5G connection, for around the same cost. Anyone know if I’m dreaming, or this is likely to happen?

chris
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chris

we still are not using VoLTE properly yet and we worry about 5g. When my phone no longer requires 3g to work fully then I will think about 5g, it has little to no use for me as 4g is fast enough data wise.

ilobo
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ilobo

Optus actually weren’t allowed to purchase any additional 5g spectrum for metro.

And I quote The AFR from a few months back:

Optus already has the largest 5G spectrum holding in metropolitan areas, acquired via its 2012 purchase of Vividwireless. The telco’s metro holdings are so significant it is only allowed to bid in November’s auction for spectrum in regional areas.

https://www.afr.com/business/telecommunications/telstra-butts-heads-with-optus-and-vodafone-over-5g-rollout-plans-20180910-h155be

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