Telstra Tops Rivals In 5G Spectrum Auction

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Telstra, Optus, and TPG/Vodafone were the winning big bidders in the latest auction of Australia’s new 5G mobile network spectrum which raised $853 million for the federal government.

Telstra secured the largest proportion of the high-speed spectrum in the auction, according to a release yesterday from ACMA, the media and telco regulator.

The 5G technology is set to launch next year with a promise of more reliable and higher quality video streaming, and faster fixed wireless internet.

Telstra wants to be the leader-hence its top bids, but TPG/Vodafone and Optus don’t want to take a back seat and were just as aggressive.
ACMA said in Monday’s statement that Telstra paid $386 million for 143 lots of spectrum, while Vodafone and TPG – who are planning to merge – bought 131 lots for $263 million.

Optus won 47 lots for $185 million and Dense Air Australia won 29 lots for $18.4 million.

“This spectrum is recognised internationally as a key band for 5G services,” ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin in the statement.

“Timely release of 5G-compatible spectrum will facilitate the early delivery of next-generation 5G services to the Australian public and industry.”

ACMA said licences won at auction will commence in March 2020 and will extend until December 2030, though arrangements already exist to enable Telstra and Optus access to the band in 2019, provided no interference is caused to existing licensees.

Combined with existing holdings, Telstra now has 60 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all major capital cities, and between 50-80 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all regional areas.

Telstra shares fell 1.3% to $3.04 in yesterday’s nasty 2.3% slump on the wider ASX.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

View more articles by Glenn Dyer →