Australia's 1800MHz Auction Raises $387M

Australian operators spend $387 million to improve the coverage and quality of 4G services outside urban areas.

Iain Morris, International Editor

February 5, 2016

1 Min Read
Australia's 1800MHz Auction Raises $387M

Australian authorities have raised A$543.5 million ($387 million) from an auction of 1800MHz spectrum that wrapped up this week.

The sale of previously unallocated airwaves will allow operators to provide services over 1800MHz spectrum in specific regions outside the main urban areas.

Incumbent Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS) paid A$191 million ($136 million) for 55 5MHz lots and two 2.5MHz lots, while SingTel Optus Pty. Ltd. spent A$196 million ($140 million) on 55 5MHz lots.

The other spectrum winners were TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia , with the former buying 18 5MHz lots for A$88 million ($63 million) and the latter paying A$68 million ($48 million) for 11 5MHz lots.

Authorities failed to sell six 5MHz licenses.

Telstra said it would be able to make improvements to its 4G offering in parts of the country with the new spectrum.

"As a result of the auction, we'll be at least doubling the amount of spectrum in the 1800MHz band that we can use to provide 4G services in these areas," said CEO Andy Penn in a statement. "In fact, in some regions we will more than triple the amount available."

The licenses will come into effect in May 2017 and be valid for 11 years.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority said the license awards would boost the availability and performance of 4G services across regional Australia.

— Iain Morris, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile, News Editor, Light Reading

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About the Author(s)

Iain Morris

International Editor, Light Reading

Iain Morris joined Light Reading as News Editor at the start of 2015 -- and we mean, right at the start. His friends and family were still singing Auld Lang Syne as Iain started sourcing New Year's Eve UK mobile network congestion statistics. Prior to boosting Light Reading's UK-based editorial team numbers (he is based in London, south of the river), Iain was a successful freelance writer and editor who had been covering the telecoms sector for the past 15 years. His work has appeared in publications including The Economist (classy!) and The Observer, besides a variety of trade and business journals. He was previously the lead telecoms analyst for the Economist Intelligence Unit, and before that worked as a features editor at Telecommunications magazine. Iain started out in telecoms as an editor at consulting and market-research company Analysys (now Analysys Mason).

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