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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