Last week, in a race to build national high-speed 5G networks and to secure future access to radio wave spectrum, collectively AUD 853 million ($615.6 million) was spent by the biggest telecommunications companies in Australia.
In the midst of rising competition in the industry and headwinds from the roll out of National Broadband Network, telcos considering the next generation high-speed mobile networks as an opportunity to increase revenue, 5G auction by Australian Communications and Media Authority remained the top priority of the telcos.
As part of the auction of 5G spectrum by Australian Communications and Media Authority in 5G compatible radio wave bands of 3.6 GHz covering 14 regions through its 350 lots, a highest amount of AUD 386 million ($278.57 million) was paid by Telstra to win 143 lots of the spectrum across metropolitan and regional areas in the country.
For restrictions, on the amount of spectrum a single provider can access, imposed by the government and for its pre-existing holdings, Optus with its limited bid ability, has paid AUD 185.1 million ($133.58 million) to get 47 lots.
To acquire 131 lots of the spectrum, Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom, came up as joint venture and paid AUD 263.3 million ($190.02 million) for it. Both companies are in efforts for a proposed merger to make it a telco worth AUD 15 billion ($10.83 billion), decision of which has still been pending for regulatory approval, but what so ever the decision came up, the joint venture is still valid to bid in the auction.
Dense Air Australia has come up as surprising bidder in the auction for the telco sources. Being provider of a small level 4G LTE network, for AUD 18.5 million ($13.35 million), it bought 29 lots in capital city areas.
The auctioned 5G licenses, starting in March 2020, will be remained valid till December 2030 whereas in the next 12 months, 5G networks have been expected to be launching.