ACMA announces conclusion of multi-band spectrum auction

14 Dec 2017

A total of five companies secured frequencies in the multiband residual lots auction carried out by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), it has confirmed. With the regulator revealing that the sale process reached its conclusion on 12 December, it named Telstra, Optus, Vodafone Australia, TPG Telecom and nbn as the winning bidders.

Telstra emerged as the biggest spender by some margin, agreeing to pay a total of AUD72.53 million (USD55 million) for frequencies in the 1800MHz, 2100MHz, 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands. Vodafone committed to paying a total of AUD7.24 million for its new spectrum, which again was spread across all four aforementioned bands, while Optus bid a combined AUD6.51 million for 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz frequencies. Rounding out the winners, nbn, the company overseeing Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout, secured 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz spectrum at a cost of AUD4.01 million, with TPG the smallest spender, bidding AUD2.33 million for 1800MHz frequencies only.

Meanwhile, the ACMA noted that a further six lots were not offered at auction, as only one unnamed applicant had expressed an interest in these lots. As such, the regulator has said it will offer these to that applicant for a pre-determined price, that being the starting bid price.

Commenting on the auction process, ACMA chairperson Nerida O’Loughlin said: ‘There was good competition across the 1800MHz, [2100MHz], 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands. The additional spectrum will mean improved services and greater choice for consumers in those areas where lots have been allocated.’