TPG Telecom enhances 5G spectrum holdings with Dense Air transaction

3 Aug 2021

Australia’s TPG Telecom, which offers services under the Vodafone Australia banner, has announced the signing of an agreement to acquire additional 5G spectrum holdings in the 3.6GHz band from Dense Air. In a press release regarding the development, TPG Telecom noted that completion of the transaction will increase its 3.6GHz spectrum holdings from 60MHz to 90MHz in Adelaide and 95MHz in Brisbane, Perth and Canberra. Meanwhile, in Sydney and Melbourne TPG Telecom will acquire 5MHz of 3.6GHz spectrum, increasing its holdings to 65MHz in those cities after the transaction. Subsidiaries of TPG Telecom and Dense Air have also entered into a separate agreement under which TPG Telecom will sell its 2.6GHz spectrum band licences to Dense Air Networks Australia.

Outlining the rationale behind deals, TPG Telecom claimed that Dense Air’s 3.6GHz spectrum ‘is a much better complement to TPG Telecom’s existing spectrum portfolio than the 2.6GHz, while the 2.6GHz offers Dense Air national spectrum which, along with Dense Air’s 26GHz spectrum, better enables Dense Air’s neutral host model’. The agreements for both transactions are subject to conditions precedent, including that the two transactions are completed concurrently, and receive approval from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). Following satisfaction of the conditions, the transactions are expected to complete in September 2021.

Commenting, TPG Telecom CEO Inaki Berroeta said: ‘For our mobile and home wireless customers, this additional mid-band 5G spectrum will mean a significant boost in speeds through increased capacity … This spectrum acquisition will enhance our 5G customer experience and set us up for future customer growth as we roll out our 5G home internet service to meet customer demand for NBN alternatives … As this spectrum is immediately adjacent to our existing 5G spectrum holdings, it can be deployed quickly and without significant cost.’

TPG Telecom is currently deploying its 5G network in major cities, and is targeting 85% population coverage in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Canberra by the end of this year.