Australia wins A$2bn from digital dividend spectrum auction

Three Australian operators have secured spectrum in the country’s digital dividend auction, generating revenues of nearly A$2bn ($2.06bn) for the Australian government. Telstra, Optus Mobile and TPG Internet each secured spectrum, regulator Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) announced.

Big spending operator Telstra paid over A$1.3bn for 2x20MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum and 2x40MHz of 2.5GHZ spectrum, as it looked to consolidate its position as Australia’s market leader. The operator had 14.5 million subscribers as of December 2012, according to Informa’s WCIS.

Second placed operator Optus Mobile won 2x10MHz blocks of 700MHz spectrum as well as 2x20MHz blocks in the 2.5GHz band, paying almost A$650m for its spectrum. And fixed line operator TPG Internet also secured 2x10MHz of 2.5GHz spectrum, for a total of A$13.5m.

2x15MHz of 700MHz spectrum remained unsold. Each operator was not allowed to acquire more than 2×25MHz (50 MHz in total) in the 700MHz band or more than 2×40MHz (80 MHz in total) in the 2.5GHz band.

“The auction process itself ran smoothly and resulted in the allocation of spectrum to the companies that valued it the most,” said Chris Chapman, ACMA chairman.

“This decades-long process of spectrum reform has already transformed the television industry, delivering greater diversity and better technical quality of television services to viewers. It will be complete when the new licences in the 700 MHz band become operational at the beginning of 2015.”

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