The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has announced that the auction to sell 1800 MHz has drawn to a close, raising a total of $387 million. The auction process commenced on 30 November 2015 and ran over 179 rounds for two months before heading to closure.
Four bidders emerged victorious, with Optus Mobile spending the highest. Optus paid A$196 million for 55 5 Mhz blocks of paired spectrum. Telstra closely followed Optus with 55 5-MHz blocks and two 2.5-MHz blocks at a cost of A$191 million, the ACMA said.
The other winners were TPG Internet Pty Ltd and Vodafone Australia, with the former buying 18 5 MHz lots for A$88 million and the latter paying A$68 million for 11 5 MHz lots.
“The 1800MHz band spectrum auction process ran very efficiently and the simultaneous multi-round ascending (SMRA) auction format proved highly effective in testing the market value of the spectrum and allocating it to those parties that valued it most,” Australian media cited ACMA chairman Chris Chapman.
The 1800 MHz spectrum is already used extensively in Australia’s major cities mainly to provide 4G. This auction would enable improvements to the availability and performance of 4G telecommunications services across regional Australia.
Six blocks remained unsold. The licenses will come into effect on 30 May 2017 and expires after 11 years, on 17 June 2028.