Optus, Telstra Buy Up Big At 5G Auction
Optus and Telstra have both spent up big at the latest auction to secure their further deployment of 4G and 5G networks across the country.
Optus spent $1.5 billion to secure 12 lots of spectrum in the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s 850/900 MHz band auction, with payment for the 20-year licences due in 2024.
Telstra has invested another $616 million to secure 2x10MHz low band spectrum, calling it “a win for Telstra customers, especially for the people, businesses and communities of regional and rural Australia”. This is coupled with 2x40MHz of low-band spectrum in the major cities and 2x45MHz in regional and remote areas.
“This is more than any other carrier, which is important given our larger customer base, and will help us continue to provide the best mobile coverage and service,” explains Vicki Brady, Telstra’s chief financial officer and group executive, strategy & finance said.
“Our current 850MHz spectrum licence has played an important role in our 5G rollout which now extends to more than 4000 sites across the country, reaching 75% of the population.
“This new spectrum will help us meet the commitment in our T25 strategy to provide 5G coverage to 95% of the population by 2025.”
Telstra said it has spent $11 billion on its mobile network, including $4 billion regionally, since 2016.
“The successful allocation of 850/900 MHz band spectrum is another important step forward for Australia’s transition to 5G, and the deployment of new technologies,” ACMA acting Chair Creina Chapman said.
Payment for the 20-year licences is not expected until shortly before they commence in mid-2024.
Telstra, which has a market cap of $47.5bn, last traded at $4.01.