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Two-Horse 5G Auction Set To Kick Off Next Week

The 5G spectrum auction is set to kick off on November 20 and will essentially be a two-horse race between Telstra and TPG Telecom/Vodafone Hutchison Australia, jointly bidding for the spectrum.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority will put 125MHz of available spectrum in the 3.6GHz band on the block, with each bidder allowed to buy 60MHz of the spectrum in metropolitan areas and 80MHz in regional areas.

Optus, which already has a 3.5GHz spectrum at its disposal, cannot buy any more in the metro areas and the telco warned yesterday that there is a real risk of up to 40MHz of the spectrum being left on the table after the auction.

The company has been agitating since August to have the auction deferred, following the mooted merger of TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison Australia.

Optus yesterday said that the joint bid by TPG and Vodafone significantly reduces the competitive tension and will cut the amount of revenue the Government could reap from the auction.

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