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Vodafone Proposes To Acquire 700 MHz Spectrum For $594.3 Million

Vodafone Hutchison Australia has made an “unsolicited proposal” to the government to acquire 2 x 10 MHz of unsold 700 MHz spectrum remaining from the “digital dividend” spectrum auction held by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) in 2013.

Only Telstra and Optus participated in the 2013 auction – with Telstra purchasing 2 x 20 MHz and Optus 2 x 10 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum – which saw 2 x 15 MHz of 700 MHz spectrum left unsold.

The Department of Communications and the Arts has advised via a consultation note that Vodafone has proposed to acquire 2 x 10 MHz of the unsold 700 MHz spectrum for a licence term of 11 years and 9 months, for $594.3 million, payable in three instalment payments over three years.

“The terms of VHA’s proposal are consistent with the government’s spectrum policy objectives, which include maximising the overall public benefit derived from the spectrum by ensuring its efficient allocation and use,” the department stated in announcing the proposal.

“In addition, VHA’s proposal replicates, as far as possible, the rules of the digital dividend auction to ensure that VHA is not advantaged by not participating in that auction process in 2013.”

The department has released a draft ministerial direction to ACMA that would implement the details of Vodafone’s proposal for consultation, and submissions can be made until June 3.

Further information can be found here.

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