Australian operators pay $74.6 million for new sub-6-GHz spectrum

australia spectrum auction with added koala
Image credit: Ton Kung /

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) has wrapped up its latest spectrum auction, with Optus, Telstra, TPG, Vodafone and NBN Co paying a collective A$92.6 million ($74.6 million) for new allocations in four sub-6-GHz bands.

The multiband residual lots auction conducted by ACMA used a ‘simple clock auction’ format. The auction commenced on November 28 and concluded on December 12 after 85 rounds. Up for grabs was new spectrum in the 1800 MHz, 2 GHz, 2.3 GHz and 3.4 GHz bands.

Incumbent Telstra was by far the big spender, accounting for A$72.5 million of the total – and A$50 million of which went to a chunk of 3.4-GHz spectrum in Brisbane.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia was the second highest spender at A$7.2 million, which secured 2 x 10 MHz in the 2100-MHz band in Hobart and Darwin, and 2 x 5 MHz in the 1800-MHz band in regional Western Australia.

Optus won two 2300-MHz lots in Sydney and Melbourne, and three 3.4-GHz lots in Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide for a total amount of A$6.5 million.

TPG acquired some 1800-MHz spectrum in Mackay and Tasmania for A$2.3 million.

And NBN Co spent A$4 million for 2.3-GHz and 3.4-GHz spectrum in five areas.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said in a statement there was “good competition” across the four bands.

A table detailing the winning price and the successful bidder for each lot is available here.

Bidder Total price (A$)
Optus $6,513,000
Telstra $72,530,000
TPG $2,330,000
Vodafone $7,237,000
NBN Co $4,013,000


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