Optus wins new regional licences in Australia's 5G spectrum auction

The new 5G mobile high-speed network is set to launch next year with a promise of more reliable and higher-quality video streaming, and faster fixed wireless Internet.
The new 5G mobile high-speed network is set to launch next year with a promise of more reliable and higher-quality video streaming, and faster fixed wireless Internet.PHOTO: SINGTEL

SINGAPORE - Singtel's wholly owned Australian telco Optus confirmed on Monday (Dec 10) that it had successfully acquired regional licences in the country's auction of a new 5G mobile high-speed network.

Optus won 47 regional lots for a total amount of A$185.1 million (S$182.4 million) across North and Central Queensland, South East Queensland/Northern New South Wales, regional Victoria and South Australia, Tasmania and Southern/Western NSW.

The network is set to launch next year with a promise of more reliable and higher-quality video streaming, and faster fixed wireless Internet.

The Australian Communication and Media Authority said on Monday all 350 available lots of 3.6 GHz band spectrum had sold, with Telstra paying A$386 million for 143 lots, while Vodafone and TPG - which are in the midst of a merger - won 131 lots for A$263 million, and Dense Air Australia received 29 lots for A$18.4 million.

Optus noted that it has extensive holdings of spectrum in the 5G band in metropolitan areas and as a result was excluded from the metropolitan spectrum auction due to bid limits imposed by the Australian government.

Optus Networks managing director Dennis Wong said: "The additional spectrum positions Optus strongly to deliver 5G services in cities, regions and holiday locations. We are committed to commercially launching fixed wireless access services early in 2019 and we can now extend these services to regional Australia."