Optus wins regional licences in Australia's 5G network

Singtel's wholly owned Australian telco Optus has 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$183 million) across North and Central Queensland, South-east Queensland/Northern New South Wales (NSW), regional Victoria and South Australia, Tasmania and Southern/Western NSW, it announced yesterday.

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 Communications and Media Authority said yesterday that all 350 available lots of 3.6GHz 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. Dense Air Australia received 29 lots for A$18.4 million.

Optus noted 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."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 11, 2018, with the headline 'Optus wins regional licences in Australia's 5G network'. Print Edition | Subscribe