Australian operators Telstra, Vodafone, Optus, NBN Co and TPG secured spectrum through a multiband residual lots auction held by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

ACMA chair Nerida O’Laughlin said there was good competition across the 1.8GHz, 2GHz, 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz bands, with the auction raising about AUD92.6 million ($70.9 million).

She said the additional spectrum will mean improved services and greater choice for consumers in those areas where lots have been allocated and will help operators meet rising demand for mobile and fixed-wireless broadband services.

Telstra, the country’s largest mobile operator, was the biggest spender, purchasing 17 lots for AUD72.53 million. Vodafone was second, spending AUD7.24 million on three lots, followed by Optus (AUD6.51 million, five lots), NBN Co (AUD4.01 million, five lots) and TPG (AUD2.33 million, three lots).

Australia opened the first round of the auction to sell 39 lots of airwaves across four bands on 28 November, with the majority of lots available in areas outside of major cities. A simple clock auction format was used and the process was concluded on 12 December after 85 rounds.

An additional six lots were not offered at auction as only one applicant had expressed interest. The ACMA will offer these lots to the applicant for a pre-determined price, which is the starting price.