Telstra, Optus, TPG Telecom and NBN Co secured 574 lots of 3.4GHz and 3.7GHz spectrum in an auction held by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), generating nearly AUD721.8 million ($473.1 million).

Telstra acquired rights to 110MHz in the mid-band frequencies for AUD545.6 million, including 80MHz in Sydney and Melbourne.

In a statement, Telstra explained it acquired a large proportion of the spectrum at “a highly competitive price”, setting up its mid-band spectrum assets for the next 20 years.

Optus spent AUD33.5 million on 20MHz of 3.7GHz spectrum covering northern New South Wales and South Queensland. The operator said the allocation adds to its 35MHz in the 3.6GHz band.

TPG Telecom, through its infrastructure subsidiary Mobile JV, won 44 lots of 3.7GHz spectrum for AUD128.2 million. The includes 20MHz in Sydney and Melbourne, 30MHz in Adelaide, 25MHz in Brisbane, Canberra and Perth, and 50MHz in Hobart. The company noted the new spectrum complements its current 5G spectrum licences in the 3.6GHz and 26GHz bands.

NBN Co was assigned 200 lots in the 3.4GHz band for AUD14.4 million.  

All but 14 of the 588 lots available were allocated to bidders.

The 3.4GHz licences are valid for seven years and will be issued soon. The 3.7GHz licences commence in early 2024 and expire in January 2044.

The auction is expected to be the final allocation of mid-band spectrum by the ACMA for the foreseeable future, Telstra stated.