A total of five companies in Australia secured 26GHz spectrum licences in the country’s first mmWave auction, which generated AUD647.6 million ($501.1 million) for the government.

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) said all but two of 360 lots in the 26GHz band across 27 geographic areas sold.

Telstra and Optus took the lion’s share, with the former 150 lots for AUD276.6 million and the latter 116 blocks for AUD226.2 million.

TPG Telecom paid AUD108.2 million for 86 lots; Pentanet AUD7.9 million for four lots in Western Australia (WA); and Dense Air AUD28.6 million for two in Sydney and Melbourne.

ACMA chair Nerida O’Loughlin said the auction is “another significant milestone for 5G in Australia”, with the spectrum enabling “high-speed communications services in metropolitan cities and major regional centres”.

Communications minister Paul Fletcher stated: “With access to 15-year licences for mmWave spectrum, network operators will now be able to provide fast, high-capacity and low-latency services to build on and enhance their existing 5G networks.”

Telstra secured 1,000MHz in all major cities and regional areas where it was sold, with CEO Andrew Penn stating the spectrum would dramatically increase capacity and speeds for customers.

Optus acquired 800MHz in Sydney; Melbourne; Brisbane; Perth; Adelaide; Canberra; and a range of regional areas, and 600MHz in Hobart and Margaret River in WA. TPG Telecom picked up 400MHz in Sydney; Melbourne; and Perth, and 600MHz in Brisbane and all other metropolitan and regional areas.

The government plans to auction 5G spectrum in the 900MHz band in H2, which it stated will be crucial for broader geographic coverage.